News Flash – 6 March 2018

National News

 

 

9 cases of dengue in Delhi, malaria and chikungunya cases also reported

 

 

NEW DELHI: At least nine cases of dengue have been reported in Delhi in the first two months this year, indicating early spread of the virus carrying the vector-borne disease in the national capital. Of the nine cases reported till March 3, six were recorded in January and three in February, according to a municipal report released today. The cases of vector-borne diseases are usually reported between mid-July and November-end, but this period may stretch up to mid-December. “Two cases of malaria and three cases of chikungunya, both in February, have been reported, while in January none of the cases of both the diseases have been reported,” according to the report. Incidentally, there were no cases of any vector-borne disease till January 13. At least 10 people died in Delhi due to dengue last year, according to the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), which tabulates the data for the entire city. The vector-borne disease had affected 9,271 people here in 2017. Five of the 10 victims were not Delhi residents, but had died in the national capital. The official toll maintained by the Delhi municipal authorities till December 26 had stood at four, even though some hospitals had reported a few more deaths due to dengue.

 

The mosquito-borne tropical disease had claimed its first victim in the city last year on August 1, when a 12-year-old boy died of dengue shock syndromes at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH). Three more deaths were reported in October by the SDMC. The numbers of malaria and chikungunya cases recorded in 2017 stood at 1,142 and 940 respectively. Of the 9,271 dengue cases, 4,726 patients were from Delhi, while 4,545 had come to the city from other states for treatment, according to the SDMC. In 2016, at least 21 dengue deaths were reported from various city hospitals, including nine at the AIIMS, though the official figure of the civic bodies was 10. Seventeen deaths, suspected to be due to malaria, were also reported by the civic bodies in 2016. At least 15 fatalities were also reported from various city hospitals due to complications triggered by chikungunya, though the civic authorities had kept the death tally, due to it, at zero.

 

 

Locals help foresters douse fire at Turahalli Park in time

 

BENGALURU: A fire at the Turahalli forest, about 20km from the city off Kanakapura Road, created panic among residents of nearby localities on Sunday evening. Images of the fire scything through the tree cover had gone viral on social media. Forest department received an alert around 5.40pm and foresters, with the help of locals, doused the flames by 6.30pm. Officials described the blaze as a ground fire. “It was lit on the border and then spread,” they added. Dipika Bajpai, deputy conservator of forests, Bengaluru Urban, said the fire was minor. “Nowadays, such incidents have become common in Turahalli and we suspect they are acts of mischief-mongers or some negligent people who throw away cigarette and beedi butts,” she said. “The fire was noticed near the Shobha Apartment side of the forest. Our staff, with the help of locals, were able to control it in time. This participative approach has become our strength in tackling incidents like fire,” she added. Popularly known as Turahalli Park, the forest draws hundreds of young Bengalureans through the week, peaking during weekends. While the entry of motor vehicles is banned inside the forest, the green space is a haven for cyclists, trekkers, rock climbers and walkers. With a rocky hill and temple inside it, Turahalli is the only surviving forest patch of Bengaluru Urban district.

 

 

3,500 over speeding cases in Rachakonda in just a month

 

HYDERABAD : Two students died in a road accident on Saturday turning the spotlight once again on cases of over speeding in the Rachakonda Commissionerate limits. According to Rachakonda traffic police, as many as 3,500 over speeding cases have been registered in the past one month alone. Most accidents under the Commissionerate limits are due to over speeding, they said. “In Rachakonda limits, we have three highways and the maximum number of accidents occur on the Outer Ring Road (ORR). We have been keeping a strict watch over vehicles which are moving from Hyderabad, however, still the number of over speeding cases are high,” said deputy commissioner of police (traffic) in Rachakonda, K Ramesh Naidu. Last year, police had booked 44,060 over speeding cases on the ORR till December. This year, the DCP said cases have touched the 4,000-mark. “On an average, 200 cases are booked daily for over speeding. Over speeding, as well as drunk driving cases have been identified as the main reasons for road mishaps on ORR. To check speed, we have only four laser speed guns,” Naidu said. “Like drunk driving cases, we are now planning to bring down over speeding cases in 2018 by 15%,” he said.

 

 

SECURITY GUARDS MAKE A FAST BUCK BY RENTING OUT PARKING SPACE AT ZILLA PANCHAYAT OFFICE

 

 

Ahmedabad: Did you pay for your parked bike? Where do you want to go?” asked the man who identified himself as a security guard at the gate of the Ahmedabad Zilla Panchayat building in Bhadra. He and four others stood guard outside the parking lot of the local government office on a Sunday, the day the office is closed. A number of people could be seen coming in and parking their vehicles on the premises by paying Rs 20 per vehicle as ‘parking fees’ for which they receive no receipt. A Mirror Check at the premises on Sunday revealed that a group of men identifying themselves as security guards made a killing by illegally renting out parking space in the government building. And citizens had no qualms in paying the money in an area otherwise devoid of parking space. These men, when questioned, said shoppers and devotees came to the area in large numbers on Sundays and need a place to park their vehicles, which they were providing, for a price of course. The roadside market and famous Bhadrakali Temple in the area get massive footfalls on Sundays. When asked about their operation, they said, “We don’t go to call anyone to park in here. If people do come and park here, we charge them money.” When asked if they were employees of the government, they claimed, “We are guards employed by the Panchayat itself”.

 

Citizens don’t mind: Mirror spoke to some people who parked their vehicles at the premises. Rajesh Rajput, a business owner who had come to do shopping at the bazaar, said, “I parked my two-wheeler at the Panchayat office and paid Rs 20 to those men. However, they did not give me a receipt. I do find it fishy but as long as I can find a parking space in this rush, it isn’t much of a problem.” When asked about who had authorised them to continue renting public property and profiteer from it, the most vocal of the lot justified their action saying: “We are just security guards and we are paid peanuts. So, we make a little money on the side for two or three hours by letting people park here. It’s not as if we earn lakhs from the operation.” Another person who parked at the premises agreed that the whole operation was illegal but parking space won over the need to speak up against the wrongdoing. Kamal Jadav said, “This thing is absolutely wrong and it should be stopped. But there is no parking space anywhere else. That’s why nobody speaks up.” Giving an assurance, one of the guards said, “The thing is, you don’t have to worry, your vehicle will be very safe”.

 

Officials promise action: Dr. Sourabh Pardhi, IAS, the District Development Officer (DDO) of Ahmedabad Zilla Panchayat commented, “Nobody has been authorised to take any money from people to park in the office premises and if any such activity is being carried out, I assure you strict action will be taken.” Mirror spoke to Manuji Thakor, the Standing Committee Chairman of the Zilla Panchayat, to ask if he or other officials had given authorisation for such activities. Thakor said, “Nobody can take money from people to park their vehicles at the Panchayat office and no such activity is sanctioned. I will get to the truth of the matter and take action”.

 

 

International News

 

 

Pakistan: 9 killed, 29 injured after two vehicles collide

 

 

Islamabad: A passenger bus collided head-on with a truck on an inter-city highway in Pakistan, killing at least nine people, including one woman and two children, and injuring 29 others, according to a media report. The incident occurred after the truck attempted to overtake another vehicle and hit the passenger bus coming from opposite direction, Geo News reported. At least nine people were killed and 29 others injured in the accident, the report said. The injured were immediately shifted to a nearby hospital, while 14 of the critically wounded passengers were moved to Rawalpindi, sources were quoted as saying by the report. The deceased and injured belonged to Narowal, they added. Pakistan’s poorly maintained roads often lead to accidents where drivers commonly flout traffic rules.

 

 

Sri Lanka’s central town under police curfew after violence

 

 

COLOMBO: Several shops and houses were set on fire in Sri Lanka‘s Kandy administrative district following violent clashes between two groups, police said today. An assault over a personal dispute had spread into a riot, police said. Police used tear gas to disperse an unruly mob after several shops and houses were set on fire. “Kandy’s Theldeniya police division has been placed under a police curfew till 6 am on March 6,” police spokesperson Ruwan Gunasekera said. The elite special task force was deployed in the riot-hit area.

 

 

Thousands of British homes without water as snow thaw bursts pipes

Pedestrians walk along the south bank of the river Thames as heavy snowfall hits London.

 

 

LONDON: Tens of thousands of households across Britain suffered water supply problems on Monday after pipes burst when snow thawed and normal weather conditions returned to the country. The worst snowstorms in nearly 30 years had frozen water in pipes last week, water suppliers said, during a blast of Siberian cold dubbed “the Beast from the East”, which ground planes, stopped trains, blocked roads and shut schools. Leaking pipes in London left 12,000 households without water or suffering from very low pressure on Monday, said Thames Water which was providing bottled water to customers at two locations. In nearby Kent, 5,000 households supplied by Southern Water had problems.

 

Severn Trent, a supplier of water to 4.3 million homes and businesses in the middle of England, said the number of burst pipes was up 4000 percent, while in Wales, Welsh Water said between 3,000 and 6,000 homes were being affected. Suppliers warned that water supplies would continue to face disruption on Monday as they worked to fix leaks and refill pipes. Thames Water advised its 15 million customers to only use water where essential. “Where possible, take short showers rather than baths, do not leave taps running unnecessarily and only run washing machines and dish washers when you have a full load,” the company said in a statement on its website.


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