MCDs tar­get Oct 2 dead­line to be open defe­ca­tion free

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - Front Page - HT Cor­re­spon­dent htre­porters@hin­dus­tan­

mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tions of Delhi have set a dead­line of Oc­to­ber 2 dead­line to make the na­tional cap­i­tal open defe­ca­tion-free.

In a re­cent meet­ing chaired by Delhi lieu­tenant gover­nor Anil Bai­jal, the com­mis­sion­ers of the south and east civic bod­ies, said they would make their ar­eas open defe­ca­tion-free by Oc­to­ber 2.

But the North cor­po­ra­tion com­mis­sioner as­sured that it would be done by De­cem­ber 15.

A se­nior of­fi­cial of the south cor­po­ra­tion said the civic body had started the process of in­stalling 100 mo­bile toi­let vans at slum clus­ters fall­ing un­der its ju­ris­dic­tion, in or­der to achieve the 100% open defe­ca­tion-free (ODF) tag.

The civic agency has ear­marked sites across 104 wards. An amount of ₹12 crore has been al­lo­cated for the project.

Ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials, the project aims to sup­ple­ment the ef­forts of the Delhi Ur­ban Shel­ter Im­prove­ment Board (DUSIB) and Rail­ways —the agen­cies re­spon­si­ble for pro­vid­ing in­fra­struc­ture fa­cil­i­ties in slums.

“The densely pop­u­lated ar­eas in Okhla, Niza­mud­din and Tugh­lak­abad face space con­straints in con­struct­ing com­mu­nity toi­lets as they are near rail­way lines. So the south civic body has de­cided to place mo­bile toi­let vans here,” said a se­nior of­fi­cial from SDMC.

Ac­cord­ing to pa­ram­e­ters of the Swachh Bharat Mis­sion, any ur­ban lo­cal body can de­clare its wards ODF only if it is suc­cess­ful in pro­vid­ing pub­lic con­ve­niences at 75% of its ar­eas. Also, there should be pro­vi­sion for toi­lets within 500 me­tres of slum set­tle­ments.

Bai­jal has di­rected all mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sion­ers and the Delhi De­vel­op­ment Author­ity to ex­plore the pos­si­bil­ity to cre­ate more multi-level stack park­ing and sur­face park­ing in their ar­eas for the smooth im­ple­men­ta­tion of the up­com­ing ‘Park­ing Pol­icy.’

The North Delhi Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion had an­nounced con­struc­tion of 10 stack park­ing lots near metro sta­tions, es­pe­cially on the Green Line — that con­nects Mundka and In­der­lok sta­tions.

The South Cor­po­ra­tion has de­cided to con­struct these park­ings near busy mar­kets, metro sta­tions as well as res­i­den­tial ar­eas so that these fa­cil­i­ties can be used by visi­tors and res­i­dents.

The ap­pli­ca­tion of Singh’s for­mer driver co­in­cided on Satur­day with the start of the clos­ing ar­gu­ments in the tri­als. He has been named as the main con­spir­a­tor in the deaths of Sirsa-based jour­nal­ist Ram Chan­der Ch­ha­tra­p­ati and dera mem­ber Ran­jit Singh. Both mur­ders were re­ported in 2002.

Singh is in a prison in Ro­htak and ap­peared by video con­fer­ence for the pro­ceed­ings at a court in Panchkula.

“He be­haved nor­mally and did not com­plain of any­thing. He rarely looked up,” sources who were part of the hear­ing said.

“To­day, CBI ar­gued on state­ments of 31 wit­nesses out of to­tal 60 in Ran­jit mur­der case. The ar­gu­ments will con­tinue on Mon­day as well. As of the Ram Chan­der Ch­ha­tra­p­ati case, fi­nal ar­gu­ments will com­mence on Septem­ber 22,” Singh’s lawyer SK Garg Nar­wana said.

The cases are in the fi­nal stages and the court asked the de­fence and prose­cu­tion lawyers for their re­ac­tion on the for­mer driver’s plea, which is to be taken on Septem­ber 22.

The driver, Khatta Singh, had ini­tially tes­ti­fied against Singh in 2007 but changed his ver­sion in 2012.

Khatta Singh claimed he was liv­ing in the dera when the crimes were com­mit­ted and had “per­sonal knowl­edge” about the cir­cum­stances of the mur­ders.

Mean­while, Haryana Po­lice ar­rested on Fri­day the driver of Honeypreet Kaur, the con­tro­ver­sial adopted daugh­ter of Singh. Pradeep Ku­mar was de­tained from near the re­li­gious town of Salasar in Ra­jasthan.

In 2013, a CBI spe­cial court had con­victed Ku­mar to seven years of rig­or­ous im­pris­on­ment be­sides slap­ping a fine of ₹60 lakh on him. He got bail a year later, but con­tin­ued kid­ney ex­trac­tions in Gur­gaon, even while he was on bail, through his agent Javed Khan from Mum­bai (who was ar­rested by the Dehradun po­lice on Septem­ber 11).

He was again ar­rested in con­nec­tion with an­other kid­ney racket case in Gu­jarat in March last year, wherein he es­caped po­lice cus­tody while be­ing es­corted to Anand from New Delhi in Au­gust 2016. He was later de­clared an ab­scon­der and a re­ward of ₹50,000 was an­nounced against him by the Gu­jarat po­lice.

In the past, too, a Farid­abad court had in 2012 sen­tenced him to 10 years of rig­or­ous im­pris­on­ment, con­vict­ing him for neg­li­gence in treat­ment that led to death of three Turk­ish na­tion­als. He had also been ar­rested by the Delhi po­lice in 2000 in an­other kid­ney racket in Delhi.

Shock­ingly, Ku­mar, who con­fessed to po­lice to have per­formed around 50 re­nal surg­eries in Dehradun in the past two months, is an ayurvedic prac­ti­tioner and not even qual­i­fied to per­form a kid­ney ex­trac­tion/trans­plan­ta­tion surgery.

“He con­tin­u­ally used to change names and was found car­ry­ing two sep­a­rate driv­ing li­censes even when he was ar­rested. All the money he used to earn through his il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties used to get ex­hausted ev­ery time he got ar­rested, so he used to start all over again, chang­ing his place of ac­tion,” Dehradun se­nior su­per­in­ten­dent of po­lice (SSP) Nivedita Kukreti Ku­mar said.

Af­ter flee­ing from Gu­jarat, he got in touch with one Ra­jiv Chaud­hary, the mid­dle­man who bro­kered the deal for a hos­pi­tal premises in Ut­tarak­hand for Ku­mar.

In Dehradun, his modus operandi was to get poor peo­ple from far off states for ex­tract­ing kid­neys and later trans­plant them on rich pa­tients, in­clud­ing for­eign­ers at a makeshift op­er­a­tion theater at build­ing at a des­o­late lo­ca­tion on Dehradun-Harid­war high­way.

Po­lice said he had an ar­range­ment with a pri­vate hos­pi­tal around 30 km from Dehradun, where the post op­er­a­tive care of the pa­tients were taken. He started his racket in July this year.

“They used to burn all doc­u­ments re­lated to the case to elim­i­nate any ev­i­dence...he told us that around 50 kid­ney surg­eries (in­clud­ing or­gan ex­trac­tion and trans­plan­ta­tion) had been per­formed in the Dehradun hos­pi­tal since July this year,” the SSP said.

Te­lan­gana Rash­tra Samithi spokesman Bhanuprasad de­scribed Alphons’ state­ment as shock­ing. The gov­ern­ment is still fleec­ing peo­ple when crude prices have come down, he said.

In his speech in Thiruvananthapuram, Alphons said the Modi gov­ern­ment was com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing the wel­fare of the down­trod­den by build­ing houses for the home­less, pro­vid­ing elec­tric­ity in all vil­lages and build­ing toi­lets in all houses.

“We are im­pos­ing taxes to help the poor. All money col­lected is not be­ing stolen by Union min­is­ters,” he said adding it was the pre­vi­ous UPA regime that stole the money.

“Those who own ve­hi­cle re­quire petrol also. I don’t think they have any prob­lem in find­ing their food. In In­dia at least 30% of the peo­ple are starv­ing. The Modi gov­ern­ment gives top pri­or­ity to im­prove their lot. So those who are us­ing fuel have to cough up tax also,” he said adding the tax be­ing levied was reach­ing the pub­lic.

This is not the first time Alphons has courted trou­ble since he was made a min­is­ter. Re­cently, he ad­vised for­eign tourists to eat beef in their coun­tries be­fore com­ing to In­dia.

Singh was awarded the Padma Vib­hushan for his lead­er­ship dur­ing the 1965 War and sub­se­quently the rank of the CAS was up­graded to that of Air Chief Mar­shal. He re­tired in July 1969, there­upon ac­cept­ing am­bas­sador­ship to Switzer­land. He re­mained a flyer till the end of his ten­ure in the IAF, visit­ing for­ward squadrons and units and fly­ing with them.

In his ca­reer, Ar­jan Singh had flown more than 60 types of air­craft rang­ing from pre-World War II era bi­planes to Gnats and Vam­pires. On Au­gust 15, 1947, he led a fly past over the Red fort in Delhi.

Six years ago, the vet­eran lost his wife Teji Ar­jan Singh on his birth­day, April 15. On the oc­ca­sion of his 60th an­niver­sary, while talk­ing about his di­a­mond ju­bilee se­cret, Singh told this cor­re­spon­dent, “I tell Teji daily I love her.”

Some­one with more than 70% dis­abil­ity is not el­i­gi­ble for ad­mis­sion at all.

In De­cem­ber 2016, par­lia­ment passed The Rights of Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties Bill – 2016 which al­lows 5% reser­va­tion with­out any ex­cep­tion in all ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions. The leg­is­la­tion came into force in April 2017 but it does not ap­ply in Suresh’s case be­cause he took ad­mis­sion last year.

Suresh chal­lenged the MCI’s can­cel­la­tion or­der in the Kal­aburagi Bench of Kar­nataka High Court, which, in an in­terim or­der on July 31, per­mit­ted him to ap­pear in first year ex­am­i­na­tion.

“While other stu­dents’ re­sults are out, mine has been with­held,” he told HT from his vil­lage Byag­wat in Raichur.

While the med­i­cal reg­u­la­tor’s de­ci­sion was based on a rule backed by sev­eral med­i­cal re­ports and the views of the med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als, Suresh raised sev­eral ques­tions re­gard­ing his case.

“When reg­u­la­tions don’t al­low, why was I al­lowed to sit for ex­am­i­na­tion? Why wasn’t I in­formed dur­ing coun­selling by the Kar­nataka Ex­am­i­na­tion Author­ity? Why didn’t my col­lege ques­tion that?” asked the teenager who counts be­com­ing a doc­tor as his only dream.

“I can com­pete with any nor­mal stu­dent and per­form bet­ter than many of them,” he said.

Kavita Patil, chair­man, RIMS, said that she is not aware of Suresh’ sui­cide note to MCI but is try­ing to help him by tak­ing up the is­sue with se­nior gov­ern­ment au­thor­i­ties.

A case re­lated to per­mit­ting can­di­dates with colour blind­ness to pur­sue med­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion is pend­ing in Supreme Court. Dur­ing hear­ings, the top court has ques­tioned the pol­icy to com­pletely ex­clude colour blind can­di­dates from the med­i­cal pro­fes­sion.

The MCI analy­ses all med­i­cal col­lege en­tries and given the scale of the work, it of­ten takes months to scrap ad­mis­sions.

THE DRIVER, KHATTA SINGH, HAD INI­TIALLY TES­TI­FIED AGAINST SINGH IN 2007 BUT CHANGED HIS VER­SION IN 2012 Who buys petrol? Some­body who has a car or bike. Cer­tainly he’s not starv­ing. Peo­ple who can af­ford to pay should pay When reg­u­la­tions don’t al­low, why was I al­lowed to sit for ex­am­i­na­tion? Why wasn’t I in­formed dur­ing coun­selling?

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