News Flash – 2 December 2017

National News



Fire-resistant evacuation lifts to be a must for new buildings

The fire brigade has 90-metre hydraulic ladders that can go up to 30 floors



MUMBAI: BMC has prepared a policy to make fire-resistant firemen evacuation lifts compulsory for buildings above 70 metres (22 floors) for fire-fighting and rescue operations during an emergency. The lifts will have additional power backup, fire-resistant cabins and glass, which will help firemen reach to affected floors and rescue victims. Residents can use the lifts on a regular basis, which will ensure they are in a working condition at all times, officials said. There have been instances when residents have died due to suffocation, trying to escape fires by using building lifts or staircases. The fire brigade has 90-metre hydraulic ladders that can go up to 30 floors. Beyond that, it’s difficult for the fire brigade to reach out, so they need an internal mechanism in buildings for fire-fighting and rescue operations on higher floors. The policy is awaiting civic chief Ajoy Mehta’s approval, after which upcoming buildings will have to install the lifts or the fire brigade will not give them an NOC, without which builders will not get the mandatory occupation certificate from BMC. Fire officials said that for the first time they are coming with specifications for the fire evacuation lifts after meeting lift manufacturers. The fire brigade prepared the policy after consulting all stakeholders and will incorporate in the Development Control rules after Mehta’s approval.


The lifts must be able to carry 1,000kg or 15 persons, and must have at least two hours’ fire resistance capacity, the door should have fire resistance glass, backup power supply and an emergency fire switch. Civic officials said the national building code states that buildings should have an external evacuation system. BMC development control rules had made a provision of a fire escape chute and lowering devices for buildings above 70 metre for rescue operations. But there are not efficient, so we are suggesting the firemen lift, which not only help rescue people, but also in fire-fighting operations, said fire officials. BMC will replace the chute and lowering device provision in the rules with the firemen evacuation lift. Fire officials said the rule will not apply to building already constructed, but many were showing interest to install them.


Past cases:


* June 2015 | 7 persons died in a fire at a building at Lake Homes complex, Powai, mostly due to suffocation in two lifts which they were using to escape

* Dec 2013 | 7 persons died after a major fire broke out on 26th floor of Mont Blanc building, Kemps Corner

* June 2013 | 4 persons died due to suffocation after a fire broke out at Indusind Bank office building, MIDC, Andheri (E) Firemen trapped during rescue operations

* July 2014 | A fireman died and 22 were trapped on the terrace after a fire broke out at the 22-storey Lotus Business Park at Andheri (W). A helicopter was call in for their rescue but after few hours, they controlled the fire at the staircase which helped rescue the firemen


Key points of firemen evacuation lifts:


* Building should have fire evacuation lift instead of fire escape chute or control lowering device

* Lift should have capacity to carry 1,000kg (or 15 persons)

* Lift car and landing door must have at least two hours’ fire resistance capacity

* Transparent glass must have fire resistance capacity at least for two hours

* Backup power supply and electric cable should be fire-resistant

* Lift can be use by residents on regular basis, which will ensure they are working at all times

* It will have an emergency fire alarm



Delhi Police uses truck lingo to drive home road safety messages



Delhi: After getting chirpier on Twitter, the Delhi Police has now picked up truck posterior lingo to deal with traffic offenders. The Delhi Police has decided to team up with truck drivers for a series of awareness campaign messages on drunk driving and other traffic rules. This new ‘read and reflect’ strategy of Delhi Police to counter drunk driving has been named ‘Ya Drink, Ya Drive’, which means either you drink or you drive. The recall value and connect of the witty lines painted on the rear of trucks is being used by the Delhi Police for its road safety campaign posters The police officials say that the purpose behind choosing this lingo and witty messages with vibrant colours is to attract people towards it. The cops say, “Log padhenge nahi to samjhenge kaise? When people see any preachy messages, they just mentally switch off and the message doesn’t get across, but when the message is not preachy and it is not in the ‘Kripya dhyan de’ format, but is rhyming with words like ‘dear’ and ‘beer’, then people pay attention”.


After the success of the campaign ‘Ya Drink, Ya Drive’ on social media, the police, in the second phase, will take it to Delhi roads. Delhi Police officials have already picked the locations where they will conduct the drives. Madhur Verma, DCP Crime and PRO of Delhi Police, said, “These posters/creatives will leave people chuckling and reflecting. And that’s the idea. After launching these on social media, in the second phase, we will collaborate with the Truck Drivers’ Association this month, and these designs will be painted on trucks and on cluster buses. We are planning to launch it this weekend as it’s already December and Delhi parties hard during December-January. A number of parties will be organised this month, and so, we are also gearing up to deal with traffic offenders. We will organise awareness campaigns in areas close to CP and India Gate. And these rules will be strictly enforced.” The campaign will be launched in collaboration with the Delhi Traffic Police.



NCRB: Zero conviction in human trafficking in state


HYDERABAD: Telangana has not had a single conviction in human trafficking-related offences, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report 2016 revealed although the crime is rampant in the city and districts. Hyderabad has seen a sharp increase in human trafficking cases from just seven in 2015 to 28 in 2016. According to data, 110 children were victims of trafficking in 2016, with Hyderabad recording 28 cases of human trafficking. In November alone, the special operations team of Rachakonda registered 17 cases. Police said lack of evidence was one of the main reasons for zero conviction. “The special operations team has been working round the clock to curb the menace. Lack of evidence is one of the main reasons for not solving cases,” said Naveen Kumar, inspector. He said that the rescued victims hailing from other states would not turn up for court hearings once they go back to their native places. “The victims are also treated as witnesses. So when they don’t turn up for court cases, the chances of the accused going scot free are more. Due to this, police are now taking the house owner also as one of the witnesses and trying to collect more evidence from crime scene,” he added.


In 2015, only 11 children were victims of trafficking. However, the data reveals that 110 children fell victims of trafficking in Hyderabad. “The main problem is that police do not follow up on the child missing cases. The data NCRB gathered is from police, but there have been several occasions when the trafficking of children go unnoticed and unreported. We have recorded nearly 300 child victims of trafficking in Telangana, while Hyderabad alone had 120 cases,” said Achyuta Rao, city-based child rights activist. Rachakonda police have been cracking down on the menace and have shut nearly 50 brothels. “We have raided several apartments and lodges and closed down brothels. Nearly seven lodges were also closed by police this year. Nowadays, the accused are using websites and messaging applications to lure customers. The human trafficking totally based on the demand and supply formula. We are planning to control the demand so that the supply also can be eradicated,” said Mahesh Bhagwat, commissioner of police, Rachakonda.



CISF surveillance, CCTV cover on security roster


KOLKATA: A prominent city school has sought help from CISF to upgrade and enhance safety on campus. This is one of the security measures being mulled by leading schools in Kolkata. La Martiniere has sought help from the security agency to design a comprehensive security plan for the school. The former has written to CISF director-general seeking advice on a security upgrade. “CISF has developed a security system for schools. They guard vital installations in the country. The director general has written to us that they are ready to provide security advice. We have showed interest and have written to them that we are for an upgrade as per their recommendations and we will pay for the expenses,” said Supriyo Dhar, secretary of the board of governors of La Martinere Schools. The school already has more than 750 CCTV cameras installed across its two campuses, apart from 62 security guards on duty during school hours. Apeejay School, too, claimed it is duly guarded. “Our teachers are vigilant and they go on regular rounds. We have 36 CCTV cameras that cover almost every point on the Park Street campus. For cyber security, we organize regular training programmes and block sites that could be harmful for students,” said Rita Chatterjee, administrator and principal.


At South Point School, 300 CCTV cameras are in place across two campuses. “South Point Education Society has received the OHSAS 18001:2007 Occupational Health and Safety Management Certification from the British Standards Institute (BSI) in respect of both school campuses on August 2,” said spokesperson of the school, Krishna Damani. He added, “Occupational health and safety assessment series (OHSAS 18001:2007) is an international standard and it stipulates processes to identify, control and decrease the risks associated with health and safety in the organization concerned for all its stakeholders”. Several principals are worried after Friday’s incident. “This is unthinkable. We have always been very strict with security mechanisms. There can’t be any compromise on this. Whenever there is an incident, we take a look at our security measures. Every school teacher and staff display their ID cards. We have installed CCTV cameras outside toilets and even in the playground,” said T H Ireland, principal of St James School. Principal of a girls’ school in central Kolkata said that it’s unthinkable not to have a lady attendant outside the toilets. “We have counsellors present as well to deal with any issue that can traumatise a student,” she said.



Ockhi death toll goes up to 9 in Tamil Nadu, 30 fishermen missing

The Nagercoil Puther Periyakulam Bridge in Kanyakumari district was washed away by flood water on Friday.



KANYAKUMARI: A day after Cyclone Ockhi left a trail of destruction across the southern parts of the state, the toll climbed from four to seven on Friday in Kanyakumari. Two people lost their lives in Tirunelveli district. Of the victims, two people were crushed by falling trees while another drowned while bathing in a tank. In Tirunelveli, a woman was electrocuted while connecting a cable to a television during rain and another man died under a falling tree while clearing blockades on the road to Tenkasi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inquired about the situation in Tamil Nadu in a telephonic conversation with chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami late on Friday. The chief minister told him 76 fishermen had been rescued and efforts were on to trace 30 others who have not returned from sea. The South Asian Fishermen Fraternity (SAFF) disputed the government’s figure, claiming that a few hundred fishermen had not returned. The chief minister chaired a review meeting with top bureaucrats in Chennai to assess the situation in Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli districts. An official release said 1,249 people from low-lying areas were camping at 18 temporary shelters in the two districts. A large part of Kanyakumari district had to contend with power supply disruption and roads blocked by fallen trees. With no power, drinking water supply was affected and ATMs did not function. Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli and Tuticorin districts received heavy rain on Friday too, recording an average of 161.32 mm, 140.87 mm and 87.54 mm during the 24 hours from 8am on Thursday.



International News



12 killed, 32 injured in terrorist attack in Pakistan

An injured being taken to hospital



PESHAWAR: Three burqa-clad Taliban militants on Friday stormed an agriculture training institute in Pakistan‘s northwestern city of Peshawarand opened indiscriminate fire, killing at least 12 people, half of them students, before being shot dead by security forces. The heavily-armed militants, who arrived on an auto rickshaw, attacked the students’ hostel of the Directorate of Agriculture Extension on the University Road in the city, the capital of the restive Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. The institute was closed for the Eid-e-Milad holiday, but about 70 students were present in the hostel. The militants stormed the building by firing automatic weapons, creating panic, officials said. The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack. Police chief of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province Salahuddin Mehsud said 12 people including six students, a security guard and five civilians, were killed and 32 others injured in the attack. Aerial surveillance of the operation was carried out by the army aviation division whereas armoured vehicles of security forces were also called on site. He said three terrorists were killed by security forces after a gunfight which lasted for an hour. Police are trying to ascertain the identity of a dead person. Bullets holes in building walls, broken glass scattered and blood stains could be seen on TV footage. A huge cache of arms, including three unexploded suicide vests, 20 hand grenades, Klashnikovs have been recovered from the possession of terrorists.


A police officer and two army troops were among the injured. Mehsud said the terrorists had links inside Afghanistan. An eyewitness said he and his colleagues were sleeping when the firing started Geo News reported. The eyewitness, a student, said he and his colleagues ran as fast as they could but two of them were injured in the firing. “We took them out with us and admitted them to the hospital,” said Ariful Haq, adding that around 120 students live in the hostel but most had gone home due to the long weekend. He added that the students who board at the premises are undertaking their diplomas in Agriculture Sciences and Veterinary Sciences. Peshawar, close to the Afghan border, has seen some of the worst violence during the Taliban insurgency in recent years. In 2014, a total of 147 people, including 132 schoolchildren, were massacred in one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in the country’s history when terrorists stormed the Army Public School in Peshawar Cantonment and opened indiscriminate fire. Later, on January 20, 2016, 21 students and staff members of Bacha Khan University in Charsadda here were killed after terrorists stormed the university and opened fire.



Explosive device defused in German city of Potsdam: Police



BERLIN: An explosive device found in the German city of Potsdam near Berlin has been defused, local police said on Twitter on Friday. Police had cordoned off the area and the nearby Christmas market after being alerted about a suspicious object delivered to a pharmacy in the area.



Magnitude 6.0 earthquake hits southeast Iran, US Geological Survey says



Iran: A strong quake of magnitude 6.0 struck southeastern Iran near the city of Kerman on Friday, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The quake, initially reported as a magnitude 6.3, was centered 36 miles (58 km) northeast of Kerman, which has a population of more than 821,000. It struck at 6:32 am (0232 GMT) and was very shallow, at a depth of 6.2 miles (10 km), which would have amplified the shaking.

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