News Flash – 3 November 2018

National News



Avadi Woman gets reward for helping nab ATM Burglar


Chennai: Residents and passersby in Avadi locked up a burglar inside an ATM kiosk after a woman raised an alarm seeing the man trying to break open the machine on Thursday night. Sumathi, who lives opposite the kiosk, said she saw the man getting into the ATM kiosk at Kollumedu and trying to open the machine using a screwdriver. She told her son, who along with a few others rushed across the road and overpowered the man. They downed the shutters and called police. Police identified the burglar as Theerthamalai, 35, of Villupuram. Chennai city police commissioner A K Vishwanathan rewarded Sumathi. On the same night, a four-member gang made a futile attempt to break into an ATM at Villivakkam. The Villivakkam incident came to light when two policemen on patrol went into the ATM kiosk around 1.30am on Friday to sign the police log book kept there. They noticed the ATM was dented and the CCTV cameras were broken. Since there was no security guard, they alerted the bank and collected the CCTV footage from the ATM. “Four men wearing helmets were seen entering the kiosk and damaging the cameras before attempting to break the machine,” said an investigating officer. Police confirmed that no cash has been stolen from the ATM.



In 3 years, Rs.400cr plastic disposal industry in Maharashtra


Mumbai: Around 34 FMCG brands and 22 dairies that use multi-layer plastic packaging for their products, along with five to six water/beverage bottling units, have finally joined hands to create their own buyback and collection system in the Mumbai metropolitan region to be fed by over 5,000 rag pickers and scrap dealers. By appointing four agencies as their producer responsibility organizations (PROs), these brands promise a Rs 400-crore plastic collection and recycling industry in Maharashtra by 2021. According to sources, the CEOs of major corporates and industry leaders recently convened a meeting to discuss extended producer responsibility (EPR) in collecting packaged plastic waste and recycling it. “Under EPR, over 60 major brands have come forward to evolve a collection and recycling mechanism for their used plastic packs through four major service providers—IPCA, NEPRA, SHAKTI and SWACH. The brands will fund the PROs to create a network of rag pickers, set up plastic waste collection and segregation points, and transport it to factories for recycling and disposal through dry collection dumps,” said E Ravendiran, member secretary of Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB). “IPCA alone has 80 pick-up-cum-segregation centres across Mumbai and Thane, where its waste pickers will collect plastic items that will be then taken to its dry collection centre in Bhiwandi”. IPCA founder-director Ashish Jain said that from the Bhiwandi centre, multi-layer plastic (MLP) will be taken to Ambuja factory in Chandrapur where it will be used as fuel for furnaces and boilers. IPCA plans to take the total collection of MLP to over 8,500 tones within a year or two.


MPCB regional officer (headquarters) Nandkumar Gurav said the 22 milk brands—including Gokul, Amul, Warna, Chitale and Mahanand—have created a plastic waste collection mechanism by appointing a PRO. “We hope the recycling chain will be streamlined within a week or two,” said Gurav, adding that NEPRA has already collected over 1,000 tons of MLP. Mother Dairy alone has collected over 1,000 tons of MLP and non-MLP through IPCA, said Gurav. After the plastic ban came into place on June 24, MPCB shut down 80 industrial units across the state that were producing plastic packets, bags and bottles for packaging, but failed to create buyback mechanism or recycling chain. Post ban, around 900 tons of illegal plastic stock worth Rs 8 crore has been seized and Rs 3.5 crore collected in fines. Gurav said PepsiCo has collected over 375 tons of plastic waste and Bisleri about 150 tonnes since the ban. The MSMEs in the state will also help collect about 120 tonnes of plastic waste at 15 locations. “The PET packaging association for clean environment has come up with a PRO plan with the help of seven bottle producers. The IRCTC, the catering arm of the railways, has also earmarked a separate EPR fund with 15 bottle-crushing machines. They plan to set up 60 such machines across Maharashtra,” he added.



Light & Sound, but no smoke: E-Cracker Sales Skyrocket

GREEN DIWALI: The e-crackers run on electricity and can be operated with a remote control.



New Delhi: Shoppers flock to Chandni Chowk’s Lala Lajpat Rai Market on Diwali to buy festive lights, but this time, many are going home with ‘electronic crackers’ as well. Made in China, these e-crackers produce sound and light without any smoke. Praveen Kumar Rana, a seller, said the e-crackers are eco-friendly as “no harmful chemicals are burnt, and there is no smoke. They run on electricity and can be operated with a remote control”. The ‘crackers’, which resemble a ‘lari’ or string of crackers, are available online also. They come packed in distinctive large red boxes with Chinese lettering. Each red-and-gold electronic cracker on the string is quite large and the ‘lari’ goes off at the press of a button. But the sound is underwhelming. “It is well within the limit set by the government,” said Kuljeet Singh, another seller. “The government says firecrackers shouldn’t be louder than 65 decibels, but the sound these make is much less than the original ones.” “There’s no pollution, therefore, nothing to worry,” said Kuljeet Singh.


After the Supreme Court clarified on Wednesday that only green crackers will be sold in Delhi-NCR on Diwali and other festivals, buyers don’t have much choice. This is not the first time that e- crackers are being sold. A seller told TOI they have been available for three years, but their sale took off only last year, after restrictions on crackers. They might be clean, but E-crackers are not cheap. A box can cost Rs 1,500 or more. It’s a lot of money to pay for an untried thing, said Vishwas Nagar resident Arun Sharma. “I had come to buy lights and these crackers caught my eye. I will go home and discuss with my wife. I might come back and buy one for my children”. On Monday, Union environment minister Harsh Vardhan had said technology for less-polluting “green crackers” is ready and will be shared with the industry soon, but the firecrackers will not be available this Diwali. The technology has been developed by National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).



Child witness as Armed Robbers attack mother


New Delhi: A woman and her child were attacked by two robbers who snatched her jewellery at Khajuri Khas on Thursday evening. But the crime was caught on a CCTV camera, which led to the arrest of the two men. Police said they received a call from the victim woman about the crime. A team went to the spot where she told them that she was walking home with her son around 9.30pm when the two men accosted her, and kept a knife on her throat and asked her to hand over all her gold jewellery. A case was registered at Khajuri Khas police station. Police then found footage from a camera installed at a house nearby, which captured the whole incident. The two men on a two-wheeler were seen coming towards the woman walking on one side of the road. The pillion rider first pounced on her and got off the bike as the woman resisted. She tightly held on to her chain as the man tried to pull it off her neck. When she didn’t relent, he pulled out a knife from his pocket and kept it on her throat, threatening to kill her if she didn’t stop. At this point, the footage showed the woman giving up. Her son is seen standing alongside her, staring at the man attacking his mother. With the help of the footage, police managed to reach the two attackers and arrest them. They were identified as Nadeem (20) and Faizan (21). The bike used in the crime was also seized, police said.



Theft at Picnic Garden: Items worth Rs.14L stolen



Kolkata: A 54-year-old man, residing at a high-rise in Picnic Garden, complained that cash and valuables worth Rs 14.5 lakh were stolen from his house on Thursday. According to the victim, Pravin Kumar Darolia, a ninth-floor resident of Garden Towers, adjoining the Bondel Road flyover, the theft took place around 4.30pm on Thursday. The Kasba police has registered a case. Meanwhile, the cops solved another case of theft where money and valuables worth Rs 18 lakh were stolen from Burrabazar. Two Howrah residents were arrested in connection with that case. “Darolia claimed diamond jewellery worth Rs 14 lakh and cash of another 40,000 had been stolen from his home. This includes a pair of diamond bangles valued at Rs 7 lakh, another piece of diamond bangle, valued at Rs 4 lakh and a smaller piece of diamond bangle valued at Rs 3 lakh,” said an investigating officer. The incident is a rare instance of a theft in this area of Kolkata, which has seen a steady decline of petty crimes in the past two years. According to the neighbours of the victim, the Darolia family had been trying to shift to a new locality. Accordingly, there were several people who were engaged in household work. “The family did not go out of town, but they did leave for their everyday chores. We believe the suspect is somebody who had access to the house,” said a neighbour residing on the eighth floor of the building. Meanwhile in Salt Lake, a software engineer residing at GC Block complained that some gold ornaments were missing from his home. He suspected their domestic help might have stolen the jewellery. The cops arrested the help.



Five more die of H1N1 in TN in past 24 hours



Chennai: Five people, including a child, died of H1N1 and one man died of dengue in the past 24 hours across the state. While doctors say the new mutated strain of the H1N1virus is turning out to be dangerous for people with comorbid conditions, they fail to explain why even children with no history of illness are dying due to the virus. Director of public health Dr K Kolandaswamy has instructed government health centres to create a separate fever clinic in a ventilated area, especially for influenza-like illnesses (ILI). “There is an increase in dengue and H1N1 cases, but we have adequate stock of medicines and human resources to treat people,” said state health minister C Vijayabaskar. State health minister C Vijayabaskar and senior public health officials are making field visits to several areas in the state urging people and the civic agencies to clear unused scrap and discarded items lying inside houses and open grounds. With several regions experiencing intermittent rain, water stagnating in plastic cups and Tyres were a breeding ground for dengue-causing mosquitoes. “If we don’t clear them now, we will not be able to prevent dengue. We are seeing an increase in fever cases. There is an increase in dengue and H1N1 cases as well. We have adequate stock of medicines and human resources to treat people with ailments, but our aim now is to prevent them,” health minister C Vijayabaskar said. In Coimbatore, 4-yearold Sanshika Sree, who was referred to the government hospital from GKNM Hospital after he was diagnosed with H1N1 virus died on Thursday. On Friday, Nagaraj, a 62-year-old man from Vellalore, died of dengue. A Nagamani, 42, and a 55-year-old Nagaraj from Tirupur died of fever.


“Itis mainly because patients come with category three infection, which includes desaturation and heavy wheezing. The infection has already reached their lungs,” said a GH officer. “It is more severe with people suffering from comorbid conditions like COPD, heart disease or other organ issues,” he said. In a case of the H1N1 virus spreading fast, five people infected by the H1N1 virus got admitted into the government hospital on Friday alone taking the count to 17 cases. There are 70 in-patients suffering from different strains of viral fever too. Two deaths in Madurai in the past 24 hours has taken the toll in the Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) to six. GRH dean Dr D Marudhupandian said 102 patients, including those in the Paediatric section, were being treated for fever in the hospital. Hospital sources said Mandiramoorthy, 45 of Sundarajanpatti on Alagarkoil Road, who was admitted few days ago, died late on Thursday night. Allimalar, 35, wife of Shankar of Attukulam in Melur, who had symptoms of H1NI died on Friday morning. Three more people who tested H1N1 positive and two patients with dengue are under treatment. Muthukrishnan of Muneerpalam in Tirunelveli who was admitted to the Tirunelveli Government died of H1N1 on Friday. Selvam, 30, of Samadhanapuram Ambedkar Nagar in Tirunelveli, who also tested H1N1positive, died at the Palayamkottai Government Medical College Hospital. Five patients who tested positive for H1NI and three dengue patients are under treatment in the government hospital in Tirunelveli. Dean of the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital Dr S M Kannan said so far there have been five H1N1 deaths in the district.



Watch out for their Diwali Special Gangs


Chennai: With Diwali almost here you may be out shopping, but beware of conmen and criminal gangs out there looking to snatch your gold chains, cash mobile phones while you a tracted by the crowds and goods on display in the store According to the Chennai police, not just criminals from across Tamil Nadu but eve gangs from other states arrive in the city during festival time hoping for easy pickings. The time, police are on their toes losing for three gangs that have c from Delhi, Mumbai and Tiruvannamalai. They have formed special teams and have begun cracking d on suspects staying at lodges. P arrested two people who had put lodge in Periamet. During question they told police that other gang reached the city, where women known to wear more gold in public du the festive season. “They confessed the gangs have plans to target women venture out in the morning for walk to buy milk or draw kolam in front their houses,” said an investigating officer who apprehended the suspects. Police said these criminals often fly into the city but take the train on their way back home with their booty to avoid the stringent security checks at the airport. While miscreants from Delhi snatch gold chains, gangs from Mumbai — who police have identified as Iranians — specialize in robbing shoppers of cash and gold after diverting their attention. Retired police officer R Siva Sankar, who has dealt with such cases, said, “They approach the elderly wearing gold and advise them to hide valuables saying robbers are on the prowl. Once they follow their ‘orders’, the men snatch the gold”. The swelling crowds of shoppers also attract pickpockets in large numbers. They often operate in the guise of family units out shopping. Police have received inputs on such gangs from Tiruvannamalai and Villupuram. These pickpockets work as a team; while one member strikes up a conversation with the target, another picks his pocket.



Sholinganallur apartment complex harvests 1L litres from 3 hours’ rain

Sabari Terrace has been setting up the structure since last November in phases.



Chennai: Where’s the rain, did you ask? Come, take a peep into the sump at this residential complex in Sholinganallur. The four blocks of 56 apartments of Sabari Terrace have channeled rain water from their terraces to fill a 100,000-litre sump in the first three days of rain, from October 29 to October 31. “Since last November, we’ve been setting up the rain water harvesting structures in phases. Only last month all the four blocks were connected to the sump. In the three days cumulatively it would’ve rained for three hours. But that was enough to fill our sump,” said the resident’s association secretary Harsha Koda. Explaining the structure that was designed under the guidance of Rain Centre, he said pipes from the terraces are connected to let rainwater into two tanks of 3,000 litre capacity each, where water is allowed to stay to allow mud and solid particles to settle down. The tanks are connected to the underground sump of 100,000 litres from where water goes to a treatment plant, and is collected in another sump to be directed for use.


“Three corners of each terrace are connected to this network, while the last corner of each terrace lets out water into recharge soak pits to improve ground water table,” said Koda. Residents said the harvesting facility has reduced their dependence on metro water considerably. Excess water from the sump is let out to soak pits using valves. Koda’s wife Prabha planned the layout of the structure. About1,500 feet of pipeline was laid for the network that cost the association Rs.2.5 lakh. “Of this, Rs. 50,000 has been recovered in terms of water savings since last November,” said Koda. Conservationists said the apartment complex has yielded so much water from so little rain because the harvesting system is new. “A harvesting system has to be cleaned before every monsoon, if not twice a year. Or it would be useless as dirt and silt clog it,” said Sekhar Raghavan of Rain Centre.



International News



2 hurt in knife fight at Sony Music’s UK HQ



London: Armed police stormed into Sony Music’s offices in London on Friday after two people were stabbed in what the company said was a violent argument between two kitchen staff. Panicked employees were evacuated from the large office building, which also houses Warner Music Group, and police said both victims were arrested. “Two men were found suffering from stab injuries. They were both arrested at the scene on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm,” Metropolitan Police said. An unnamed Sony employee said the kitchen staff were “running round chasing each other” and “slashing each other up”.

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