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Delhi underground

After a recent survey revealed that the among all state government departments,the Municipal Corporation of Delhi receives maximum applications under the Right to Information Act...

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
September 14, 2009 4:39:14 am

Cynical consumers
After a recent survey revealed that the among all state government departments,the Municipal Corporation of Delhi receives maximum applications under the Right to Information Act,the Opposition and activists claim this puts a question mark on the quality of services provided by the agency. The civic body,however,is not disappointed. The agency believes that being the largest municipal body in the country it is only natural that so many queries are made. “Delivering services is MCD’s duty and all officers perform their duties. It is just that all citizens,including us,have become very cynical and are not happy. We are not easily satisfied with whatever is provided,” a senior member of the House said.  

Tough on tipplers
A man appeared at the Karkardooma court to get a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against him cancelled. Unfortunately for him,he was booked under another criminal case. Reason: he was found to be inebriated and the magistrate dubbed it a “serious” misconduct. After the judge noted that the man reeked of alcohol and was barely able to stand straight,he not only denied his appeal of cancellation but also ordered that he be taken into custody. The judge further asked that an alcohol test be conducted and another case be registered against the man. 

Favourite child
Though competition is the spirit of any sport,the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee’s Team Pune seems to have snubbed others in the committee,as they appear to be the favourite of Chairman Suresh Kalmadi. Most of the employees of Team Pune had worked for the Youth Commonwealth Games organised in Pune last year,and Kalmadi had then worked closely with the team. The buzz inside his office is that the Pune team is the chairman’s favourite and he usually agrees with their suggestions.

Chinese rating
Minister of Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh is pleased with Delhi Metro. He feels the Metro is the only project that treats its employees humanely,almost at par with the way the Chinese worked. After noting the labourers working on road construction near his Lodhi Garden residence,the minister said,“the labourers were poorly dressed and the way they were given housing,is fundamentally different from the way the Chinese do it”. The Chinese,he says,mobilise labour with proper uniforms and procedures. The only project,according to Ramesh,which comes close to the way the Chinese work,is the Delhi Metro. The DMRC workers have uniforms,safety helmets,proper settlements — no shanties or slums and even proper wash rooms.

Adieu extra work
Some employees in the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) are happy that their director,K N Srivastava,is set to take up the Ministry of External Affairs’ plum posting in four month’s time. The joy,however,is not entirely for Srivastava’s bright future. Some officials are relieved that they may be able to put behind them the system overhaul that the DG had enforced,adding new responsibilities for most officials. The heritage body’s younger lot are,however,upset and apprehensive that the pace of work might slacken. An official said Srivastava had moved to the organisation only seven months ago and had initiated several ambitious projects for the Commonwealth Games during his brief stint. This might fall flat with his exit,officials fear. 

Historic humour
On the occasion of the launch of his book on Partition,historian and former ambassador to Nepal Bimal Prasad recalled a meeting with Lord Mountbatten. Reminiscing of the “good reception” Prasad received from the aristocrat,the historian said Lord Mountbatten offered him salted crackers and cheese. This,said Prasad,at a time when “no one would pay attention to an academic”,pleasantly surprised him. “He gave me an elaborate meal and fussed over me in a way Lady Mountbatten could not have rivaled. If he was so kind to me,I can’t imagine how kind he must have been to Nehru,” Prasad wondered,ending with an after-thought,“So much so,that he even encouraged direct friendship between Nehru and Lady Mountbatten!”  

Butt the bright side
While the government added pictorial warning to cigarette packets under Cigarette and other Tobacco Products (Packaging & Labelling) Rules,2008,hoping to discourage people from smoking,the Delhi government’s Anti-Smoking Cell found an interesting offshoot of the rule recently. “The grotesque picture has become a way to ascertain that the product is genuine,” Health Minister Kiran Walia said. 

Rain,rain come again
Unlike other civic agencies for which rains are always a dampener,officials at the Delhi Jal Board are happy with good rains and a “flooding” river. A senior official said there was nothing to worry when the river,which does not flow at all during the rest of the year,is flowing. “This is not only making us water-sufficient for the next few days,but all the pollution,including industrial effluents,that comes along with Yamuna through Haryana is also getting washed away. Most importantly,such rains are good to recharge the groundwater,” a senior official said,calling the rise in the level of Yamuna a welcome flooding.

Fare scare
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) was forced to intervene after domestic low cost airlines increased their ticket prices by over three times last week,taking advantage of the Jet Airways pilots’ strike. When DGCA officials went to the Delhi airport for a reality check,managers of all airlines assured they would speak to their bosses and have the lower fare structure reinstated. SpiceJet officials,however,were not willing to drop fares and said they needed written instructions,a DGCA official said. This led to a heated argument between the SpiceJet Chief Administrative Officer and DGCA officials and the former was told that violating DGCA rules can lead to serious implications like grounding of a flight. Angry,a DGCA official then ordered that SpiceJet flight SG 209 (Delhi to Bangalore) will not be allowed to take off. The flight was allowed to take off only after SpiceJet management assured DGCA officials that fare would be revised.

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