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Friday, July 20, 2018

Delhi Underground: Braving The Heat

Police are rattled with frequent phone calls from senior government officers in Lodhi Estate area.

Delhi | Updated: April 27, 2015 3:05:22 am
A traffic policeman on duty at Vijay Chowk on Sunday. (Source: Express photo by Ravi Kanojia) A traffic policeman on duty at Vijay Chowk on Sunday. (Source: Express photo by Ravi Kanojia)

Are you from traffic police?

When a reporter from this newspaper went to the Tughlakabad Inland Container Depot for a story on polluting vehicles, several truck drivers expressed surprise when asked about the Pollution Under Check (PUC) certificate. “We thought you were from the traffic police. They are the only ones who ask about PUC certificates. Most of us have never been asked to show PUC certificates for employment or contract,” a
driver said.

Eye-sore posters

Transport Minister Gopal Rai was present during an inspection of commercial diesel vehicles at the Burari Transport Authority last week. Behind the alley where the minister’s car was parked, officials noticed a string of posters announcing the “achievements” of the Shiela Dikshit government in the education and health sectors and on unauthorised colonies. Sources said several cars were moved there to hide the posters. Of course, there was no need because Rai never ventured there. But officials were not keen on taking chances.

Thankless job

As all water treatment plants (WTPs) in the capital started functioning last week, over a decade after three of them were constructed, the newly formed AAP government lost no time in claiming credit for the development. While the chief minister and the deputy chief minister lashed out at the BJP and the Congress for not making the WTPs operational when they were in power in Delhi, Delhi Jal Board (DJB) officials felt betrayed when all credit was usurped by the AAP leaders. “The plants started functioning after a court direction to the Haryana government for releasing water to Delhi through Munak Canal. The AAP has been in power for just two months. We have been pushing for the issue for years now. No one gives credit to us for the hard work,” an official said.

Mayor elections

After the nominations to elect a new mayor were filed in the South Municipal Corporation, news of the BJP’s long-standing ally, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), abstaining from voting started doing the rounds. When Congress candidate Farhad Suri was asked if he had spoken to the SAD in this regard, he said he had called and told them that he (Suri) was the better candidate. “I even called Subhash Arya and told him I am the better candidate,” Suri said. Eventually, Arya was elected the mayor.

Missing wallet

Just before pandemonium broke out at the AAP’s Kisan rally last Tuesday with the death of a farmer from Rajasthan, there was something else that was troubling AAP MLA from Burari, Sanjeev Jha. His wallet had gone missing. Jha was heard telling anxious volunteers that it must have been stolen as he made his way through the crowd to the stage. Later in the day, an AAP volunteer was heard saying, “We should have known then itself that this was not going to be a good day.”

Doctors’ talk

The Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC) organised a meeting on Saturday for which “open invitations” were sent to doctors of private hospitals for deliberating with Health Minister Satyendra Jain and DDC vice-chairperson Ashish Khetan. The meeting was called to discuss appropriate policies for regulating the private healthcare sector. However, Jain left the meeting after his speech as he had to attend a conference in Vigyan Bhawan. A doctor, who stood up to tell him “just three points”, was asked by Jain to come and meet him later. A few speeches later, when the audience was told Khetan too had to leave the venue, another doctor, a cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon at a private hospital, stood up and said he had taken leave for the day especially and he felt he was wasting “both my time and Khetan’s”. Khetan then said he would stay back. Later, the doctor was invited on the dais. During the meeting, some doctors asked if there was “any structure to this meeting or whether anybody can stand up and talk when they wish”.

Rattled police

Police are rattled with frequent phone calls from senior government officers in Lodhi Estate area. Recently, one resident of Lodhi Colony called and introduced himself as a senior DANICS officer. He called to complain that he was not happy with the sudden increase in the number of street vendors in the area and wanted police to remove them. The police officer got hassled after he again received a call regarding the same issue while was in a meeting, but still responded politely. He informed the caller that the police can’t remove them as the matter comes under the jurisdiction of civic authorities and that police can only provide security personnel during their eviction.

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