Parliament House is faced with a monkey and dog menace. Various measures are being taken, including scaring the monkeys away by trained people disguised as langurs. The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has hired 40 people for this. It has also bought rubber bullet guns for scaring away the simians. “Besides, a team of dog catchers visits Parliament House and surrounding areas twice a week to catch unimmunised and unsterilised stray dogs,” an official said.
All of last week, the announcement about AAP’s rally on Sunday was made through speakers mounted on e-rickshaws in the city. One e-rickshaw reportedly drove into the Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) through its back gate. After driving around the campus for good 5-10 minutes, the e-rickshaw was stopped by security guards, who objected to its entry inside the complex of a government hospital. “There are so many students here… the party probably wanted to get its message across to the youth. The guard said he supported the AAP, but since he was on duty at a government institution, he was forced to turn the e-rickshaw away,” a doctor said.
Open only for guests
After news got out that Maharashtrian food is now being served at the New Maharashtra Sadan, cooked by representatives of a Maharashtrian self-help group, the Sadan has been inundated by guests. They are all being turned away, however, being told that the kitchen is only operational for guests at the Sadan with the dining hall not open to public. “There are very few places where such an authentic menu is served. But we have been turned away. This too seems like one of the VIP perks for MPs, despite the ruckus they created in the past two weeks at the Sadan,” someone, who was turned away, was heard telling a guard.
Raise the Bar
Even as the Central government has proposed to appoint more judges to high courts to tackle the huge backlog of cases, as far as the backlog in lower courts is concerned, a senior member of the Bar feels the issue can be tackled by merely “streamlining” the functioning of courts rather than by increasing the number of judges.
A state-of-the-art underground parking lot was unveiled with great fanfare across the road from the Delhi High Court last year. Meant for use by lawyers and litigants, the parking lot is hardly used by them. Apparently, lawyers don’t use it because it is a paid parking lot. The issue of turning it into a ‘free parking’ lot for lawyers was even an election issue for this year’s Bar association elections. This week, lawyers finally got their wish. The parking lot has finally been made free for all lawyers.
The Tihar Jail administration is in a fix over the statue of former Director-General Vimla Mehra, which was sculpted by an inmate inside the prison complex earlier this year. With Mehra transferred out of Tihar, the authorities are wondering what to do with the statue. A rumour doing the rounds in police circles is that the government was reportedly upset over the statue controversy.
Litany of complaints
Asked how he managed to work in such conditions, a police officer, whose office is inside a dilapidated police post, let out a litany of complaints. He said while it was mandatory to set up a women’s helpdesk in every police station after the December 16 gangrape case, there was no space to do so at his office. “…badi badi baatein karte hain hawa mein, lekin ground pe kuch aur hi chalta hai,” he said.
While the Congress prepares for fresh Assembly elections in Delhi, party MLAs say the party’s “bijli-paani” campaign had put them in trouble. According to them, while it’s fine to say that the BJP and the AAP had betrayed the people, voters in many constituencies expect the Congress to fix their electricity and water woes. “It’s difficult explaining to them that I can’t solve the problems, only the government can,” one MLA said.