News Flash – 23 October 2019

National News



Fire in Powai Highrise, Eleven Hospitalized for Suffocation

The fire erupted on the 13th floor of Lake Florence Society on Tuesday afternoon.



Mumbai: A fire erupted in a highrise residential building at Powai on Tuesday and 11 persons who suffered suffocation had to be rushed to a nearby hospital. The Mumbai Fire Brigade received a call about a blaze at Lake Florence Society in Powai around 3.50pm. On reaching the site, they found the blaze had erupted on the 13th floor. A senior fire brigade official said the fire was in flats no. 1303 and 1304. “The fire had spread across all household articles and wiring material. We asked residents to evacuate the building and immediately started fire-fighting operations. The advantage was the fire-fighting systems in the building were functional owing to which our operations could be carried out smoothly,” said the official. The 11 persons who was sustained suffocation were identified as Satish Nair, 70, Sujata Nair,30, Pushpa Dodeja,70, Amit Singh, 32, Dipika Basu, 55, Deepak Jaya, 25, Abhishek Nair, 30, Smarika, 10, Priyanka Abhilani,32, Shikha Raja, 56, Mashumi Kale, 46. CEO Dr Sujit Chatterjee, Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital, where the residents were admitted said they were stable. According to BMC’s disaster management, nine of them were treated and discharged. Local Congress MLA Naseem Khan, who was at the site following the blaze, said, “A mock fire drill was conducted in the society barely a fortnight ago and the fire-fighting systems being functional was a big advantage. The building was vacated till the 15th floor and the Fire Brigade, as a precautionary measure, checked the entire area. I also spoke to the hospital authorities regarding all those who were rushed to the hospital. Thankfully everyone is stable”.



Heavy Rain Lashes Pune again, Disrupts Normal Life

People wade through a water-logged stretch on Dhanori-Lohegaon road near the Pune airport on Tuesday. Most parts of the city were inundated within hours of the downpour.



Pune: Just as Maharashtra was heaving a sigh of relief with monsoon abating, an intense downpour lashed key locations of Pune city on Tuesday, with places recording between 32mm to 56.4mm of rain in just a few hours. On Tuesday morning, several locations in the city such as Wanowrie, Pune Camp, Dhanori, Kharadi and Lohegaon were severely waterlogged. Water even entered housing society premises, where residents were forced to spend the night on the road outside. Met department officials said that though a rare occurrence, two well-marked low pressure systems, have simultaneously been formed — one over the Arabian Sea and another over Bay of Bengal — which will be further intensifying the rains in the state, including Pune, till October 23. Anupam Kashyapi, head of weather, IMD Pune, ruled out the possibility of any cloudburst causing Monday night’s rains. “Rain intensity has gone up not only in Pune but across the state. One well marked low pressure area over central parts of Arabian Sea is very likely to concentrate into a depression during the next 48 hours. It is likely to move initially east-northeastwards over east-central Arabian Sea till October 25 and then west northwestwards with gradual intensification. The other well marked low pressure area over west-central and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal is tilting southwestwards and is very likely to concentrate into a depression during the next 48 hours and move north northwestwards towards the Andhra Pradesh coast,” he said.



At 2,677 cases, Juvenile Crime Highest in City



New Delhi: Hinting at the failure of welfare scheme for children of a vulnerable age executed by Delhi government and Delhi Police, the city topped the number of crimes committed by juveniles in 2017. With 2,677 cases, Delhi accounted for 35% of such crimes in metropolitan cities. There has been a steady rise in this category of crime in Delhi, with NCRB data logging 1,981 cases in 2015 and 2,368 in 2016. The data showed that minors committed 46 murders in 2017, the highest across the metropolises, and committed the most robberies and fraud among the metros. Delhi Police has implemented schemes like Yuva and enrolled juvenile delinquents or vulnerable minors in vocational programmes to prepare them for employment. The state government too has schemes to wean youngsters away from crime. However, the data suggests these weren’t as successful as hoped for. This is evidenced by the highest number of juveniles apprehended in Delhi. In 2017, the number of minors held by police was 3,268. The cops also apprehended 1,611 juveniles whose cases were pending investigation from the previous year, taking the total number of minors held to 4,879. No other metro city came close to this figure.



Pune lagged in second place with 1,949 followed by Mumbai with 1,702 apprehensions. The data showed that 752 of the apprehended juveniles were illiterate, while 1,084 had received education till the primary level. While nine minors had studied beyond the higher secondary level, 1,213 had studied up to Class X and 210 till Class XII. Of the minors held, 2,783 were found to be living with their parents, 248 with guardians, but 237 minors apprehended in 2017 were homeless. As per the data, only eight of those apprehended were sentenced to imprisonment, though 86.9% of them were found guilty of the crimes they had been accused of. While 89 juveniles were acquitted, in 406 cases, they were discharged after the cases against them were found to have not occurred or were quashed by the court. The court sent 409 juveniles home after advising or warning them, while 106 were sent to special homes, or “Fit Institutes”, and 66 were penalised with fines. At the end of 2017, there were 3,795 cases still “pending investigation”.



Toll 12, 5000 Houses Damaged as Heavy Rain Batters Karnataka

RUINS AND RAIN: Several historical sites in Hampi were inundated on Tuesday due to discharge of water from Tungabhadra dam in Hospet.



Bengaluru: With heavy rain continuing to ravage many parts of Karnataka for the third consecutive day on Tuesday, seven more persons died, taking the toll to 12. The situation may be grim for the next two days as the meteorological department has predicted moderate to heavy rainfall in south and north-interior parts of Karnataka. Historical sites Hampi and Pattadakal were inundated due to heavy discharge from Tungabhadra dam in Hospet and Malaprabha dam in Savadatti of Belagavi district. Foreign tourists were seen wading in knee-deep water in Pattadakal. The Karnataka government has deployed four units of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in flood-affected Belagavi, Gadag and Koppal districts for rescue operations. Fire department personnel have been deployed and 12 relief centres have been opened in which around 2,000 people are taking shelter. Besides throwing lives of thousands of people out of gear, the untimely rain has damaged houses, roads and bridges and standing crops on lakhs of acres. “Over 5,400 houses have been damaged in the past two days,” said revenue minister R Ashoka, who held a video conference with deputy commissioners of flood-affected districts. The minister is visiting Belagavi, Raichur, Koppal and Bagalkot from Wednesday. Shekhavva Timmannavar, 75, died after the roof of her house collapsed in Khannur village in Navalgund taluk. Nanjaiah of Murukanahalli village in KR Pet, Mandya district, died in a house collapse on Monday night. He was visiting his relatives in Ganjigere village.



In Hasagal village, Koppal, six year-old Jagadish died after he slipped and fell into a lake when he was washing his face. Farmer Ramappa Mallappa Honnannavar, 52, was washed away in a stream and his body was traced at Shirabadagi village of Badami taluk. The government announced compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to families of the deceased. All rivers in Krishna and Cauvery basin are overflowing, forcing authorities to increase discharge from reservoirs. The outflow from Almatti Dam increased to 1.8 lakh cusecs and from Narayanapura Dam to 2.4 lakh cusecs, commensurate with the increase in discharge of water from Maharashtra reservoirs. The outflow from Tungabhadra Dam touched 1.5 lakh cusecs, forcing authorities to sound an alert for villagers on the banks of the river. In Gadag district, hundreds of flood-affected people have taken shelter at Hole Alur railway station following the overflowing Malaprabha river. Two bikers were rescued by villagers at Doddur village in Laxmeshwar taluk. Ignoring the warning of villagers, they chose to cross the stream which was in spate. When they slipped and fell into the water, villagers rescued them using ropes. All ministers in the BS Yediyurapa cabinet will tour flood-affected districts from Wednesday. “We’ll reassemble in 2-3 days with ground reports. We’ll soon initiate further action for relief and rehabilitation,” law and parliamentary affairs minister JC Madhuswamy said. He added the government will provide the same relief to victims over the past three days as was provided to those two months ago.



In Boost for Women’s Safety, State Approves 16k Smart CCTV Cameras


Bengaluru: In a bid to enhance safety measures for women in Bengaluru, the state cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal to install 16,120 closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras fitted with safety lights and emergency buttons across the city. Each CCTV camera will have a “suraksha deepa” (safety light) and a panic button which will emit a loud siren when pressed. Law and parliamentary affairs minister JC Madhuswamy said Bengaluru police will identify spots to install the cameras based on GIS mapping of crimes. “Women can use it to stave off perpetrators,” Madhuswamy said. “When the switch is depressed it will send out an alert to the command and control centre (CCC). The CCC will in turn alert patrol cars to rush to the scene”. Madhuswamy said the CCTV cameras will be the AI enabled version called ‘Smart Eyes,’ which can detect abnormal human behaviour. The camera can also identify drastic increase in number of people at a location and alert police, he said.



The overall cost of the project will be shared by the Centre and state in 60:40 ratio over a period of three years. The Union ministry for women and child development has already approved Rs 667 crore for Bengaluru under the Centre’s Safe City project under Nirbhaya (named after the victim of the 2012 Delhi gang rape case) funds. Bengaluru, which has seen an increase in crimes against women, is among eight major cities in the country selected for the ‘Safe City’ project which focuses on women’s security. The Safe City project also entails upgradation of helplines 100 and 1098 (child helpline). TIMES VIEW: Government talk of boosting technology to enhance safety of its citizens must be taken with copious quantities of salt. Two incidents still fresh in memory would bear testimony: The case of the woman brutally assaulted by a man inside an ATM a stone’s throw from a police station, and the case of the Lokayukta being stabbed by a knife wielding man in his chamber. In the first instance, surveillance cameras failed to track the attacker while he fled, and in the second, the perpetrator walked through a non-functioning metal detector. Installing surveillance technology is well and good, but it demands constant monitoring and maintenance.



North Karnataka Reels Under Heavy Rain, Water Release from Reservoirs Bridges Under Water, Villages Marooned

DELUGE OF WOES: Water gushes through a coconut plantation near Hosadurga town in Chitradurga district; an inundated bridge in Kampli; Bhutanal tank in Vijayapura overflows.



Hubballi: Heavy rain continued to wreak havoc in several parts of North Karnataka on Tuesday. People in several villages of Bagalkot, Belagavi, Raichur, Haveri and Ballari districts are now facing another threat of floods after just two months. A rescue team is still searching for the body of a 16-year-old boy who was swept away in a stream at Chinchodi village of Devdurga taluk. A schoolgirl at Rannabelagali village in Mudhol taluk read out a letter written to deputy chief minister Govind Karjol by standing in flood waters in which she urged him to visit her village and see their problems. A video of her reading the letter has gone viral on social media. Five shepherds, stranded on an island surrounded by water following release of water from Tungabhadra Dam near Bagewadi village in Siruguppa, were rescued by the district administration. Shivalinga, 20, Mallu, 22, Hemanna, 19, Basavaraj, 20 and Maresh, 20, are all residents of Bagewadi village. They’d been staying there for two weeks to graze 600 sheep, but the place was flooded after release of water. On Tuesday, their parents called Siruguppa MLA MS Somalingappa and sought his help.



Ramadev Temple and Purandardasar Mantap were partially submerged, and Kampli-Gangavati bridge was inundated following release of water from TB Dam and heavy rain. In all, 67 houses partially collapsed in Hoovinahadagali taluk on Monday night. The situation is grim in Bagalkot. Road connectivity between Hubballi and Bagalkot is disrupted following a rise in water level in Malaprabha river. Water entered the historical village, Cholachagudda. The Mirji-Mahalingapur Route Bridge in Mudhol taluk was submerged following release of water from Ghataprabha river. Mirji, Chitrabhanu Kote, Chowdapur and Bantanur villages have lost huge sugarcane and onion crops. In Haveri, crops on around 8,000 hectares have been damaged. Inflow into Tungabhadra river crossed 80,000 cusecs and 50,000 cusecs into Varada and Dharma rivers. A 14-year-old boy has gone missing in Hirekerur. In Raichur, the situation is bad in villages on the banks of Tungabhadra and Krishna rivers. Thousands of acres of land, mainly paddy crops, have been submerged. The meditation place of Raghavendra Swamy at Bichchale is submerged. Sheelahalli bridge in Lingasugur taluk is also under water.



Burglars Flee with Rs.18 Lakhs Gold



Secunderabad: Burglars broke into the house of a private financier in Bowenpally and escaped with three kilo gold and Rs.18 lakhs on Monday. Police suspect the offence was committed by someone who knew the family well, as duplicate keys were used to gain access into the house. The victim Sarala is a resident of Mallikarjuna Nagar. Sarala, along with her family members, left the house on account of personal work at 3pm on Monday and returned at 6pm. “When they were out, unknown persons entered the house using a duplicate key,” Bowenpally inspector P Chandrasekhar said. Police registered a burglary case and have started analysing CCTV footage obtained from near the crime scene to zero in on the offenders.



Man Held for Trying to Break ATM Machine



Chennai: A 25-year-old man who made a futile attempt to break open an ATM machine in Pozhichalur was nabbed within an hour by a police patrol team early on Tuesday. The accused was identified as Arul Mani from Villupuram district. According to police, he zeroed in on an ATM kiosk located at a secluded spot in Pozhichalur near Pallavaram and attempted to break open the machine using a hammer. While he was on the job, an alarm went off. Following this, officials of the bank alerted police. Arul fled the spot immediately. A police team was rushed to the spot and found that he was not successful in breaking open the ATM machine. Police alerted patrol teams. Police scanned CCTV camera footage and later intercepted the suspect near Shankar Nagar. During inquiry, he confessed to having made an attempt to break open the ATM machine. Police have registered a case and are probing Arul’s criminal antecedents and whether he was working alone or was a part of a gang.

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