News Flash – 23 August 2019

National News



RML, Safdarjung among Government Hospitals without Fire NOC


New Delhi: Several major government hospitals in Delhi, including Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital and Safdarjung Hospital, have not renewed their no objection certificates (NOCs). A scrutiny by the fire department has revealed major lapses at the city based hospitals. The scrutiny was conducted following the massive fire at AIIMS on August 17. It had gutted two floors at the PC Block that housed the offices of the director and other senior professors. At most of the hospitals, the mandatory six metres wide roads required for fire tenders to enter the hospital premises remain encroached. Even though there was surplus water supply during the AIIMS fire incident, bigger fire tenders could not reach the fire as the road leading to it was encroached upon by debris. Hydrants were present in most of the hospital premises, but were inaccessible in case of an emergency, the survey revealed. Fire officials said that the no objection certificate of Ram Manohar Lohia and Safdarjung Hospital had expired more than three years ago, but the authorities hadn’t bothered to get it renewed. Casualty blocks of RML Hospital, emergency block at Safdarjung Hospital, casualty block at Lok Nayak hospital (LNJP) and GB Pant Hospital didn’t have valid fire NOCs.



After a hospital applies for an NOC, a team from the fire department scans through the building plan and suggests changes in the fire escape route. Hospitals are expected to make the changes after which an NOC is granted. Sources said that in case of most of the hospitals, the initial NOCs were taken based on the building plan submitted then. However, temporary constructions and encroachments were not accounted for later. An inquiry into AIIMS fire incident revealed that no one, including the guard, heard the fire alarm. The blaze must have been on for at least an hour before the security guard detected smoke billowing out of the building, said a fire department official. By the time the fire personnel arrived, the blaze had spread across the floors. Even though NOCs for some of the buildings within the AIIMS premises were renewed, fire safety rules were violated due to temporary constructions. Fire extinguishers present within the building were not enough to deal with a big fire incident, the scrutiny revealed.



Danger Subsides, but Floodwater Leaves their Homes filled with Silt


New Delhi: The water level in the Yamuna receded below the danger mark on Thursday ending the fear of floods haunting those living on the floodplain in the past couple of days. The water level went down to 205.3m early in the day after peaking at 206.6m. The swollen river had left many people in anxiety and distress as their vegetable farms were destroyed and their shanties and homes got filled up with garbage and silt. Residents of Yamuna Bazaar, a cluster of pukka houses on the riverbank near Nigambodh Ghat on Ring Road, now have a lot of cleaning to do as the area is covered with a thick layer of mud. A large number of the residents had shifted to relief camps set up by Delhi government, while many climbed to the rooftops to escape the flood. “My son and grandsons are removing the mud from our house so that we can shift there. The flooding has caused a lot of trouble for the families living here,” said Sitaram Kumar, a resident. At Yamuna Khadar near Mayur Vihar, several farmers rushed to take stock of their vegetable farms after the water receded.



They were disheartened to see that nothing could be salvaged. At Geeta Colony, many youngsters, who seemed unmoved by the loss, were seen having fun by jumping in the water from the rooftops of their submerged shanties. At 7am, the water level was at 204.9m and it receded to 204.6m by 6pm. The river came below the danger level of 205.3m at 4am. At that time, the level at Old Yamuna Bridge was 205.2m. An official with the ministry of water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation said that the water level will recede faster in the next few days. Over 23,000 people were evacuated and a majority of them were shifted to around 2,700 tents pitched at over 50 locations across six districts Northeast, Shahdara, North, East, Central and Southeast. Many people set up their own shelters on the roadsides with the help of abandoned hoardings, tarpaulins, etc. An official said the government has been providing food, medicines and other basic facilities to the people affected by the floods. Apart from being given meals, government doctors have been monitoring the health of those who had been shifted to the camps.



4 youths arrested within 7 hours of Robbery bid at Jewellery Showroom



Bengaluru: Seven hours after a plucky woman foiled an armed robbery at Samrat Jewels in Vyalikaval on Wednesday afternoon, police arrested four youths in connection with the incident. Though cops were not forthcoming on the specifics of how they solved the case, TOI has learnt a mobile phone that fell from the pocket of one of the youths while running led investigators to their doorstep. Balaji Ramesh Gaikwad, 25, of Solapur in Maharashtra, J Balvan Singh, 24, of Haryana, J Sriram Bishnoi, 23, of Barmer in Rajasthan, and J Om Prakash, of Jalore in Rajasthan were nabbed around 10pm on Wednesday. Police suspect one of them was involved in a bank heist in Maharashtra. Balaji worked with different goldsmiths as a designer, while the other three were employed as welders in garages. Police recovered two country-made pistols, live bullets and mobile phones from the accused. They were produced before a local court and remanded in 10-day police custody. Two youths had entered the jewellery store around 2.45pm on Wednesday in the guise of customers and one of them pulled out a gun. But Rakhi Jain, wife of the jeweller Ashish Kumar Jain, hurled a tray and metal chair at the miscreants, forcing the duo to flee. Though it’s not clear who entered the shop, police suspect Balaji, who had tasted success in the bank heist, led the mission from the front and planned it. The quartet lived in a single-bedroom rented accommodation in DVG Layout, Vinayakanagar, Ramamurthynagar. Police commissioner Bhaskar Rao said a special team of 19 policemen led by an assistant commissioner was formed to nab the miscreants.



“It comprised technical experts. First, we scanned the CCTV footage and got a clear picture of the suspects. Later, we tracked the black Bajaj Pulsar which they had left behind. We discovered it was a stolen bike and the suspects had used it for the robbery,” he revealed. It didn’t take long for the team to identify the accused. Around 10 police officers in plainclothes led by two inspectors raided their house when the four youths were busy packing their belongings. “Had we reached a little later, they would have left for the railway station where they planned to board any train leaving the city,” an officer said. The accused had been planning to commit a robbery for a month and zeroed in on Samrat Jewels because of low security and the fact that it was mostly managed by family members and not employees. They thought they wouldn’t face much resistance. “The accused decided not to commit any offence in east Bengaluru since they lived in that part of the city. Over the past month, they visited many jewellery stores across Bengaluru. They wanted to target a medium-sized shop with a cash chest located near the main entrance. At last, they found two similar shops on the same road in Vyalikaval,” police said. On Tuesday afternoon, three of the accused entered another jewellery shop, which is diagonally opposite Samrat Jewels, with an intention to rob. “But the owner had locked the showcases and cash chest before leaving for lunch. Assuming they were customers, the staff requested them to return in evening. Disappointed, they walked out but noticed Samrat Jewels. They stood outside the shop on the pretext of talking on phone and decided to return the next afternoon,” police said.



CCTV Cameras Tracked Parwez’s every step from Accident Spot to Mullick Bazar


Kolkata: Raghib Parwez had been careful not to attract attention immediately after the accident on August 17, said officers investigating the case. He allegedly slipped out of the Jaguar even with his elbow and chest injuries and walked the first few steps to avoid attracting attention of cops at the nearby police station. Then he broke into a sprint and ran all the way to Mullick Bazar before making the first call for help. And yet, a number of private and public CCTV cameras 45 in all installed outside a pub, some sari shops, a parking lot and a hospital tracked his every step. According to officers, almost every stretch that Parwez crossed was covered by a CCTV from the accident spot at the Loudon Street-Shakespeare Sarani crossing to Mullick Bazar crossing. “The fact that we had mapped the CCTVs and knew about their locations made our search easier. We had to go through footage from 45 CCTV cameras to get a match the best one came from a camera installed outside Bhagirathi Neotia Hospital.



While high-end technology did give us the initial leads, a basic security feature like a CCTV camera has definitely helped,” said Joint CP (crime) Murlidhar Sharma. The police said the first CCTV footage they received of Parwez running away was from a popular bar on Shakespeare Sarani and the second came from a nearby showroom. CCTV cameras opposite the State Election Commission’s office, too, helped cops secure important footage. CCTV footage from near the Parkomat and traffic cameras from Mullick Bazar crossing helped trace Parwez’s route. “When we matched the GPS log of the Jaguar with CCTV footage from the roads, we were also able to track the car’s movement before the crash,” said an officer. The cops have also been able to track the movement of a friend who was allegedly with Parwez at the time of the accident. He took off running in the opposite direction, but he was tracked by CCTV cameras too.



300 Dengue Cases in Kolkata; Behala Worst Hit


Kolkata: Some pockets in Behala are grappling with rising number of dengue cases. With monsoon still active, the situation may turn bad to worse, fear locals. Kolkata Municipal Corporation has admitted that some areas of Behala, neighbouring Maheshtala Municipality, have been the worst-affected, apart from some localities in the added areas. “This year, around 300 confirmed dengue cases have been reported with KMC, majority of which are from the added areas. Two wards of Behala have been the worst hit,” said a senior health official at KMC. Stray cases of dengue mainly started surfacing from the end of June. The number started rising abruptly from July end. Though no dengue death has been reported so far, some patients are being treated in the ICU. “My granddaughter’s condition continues to be serious. She was doing good until the fever pinned her down in the ICU,” said Sunil Mukherjee, whose 8-year-old granddaughter is battling dengue in a private hospital off the EM Bypass. The family lives on Kazipara Road, close to Parnasree. With the number of fever patients rising, the borough XIV KMC-run urban primary health centre at Vivekanda Colony in Parnashree is flooded with people daily. Health workers said the patient footfall has doubled in the past few weeks. “Luckily, blood sample reports show most cases are of common fever and had nothing to do with dengue. But the good thing is, people are more aware and are coming for blood tests,” said a health worker.



Ward numbers 131 and 132 neighbouring Maheshtala has been identified as dengue prone by the KMC. Some pockets remained inundated even till Wednesday after the Sunday’s downpour. Residents fear the dengue problem could escalate as Aedes Egypti, the misquote specie, breeds in clean stagnant water. “We have heard that many are affected by dengue fever in the Rabindranagar Mini Bus Stand locality, which is just about a kilometre away. Some people in my locality are already affected. We are living in fear as the outbreak could reach here any time,” said home maker, Raima Biwi from Kazipara Road. The first reported dengue case in 2018 was a 50-year-old woman from Behala’s Parnasree. “There is a closed factory behind our building that could be a good breeding ground for mosquito. We have informed KMC workers about this but no one has done anything about the water, which had accumulated inside the locked factory,” said Anita Mistry of Shanti Pally, whose daughter had to be hospitalised for dengue. KMC officials also admitted abandoned buildings are posing a problem to the ant dengue drive. “Our Rapid Action team is visiting the dengue prone areas regularly on special drive. Apart from Behala, we are also getting cases from Jadavpur, Mukundapur and a few stray cases from Ultadanga and Narkeldanga,” said an entomologist at KMC.

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