At your service: Doorstep delivery makes debut
New Delhi: After a long wait, the Delhi government on Monday launched its ‘Home Delivery of Public Services’ scheme, which has been projected as an attempt to eliminate corruption in various public-dealing offices. Under the scheme, Delhiites can avail of 40 services — issuance of caste, income and domicile certificates, learner’s and permanent driving licenses, transfer of ownership of vehicle and change in address on vehicle RC, new sewer and water connections, new ration cards and pension for handicapped among others — without standing in long queues at government offices. Addressing a gathering at 58 locations, where the launch at Delhi Secretariat was broadcast live, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said the government machinery was undergoing a revolutionary change. “This day is not historic merely for Delhi; I feel we are doing a unique experiment which will be followed at the international level. Till now we had heard about the home delivery of pizza, from today people of Delhi will have the government at their doorsteps through a phone call,” he said. Calling it “a revolutionary work in governance”, the chief minister said, “It will save people’s time and they won’t have to pay touts to get their work done”. According to the government, the service will not only remove the applicant’s direct interaction with officials and do away with the possibility of the involvement of touts, it will also help the government to ensure that eligible applicants get the desired document issued without any delay. Gopal Mohan, adviser to the CM and the brain behind the scheme, said the movement of each application would be closely monitored and any delay on part of government officials would be looked into. “The ministers will get regular reports on number of applications received and services delivered,” Mohan said. Kejriwal, accompanied by his cabinet colleagues and senior officials, also claimed that for the first time in the world, such a service was being provided by a government.
An applicant will have to dial the call center number, 1076, to fix the appointment for the desired service and get the details of the documents required for the application. On the scheduled day and time, a mobile sahayak (facilitator) will reach the applicant’s house, fill up the form, upload the documents, take his photo and biometric details, and submit the application for an additional fee of Rs. 50. The applicant will receive regular messages on his registered mobile number on the progress of his application. The cabinet had approved the project in November 2017 but had to wait for two months before getting lieutenant governor Anil Baijal’s approval, prompting the AAP government to allege that the BJP-led Centre was stalling the project through the LG. Baijal had initially sent back the proposal for reconsideration, arguing that the scheme had implications on “safety and security of women and senior citizens, possibility of corruption and bad behavior, breach of privacy, loss of documents and unnecessary expenditure on government and people”. He had also pointed out that 35 of the 40 services being offered in phase I were already online. The AAP government, however, had argued that there were still long queues at government offices and common people were suffering. Kejriwal said on Monday that the government would provide 100 services at the doorstep of citizens within three months. Later, he tweeted that the proposed doorstep delivery of ration would become a reality soon. “I hope we will be able to overcome all hurdles and soon home delivery of ration will also become a reality”. The government has hired a private company — VFS Global Services — to offer the doorstep service. Kejriwal said the government was spending Rs 12 crore to implement the scheme. Sixty-six mobile sahayaks — six for each of the 11 districts — have been verified by the police.
After three lives crushed, Government wakes up to dismantle Gachibowli bus stop
Hyderabad: Nearly eight hours after three people were killed by a TSRTC bus at Gachibowli junction, the bus stop where the accident occurred was dismantled and buses were made to stop a little ahead where a new bus stop will be built. At least eight police personnel were seen manning the junction at 3.40pm, diverting buses and advising those waiting on the road near the bus bay to stand on the footpath to prevent any other untoward incident. “Two of us have been continuously monitoring the public waiting at the bus stand. We are making sure that people do not stand on the road. Simultaneously, the bus stop is being dismantled and measurements are being taken about 100 meters ahead where a new bus stop will come up,” said Dev Singh, a traffic constable. The bus stop, which is located right after the signal near Maharaja Hotel, is said to be causing severe congestion, especially in evenings as more than 100 people are seen there at any given point of time after 6 in the evening.
“As the bus bay is located right after the signal, it is causing severe congestion. Also, as there are free left and U-turns, there is continuous vehicular movement. There was a proposal to shift the bus stop and after today’s incident, it was decided that it will be moved immediately,” said T Narasing Rao, inspector, Gachibowli traffic police. Commuters also said it is an accident-prone zone. “Yesterday, I nearly met with an accident when a speeding truck coming from Biodiversity road took a sharp turn and almost hit the bike I was pillion riding. Incidents like this have become quite common in this area. There should be speed breakers near the hotel so that vehicles are forced to slow down,” said Swami R, who works at the tea stall at Maharaja Hotel.
No helmet, wrong-lane zip, triple ride: Begumpet in rogue’s gallery
Hyderabad: The Hyderabad traffic cops have been carrying out special drives against wrong-side driving, triple riding, riding without helmets, cell phone driving and driving without uniform, over the past few weeks. As part of the latest such special drive carried out few days ago, traffic cops have booked a total of 6,627 cases on a single day—shows the latest data. The maximum number of cases has been booked for the helmet rule violation, followed by wrong-side driving. Analysis of data provided by the traffic police department shows how the maximum number of traffic rule violators were caught in the Begumpet area (792), followed by Kacheguda (683) and Tirumulgiri (552). While 705 people were caught violating the helmet rule in Begumpet, 614 violators were caught in Kacheguda, 394 in Narayanguda and 389 in Nampally. The maximum number of violators driving on the wrong side of the road were caught in Tirumulgiri (372)—shows data. Kacheguda is also the locality where the maximum number of people of offenders were caught triple riding. Traffic cops pointed out how these special drives are being carried out based on inputs provided by the public.
“These days we are also carrying out special drives against honking—based on inputs from the public. Many people have pointed out that honking causes a lot of nuisance to them and similarly, wrong-side driving is also causing a lot of problems for commuters. Minor skirmishes have also occurred due to the same. This is why we have begun cracking down on these violations in the past few weeks,” said Anil Kumar, additional commissioner of police (traffic), Hyderabad. Road safety experts meanwhile pointed to the lack of discipline among commuters as the primary reason for the high number of road mishaps recorded year-on-year. “Although enforcement is being carried out, people continue to flout traffic rules rampantly. This is due to lack of awareness—which leads to lack of traffic discipline on city roads. Triple riding, riding without a helmet and cell phone driving are all dangerous traffic violations that can result in road fatalities,” said Vinod K Kanumala, CEO of the Indian Federation of Road Safety (IFROS).
Four held over Armed Robbery of Bank manager
Chennai: A day after a gang tied up and robbed a bank manager in Perumal Nagar, police have detained four people in connection with the incident. Chief general manager of Repco Bank Senthamizh Yogeswaran was robbed on Sunday of 220 sovereigns of gold by a gang of masked men. Police suspect that the robbers may have had help from the victim’s maid. The gang threatened Yogeswaran and his wife at knifepoint to pack all their gold before tying the couple up. CCTV camera footage helped the police trace the gang’s car to a location in Madurai.
Driver rams car into French airport terminal before runway chase
Lyon: French police arrested a man on Monday following a high-speed chase on the runway at Lyon airport after the driver rammed his car into the terminal and drove through the building. Police said they began pursuing the white Mercedes when it was spotted speeding the wrong way down a nearby highway. The driver first smashed through a security barrier at the Lyon-Bron business airport before changing direction and heading to Lyon’s Saint-Exupery airport about 20km away. There he rammed into automatic glass doors near the main entrance to Terminal 1 and drove through the building, smashing through another set of doors before emerging onto the runway, chased by about a dozen police vehicles as well as a helicopter. The dramatic chase was captured in an amateur video posted on social media. After continuing for a few meters the driver then abandons the car while it is still moving and attempts to flee on foot. Nobody was injured in the incident, which led to the suspension of all flights in and out of the airport. A source close to the case said the man suffered from psychiatric problems.
Saudi royal’s jewels worth $930k stolen from Paris hotel
Paris: A member of the Saudi royal family has reported the theft of hundreds of thousands of euros’ worth of jewellery from her hotel room at the Ritz hotel in Paris, police sources said on Monday. The person, who was not identified by name, said the theft — which would be the second reported jewel heist at the five-star hotel on Place Vendome this year — took place on Friday. The jewels, worth an estimated 800,000 euros ($930,000), were not in a safe when they were taken and there was no sign of forced entry, the source said, confirming a report on France Info radio. France Info said the victim was a Saudi princess staying in one of the hotel’s suites. In January, an armed gang swiped an estimated four million euros’ worth of jewels from shops inside the Ritz after bursting into the hotel and using hatchets to smash display cases.
Gunmen attack Libya oil co HQ, two staff killed
Tripoli: Several armed men attacked the headquarters of Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) in the capital Tripoli on Monday, killing at least two staff members, a security official said. In the first attack of its kind against the top managers of Libya’’ state oil industry, two of the gunmen were also killed and at least 10 NOC staff wounded, officials said. Security forces said they had regained control of the landmark glass-fronted building in the centre of the city. The attack came less than a week after a fragile truce halted fierce clashes between rival armed groups in Tripoli, the latest eruption of violence in Libya, which has been in turmoil since a 2011 uprising toppled Muammar Gaddafi. No group immediately claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack. But the interior ministry said initial indications showed the gunmen belonged to Islamic State, which has previously carried out attacks in Tripoli and other Libyan towns and cities.