News Flash – 25 July 2018

National News

 

 

Lives put at risk as closure of bridge chokes approach to Lower Parel Station

 

Mumbai: Video clips and pictures of a crushing procession of people, inching through the lane below Delisle bridge towards a staircase leading to Lower Parel station, went viral on Tuesday within hours of the flyover being closed. The images forced the police to open up a private plot to create an access route to a little-used foot over-bridge of the station. The solution, though moderately effective, can be short-lived as the landlord of the property has said he will move court on grounds of trespassing. Motorists who had to take a long detour to reach their destinations complained of delays of up to one and a half hours; traffic jams were reported from the Elphinstone Road-Parel belt right up to Mahalaxmi. Zubin Kapadia, an Andheri resident whose office is in Phoenix Mills, said he was stuck for one and a half hours between Elphinstone Road and his workplace. “What made it worse was that south-bound motorists drove on the wrong side and got onto the northbound stretch,” he said. Abhin Shreshtha, who lives in Shivaji Park and reaches his Lower Parel office in half an hour, said he was stuck on the flyover opposite his office building for 15 minutes. “I was literally outside my workplace, but couldn’t enter on time”. There are two entrances for reaching the north FOB of Lower Parel station. One is via NM Joshi Marg and the other through a staircase from Datta Ahire Marg—the lane that runs below Delisle bridge.

 

“The south FOB is not used by many commuters. On Tuesday, many of us who use Central Railway to reach our offices in central Mumbai got off at Currey Road station and started to walk towards Lower Parel. We were taken aback to find Delisle shut. A massive crowd of commuters had gathered on Datta Ahire Marg by then, stretching all the way back to NM Joshi Marg,” said Shwetank Sarmal, an accountant. Another office-goer, Shweta Raje, said, “The police were silent spectators on the bridge above. Not even barricades had been placed in the lane to separate those entering the station and those exiting it”. The private plot, Devidas Dharamdas chawl, was opened at 10.30am so that the south foot over-bridge could be accessed. Only then did the crowd ease up to an extent. “It took me 20 minutes to get out of Lower Parel station and another 15 minutes to squeeze through the crowd and get to the main road,” said Sujat Naik, an employee of a private firm. WR’s divisional railway manager Sanjay Kumar said, “We have allowed non-railway commuters to use the station’s FOBs. We have decided not to levy a fine on anyone found without a ticket on the FOB”. BEST announced bus diversions. Buses of routes 2, 52 and 63 have been diverted via Bharatmata Cinema and BA Road and subsequently via Elphinstone Road to ST depot. Buses of routes 44, 50, 57 and 166 have been diverted from Yadav Chowk to Elphinstone Road via Senapati Bapat Marg onto Elphinstone bridge, and then via Dr B A Road towards Bharatmata Cinema.

 

 

Maratha bandh call may hit life in city & suburbs today

Protesters toppled vehicles and shopkeepers downed shutters in all 8 districts of Marathwada. Arson was also reported in south Maharashtra.

 

 

Mumbai: The Maratha Kranti Morcha has announced a bandh in Mumbai and the adjoining areas of Navi Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad on Wednesday to press for the community’s demand for a 16% quota in government jobs and education and to protest against the death of a Maratha youth during its “Jal Samadhi” agitation in Aurangabad. Though the Kranti Morcha, an umbrella organisation of various Maratha groups, said essential services such as hospitals, ambulance services, water supply, fire brigade, and schools and colleges including school buses would be exempt from the bandh, sources said rail and rasta rokos were likely in a few areas, autos and taxis may not be allowed to ply and shops and establishments may be told to keep shutters down. Educational institutions may take a call on Wednesday morning.

 

 

20-foot-long portion of false ceiling collapses at Vashi mall

 

Navi Mumbai: A 20ft-long portion of a false ceiling collapsed at Raghuleela Mall in Vashi on Tuesday, triggering panic. No one was injured as the portion fell on an empty space on the third level. A metal reinforcement meant to support the ceiling plaster too came down and hanged precariously close to the ground floor. Security guards at the mall immediately cordoned off the area and switched off the nearby escalator to keep visitors away. Vashi police station inspector Nitin Gite said, “The ceiling fell outside a multiplex. It had become loose due to moisture. The mall was shut for some time till the debris was cleared. We have noted the incident in the police station diary”. Mall’s manager Rajendra Shinde said, “The incident took place at 12.30pm. We reopened the mall at 4.30pm after we checked the entire ceiling to ensure the plaster had not loosened anywhere else”.

 

 

Cops in plain clothes chase, nab four snatchers

CAUGHT ON CAM: The accused were trying to escape after roughing up and robbing a woman, when they were noticed by a police officer.

 

 

New Delhi: There was chaos in Kirti Nagar when two cops who were patrolling in civil clothes — in a drive to keep a special check on snatchers and robbers — went on a hot chase and caught four men. They were trying to escape after roughing up and robbing a woman, when they were noticed by a police officer, who, while chasing them, took their picture and circulated it on all police WhatsApp groups. Three other teams were also pushed to action and a trap was laid. These men were left with no route to escape and were finally nabbed after a scuffle with two cops, who were left injured. In an attempt to dodge the cops, they even crashed into an elderly man, who is being treated. The entire chase has been caught on several CCTV cameras in the area. Cops said that the robbers were arrested with the help of a crime counter strategy by Delhi Police, named, “Operation Chakravyuh”. They had injured a woman while snatching her bag in Kirti Nagar on Friday. DCP (west) Vijay Kumar said that on the day of the incident, a biker along with two pillion riders, robbed the bag of a woman named Harmeet Kaur. As soon as the case was reported, a team led by SHO Anil Sharma was formed to investigate the matter.

 

“The victim got injured due to the manhandling done by the robbers. She was traumatised by the incident but somehow gathered courage and shouted for help,” said the DCP. Around 7.30pm, a constable deployed in the area heard commotion and spotted three robbers on a bike coming towards Ramesh Nagar. He immediately tried to stop them, simultaneously pulling out his phone in one hand and the lathi in the other hand and challenged the robbers. He took a picture of them, which made them afraid and they started driving towards a narrow lane. The constable immediately circulated the photo on all WhatsApp groups. All police officers deployed at the pickets were alerted so that there was no way the robbers could escape, while other cops set out on bikes, to track down the men. They were spotted at a barricade and the barricades were immediately closed, so they took a U-turn, but were faced by two cops on their bike, who, after a chase, caught these men. Police said that the men told the cops about being active in various parts of Delhi and even in its outskirts. Cops said that several cases have been solved with their arrest.

 

 

Monsoon mania: Fever Hospital records 15 malaria cases in 3 days

 

 

Hyderabad: With the monsoon season setting, the state-run Fever Hospital has seen a sudden spike in count of malaria patients, with at least 15 positive cases reported in the last three days alone. This apart, doctors say, the incidence of suspected cases too has shot up significantly in the recent past. From 5-10 cases being recorded in a week, the figure has now touched 50-100 per day, doctors added. While authorities are yet to ascertain the exact reason for this sudden surge in malaria cases, they suspect it is due to large-scale breeding of mosquitoes. “The jump in number of cases could be monsoon-related and the rise in mosquito menace during this season. Also some of the patients have reported having recently been on pilgrimage. So that could be another reason,” said Dr K Shankar, superintendent, Fever Hospital, adding, “Most of the cases being reported are from in and around Hyderabad”. The rest of the state too are seen reporting several cases with the records of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, (for July 23 alone) pegging the total count of positive patients at 25. Of them, 19 were recorded in Kothagudem, five in Medak and one in Adilabad. “This number is only likely to increase further over the next few weeks and the monsoon season gathers steam,” said a health official.

 

Given the current situation, experts suggest that patients running fever do not neglect their health as the incidence of malaria, dengue and even chikungunya peaks during this time of the year. “Cold, cough and fever is very common now; but fever should not be neglected, particularly if they are prolonged (for more than two days),” said Dr Papa Rao Nadakuduru, consultant physician at a city hospital. Apart from fever at regular intervals, bouts of shivering, muscle pain and weakness are the other symptoms of malaria, doctors added. In fact, in most instances, malaria cases are reported in clusters (many people from the same area test positive) due to the concentration of malaria spreading-female Anopheles mosquitoes in one pocket. The count of such cases is high in areas that have poor sanitation systems and are faced with the issue of water stagnation. “These civic loopholes allow mosquitoes to breed and multiply,” said a health expert, advising people to take appropriate precautions – maintain hygienic conditions in and around their homes and use mosquito repellents — to protect themselves from the disease.

 

 

To prevent vandalism, more CCTV cams at state Hospitals

 

Kolkata: The state government will install CCTVs in all government hospitals soon. To start with, the health department is identifying hospitals that frequently witness mob violence. Already CCTVs are there in the emergency wards in medical colleges, but now, there will be more. In the first phase, 1,440 CCTVs will be installed in 29 hospitals. During a meeting with health officials last month, chief minister Mamata Banerjee had promised to provide safety to the doctors and nurses by taking stern action against those involved in hospital vandalism. B C Roy Institute, known to be regularly affected by mob violence, will have 112 CCTVs. Medical College Hospital is going to have 64 CCTVs and Mayo hospital, which functions as the second campus of the Medical College, will get 16. SSKM Hospital will get 64 CCTVs and NRS Medical College and Hospital will get 48. School of Tropical Medicine (STM) will get 64 and Chittaranjan Sevasadan will have 24 CCTVs. However, maximum number of CCTVs — 248 — will be installed at Murshidabad Medical College Hospital, where a major fire took place in August 2016. It also witnesses regular mob violence and there have been complaints of baby lifting too. Midnapore Medical College will get 212 CCTVs. North Bengal Medical College will have 144 CCTVs, while Sagore Dutta Medical College will have 64 cameras and Bankura Sammilani medical college hospital will have 56 CCTVs. “Even thefts or baby lifting along with other crimes can be spotted easily with CCTVs,” said an official.

 

 

4 riding train footboard die after crashing against wall

DEATH RIDE: Five injured are being treated at hospitals; (L) mother of Sivakumar, one of the victims, was inconsolable.

 

 

Chennai: Tragedy struck rush-hour commuters on Tuesday when at least four men travelling on the footboard of a suburban train were killed and five others were injured after they slammed against a concrete fence near the track at St Thomas Mount Railway Station. The accident took place at 8.22am, police said. Witnesses told police that as the train was rolling on to platform 4, normally reserved for express trains, several commuters hanging on to the footboard in the compartment next to the engine smashed into the concrete fencing wall built on platform 3 and fell to the ground. Four of them were crushed to death under the train that was still moving fairly fast. The deceased were identified as J Naveen Kumar, 23, of Foreshore Estate, Sivakumar, 22, a resident of Raja Annamalaipuram and a second year B Com student at Vels College, and Bharath, 16, of Tambaram, who was a Class XII student. The fourth body is yet to be identified. Railway authorities said shoulder bags of several commuters travelling footboard hit the cement fence, and 10 passengers fell to the ground.

 

 

A snag in the overhead electrical line had forced them to run slow local trains on the fast lines meant for express services, said southern railway officials. The problem was reported around 7.10am and delayed trains plying between Chennai Beach and Tambaram by about 30 minutes. This, officials said, led to overcrowding of trains and the Chennai Beach-Tirumalpur train, which was involved in the accident, had to be diverted on to platform 4. Staff manning the control room of the state’s emergency service provider, Emergency Management Research Institute (EMRI), received the first call by 8.24am when a commuter said several people were injured in a train accident at St Thomas Mount. The closest 108 ambulance reached the spot at 8.32am. Nine more ambulances arrived in the next few minutes. Paramedics said several people had suffered injuries in the incident. “We saw a severed head and at least two amputated limbs. Faces of some of the dead were disfigured,” said a paramedic. Although 108 ambulances do not ferry the dead, health department officials decided to make an exception.

 

 

International News

 

 

Scores missing after Laos dam collapse

 

 

Bangkok: A hydroelectric dam collapsed in Laos, leaving an unknown number of people dead and hundreds missing, state media said on Tuesday. Rescue efforts were underway. The official Lao news agency KPL said the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam in Attapeu province collapsed on Monday, releasing large amounts of water that swept away houses and made over 6,600 people homeless. The dam was constructed by a joint venture led by South Korean companies, with Thai and Lao partners. The project was still under construction, KPL reported. Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith “suspended the planned monthly meeting of the government for August and led his cabinet members and other officials to Sanamxay (district) to monitor rescue and relief efforts being made for flood victims,” KPL said.

 

 

Heatwave toll touches 80 in Japan

 

 

Tokyo: Two weeks into Japan’s heat wave, at least 80 people have died and thousands have been rushed to emergency rooms, as officials on Tuesday urged citizens to stay indoors to avoid temperatures exceeding 40°C in some areas. The government said it may pay to help state schools install air conditioners and suggested extending summer vacations, which started this week for many students. “Record temperatures are continuing across the country,” chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said. Temperatures neared 40°C on Tuesday in many cities. Temperatures in Tokyo hovered near 35°C.


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