News Flash – 24 September 2019

National News



Monorail Freezes, 38 Passengers Rescued After 45 Minute Wait

Repair of monorail rake in progress on Monday morning. Loss of traction power supply due to a broken insulator led to the disruption, said MMRDA. All commuters were rescued safely after the mono stalled.



Mumbai: Thirty-eight commuters were stranded for close to 45 minutes after monorail services came to a halt near Mysore Colony station on Monday when their train was headed towards Chembur during the morning peak hour. The service resumed between Chembur and Wadala around 9.30pm. This is the third major failure since April in the monorail system, which has been plagued by regular disruptions ever since the corridor was opened five years ago in February 2014. MMRDA spokesperson Dilip Kawathkar said, “Around 10.15am, the monorail lost traction power supply due to a broken power rail insulator at pier number 2c23 north-bound (between Mysore Colony and Bharat Petroleum stations). The commuters on board have been evacuated safely”.



Fire engines were rushed to the site but not used in evacuation. A senior official said, “We had to dispatch a train from the south-bound beam, which is usually used for north-to-south services. The train took almost 15 minutes to reach. Thereafter, the trains were placed parallel to each other and passengers transferred from the stranded rake to the rescue rake”. Services on the entire corridor were briefly halted. Later, they resumed between Wadala and Jacob Circle with a 25-minute frequency. Monorail was slammed on social media for frequent breakdown in services. @ritika24490030 tweeted: “Please ensure technical safety of monorail. If it breakdown twice in a month, then means there is problem. Please take steps towards permanent solution.” @anilstandwade tweeted: “Frequent failures in monorail is such a pathetic experience. It spoils your morning start. It failed again today. Waste of time”.



6,630 CCTV’s to Watch 2,100 Spots ‘Highly Prone’ to Crime


New Delhi: Delhi Police has come up with an ambitious project to bring vulnerable areas of the city under surveillance though 6,630 CCTV cameras. The cameras, which would be installed at 2,108 spots “highly prone” to crime, would come at a cost of Rs 10 crore. The project is scheduled to be completed by early next year. The spots were selected on the basis of a crime-mapping study done last year. During the study, police collected data on the time of crime, location, stretch and frequency. This was then fed into a software that collects data from calls made to the police control room. The software then connected the data with similar crimes and made a map. Each camera will include a combination of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR), automatic face-reading and high-resolution, tilt-up-tilt-down mounts. Data from the cameras would be beamed to the PCR, which would then be matched with the database of facial profiles of criminals. This is expected to help police mark out a particular group of criminals active in an area. The ANPR cameras will detect the number plates of the vehicles used by the criminals to help police zero in on their location. Cameras installed at the windshield-level will also be able to detect faces of drivers even if they are driving at a speed of 150kmph. Delhi Police PRO Mandeep Singh Randhawa said that all the vulnerable points are within the jurisdiction of 50 police stations that have been identified on the basis of the crime-mapping study. “Areas having a high incidence of crimes against women, street crimes and fatal accidents have been taken up on a priority. We are in the process of procuring the cameras and will start installing them soon,” he added. The stretches on which the cameras would be installed were surveyed by a professional agency, which specified the light condition, pixel strength and hardiness of the cameras to prevent them from being vandalised.



Based on this recommendation, a tender was drawn by Delhi Police. The number of cameras to be installed on a stretch has been decided by the nature of crimes committed in the area. In areas like Vasant Kunj and Dwarka, which have long open stretches, police might install cameras at multiple locations to plot out the pattern of movement of the criminals. Sources said that the project was sanctioned using the Nirbhaya Fund, which has remained partially utilised every year. Since 2011, police have procured about 4,500 cameras. They were installed on the basis of localised crime data, but most of them are defunct due to lack of maintenance. However, police have now set strict guidelines for maintenance of the cameras by the vendors, who would have to ensure that they remain in working condition throughout the year. Senior officers said that unlike the old devices, the new cameras will have wireless connectivity to a server to help monitor their functioning. The cameras will also be equipped with infrared and night-vision lenses to give a clear picture even in pitch-dark conditions. Apart from identifying criminals, the cameras are also expected to help police reduce the number of hit and run cases in which the offending vehicle drivers get away taking advantage of the dark. For now, all the cameras would be linked to one control room. Eventually, the system would be connected to Delhi Police’s Smart City project, which is in the process of being finalised. The system would focus on information-sharing technologies where footage and data collected by different agencies would be collated with the help of software and placed in a database.



KMC on Dengue Alert after Outbreak Rerun in Borough X


Kolkata: Dengue has set alarm bells ringing at the civic corridors with the Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s health wing recording about 190 cases from New Alipore, Golf Green, Jodhpur Park, Jadavpur, Baghajatin, Regent Park, Ramgarh and Gangulibagan in the past three weeks. These areas are part of Borough X that had been the worst affected by the outbreak last year — dengue had claimed eight lives here in 2018. This year, in the first two weeks of September, dengue claimed two lives one in Ramgarh and the other in Regent Park. The deaths in a span of four days have prompted mayor Firhad Hakim to plan a visit to the affected areas. He is supposed to visit large areas, including Regent Park where seven-year-old Pragya Saha died of dengue on Saturday. The other victim, 74-year-old Gayetri Devi who had died on Thursday, was a resident of Ramgarh. While deputy mayor Atin Ghosh, who is also in charge of civic health department, was busy taking stock of ‘dengue situation’ at Borough X office on Anwar Shah Road, a team of health officials struggled to prevent the spread of dengue in Ramgarh, Vidyasagar and Raipur Mandalpara under Ward 99. As many as 50 residents of the area have been tested positive in the past 15 days.



Anusree Chakraborty, a Class-VI student of a reputable English medium school and a resident of Raipur Mandalpara area, was tested positive the same day her mother Setar Chakraborty’s test results conclusively proved to be dengue reactive (positive). According to Pritam Chakraborty, Anushree’s father, he became unnerved when on September 11 both his daughter and wife were tested positive for dengue. “Fortunately, our physician took charge of treatment and they are recovering now,” Chakraborty said. Local RSP councillor Debasish Mukherjee on Monday roped in sleuths from Netajinagar police station to break open a locked house in Raipur Mandalpara which has been a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Though the police did not agree to break open the lock, the councillor got 10 civic workers to climb a 25 feet ladder to reach the terrace of the building to destroy mosquito larvae. Mukherjee said the house had been lying locked for two years. Times View: We are in the middle of the peak dengue season and chances are that the problem may worsen before abating. Both citizens and the administration need to be careful in the run-up to the festive season and after that.



International News



Jewellery Worth $350,000 Stolen from Trump Tower



Detectives are investigating reports of thefts of about $350,000 worth of jewellery from residents in Manhattan’s Trump Tower. The jewellery was allegedly stolen from inside of two apartments in the building where President Trump owns a penthouse triplex, police said. A 33-year-old woman told police her $117,000 Graff diamond bracelet was taken from her 59th floor apartment after she left for vacation on September 3. A 67-year-old woman reported five pieces, including a Harry Winston diamond bracelet, a ring, necklace and bracelet and a pair of diamond and emerald earrings, stolen from a drawer in her 42nd floor closet, police said The items reportedly disappeared between June 21 and September 9.

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