News Flash – 6 October 2018

National News



GRP Constable & Home Guard waylay man and rob him, held



Thane: A Government Railway Police (GRP) constable and a home guard were arrested for allegedly kidnapping and robbing a man from Ratnagiri resident of his gold jewellery. On Thursday, Sanjay Nalavade (42) of Bavdegaon in Khed, Ratnagiri, reached Thane station to meet a relative. “As soon as he alighted from the train, he went to a public toilet,” said a police officer. “Subash Nagre (25) of GRP (Thane) and home guard Bushan More (28), who identified themselves as policemen, waylaid Nalavade. Holding up a pair of handcuffs, they threatened to arrest him for obscene behaviour. They abused him and threatened to inform his family about his behaviour”. Nagre and More then dragged Nalavade to Kalwa police outpost and threatened to file a criminal case against him. They allegedly told him that they would let him go if he paid them Rs 60,000, but if he didn’t pay up, they would put him in lockup or even bump him off, the officer said. Nagre and More then snatched Nalavade’s jewellery and Rs 35,000 from his wallet. When they asked him what would he tell his family, Nalavade replied that he would say he was robbed. They warned him against it and said he would then have to file a complaint, the officer said. After the duo let him go, Nalavade immediately went to the Thane Nagar police station and filed a case under sections 394, 363, 342, 504, 506 (read with 34) of the Indian Penal Code. In June, constable Dipak Vairagad attached to Vartak Nagar police station, and his aides were arrested in a similar kidnap and extortion case after allegedly laying a honey trap for a youngster from Nandurbar. The police were tight-lipped about the incident.



WR can soon rush help to exact spot of distress call


Mumbai: Passenger security can soon be ensured with greater efficiency on the railways. About to be launched is a GPS-based technology to track the exact location of a complainant so that assistance can be provided more efficiently after a distress call is received on the toll-free helpline number 182. “We have carried out Geofencing of the entire route in our zone and trials are underway. The system has been rolled out in all zones,” said WR’s chief public relations officer Ravinder Bhakar. In the present system, if a person calls from, say, Dadar station (WR), the RPF control room has an indication that the complainant is in its territory. But his exact location is not known. In the new system, the exact location of a complainant can be known.



ACB raids Spark Panic: Cash, Gold thrown out of windows



Bengaluru: The doorbell rang at 6am in TR Swamy’s flat on the 14th floor of Mantri Greens. The chief development officer (land acquisition) at Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) thought it was the milkman or the newspaper vendor. He opened the door, then slammed it shut immediately when he saw men in khaki standing outside. With an office in Khanija Bhavan on Race Course Road, where the ACB offices are also located, Swamy was aware of the agency’s standard operating procedure. There was high drama — including the public spectacle of discarded cash flying out of a ventilator — around the apartment complex for the next 45 minutes. Swamy and his family wrapped notes of Rs 2,000 denomination in large polythene bags and threw them out of a bathroom ventilator, investigators said. Swamy then summoned a confidant, an auto driver, to help him dispose of incriminating evidence, they said. ACB sleuths caught him just as he was making away with the bags in a three-wheeler. “We knew that Swamy would try to make the cash vanish,” a senior officer said. “He did not open the door for more than 50 minutes.


He finally relented when we told him that we would break open the door with police. We knew that inside the flat, the occupants were frantically trying to get rid of evidence. The auto driver had arrived by then, so it was clear what Swamy had in mind”. When the ACB sleuths raided the Mantri Greens flat of Swamy’s elder sister, she threw gold and other valuables out of a window of the 15th floor apartment. “She wrapped some valuables in clothes and also placed some in a leather bag,” an investigating officer said. “She claimed that she had purchased the valuables legally and that the sight of the ACB officers rattled her so she hurled them out of her flat. If she produces the bills and relevant documents, we will return the ornaments”. The bundles landed on the ground floor and her brother’s confidant loaded it in an auto rickshaw but ACB sleuths confiscated the vehicle with the valuables. The raids triggered a similar reaction at Gowdaiah’s residence, where family members refused to open the door. “They saw us through peephole in the door and refused to open the door, claiming that we were not ACB officers,” another officer said. “They opened the door only after we warned that we would enter by force”.



Heavy Rain forecast for next 3 days, Kerala on High Alert

COURSE CORRECTION: A group of fire and rescue personnel from Kozhikode, Kannur, Kasaragod, Malappuram and Wayanad learnt sea rescue tactics from fishermen from Kozhikode on Friday.



Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government is on high alert in view of the possibility of heavy to extremely heavy rain in the state for the next three days under the influence of a low-pressure area over the southeast Arabian sea. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast heavy rains in the state on Saturday and extremely heavy rains on Sunday. While Pathanamthitta, Idukki, Palakkad, Malappuram and Wayanad districts will be on orange alert on Saturday, a red alert has been issued for Idukki and Malappuram districts on Sunday. Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said five teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) would be deployed in Wayanad, Palakkad, Idukki, Pathanamthitta and Kozhikode. On Friday, shutters of over 20 dams were opened to release water in view of the IMD forecast. While fishermen have been asked not to venture into the sea for the next few days, tourists too have been advised not to travel to hill stations.



Dengue claims yet another life



Kolkata: A 63-year-old woman from Manikpur in Dum Dum died of dengue at a private hospital in Salt Lake on October 2. Anima Majumdar, the victim, had tested positive in an NS1 test and was admitted to hospital on October 1. She died at 5.20 the next evening. The death certificate mentioned haemorrhagic shock and the multi-organ failure as the causes of death. This is the 11th dengue death in Kolkata this season. Even though dengue had started spreading from the northern fringes of Kolkata this time, it has subsequently affected Behala, east Kolkata and parts of central Kolkata. Several victims have died very quickly, often giving doctors little time to revive them. Rinki Ghosh, 36, a resident of Baguihati was the first victim this year. According to hospital sources, Anima had been admitted in a very critical state and could not be revived. Her vital parameters kept worsening till she went into a shock and suffered a multi-organ failure.


Even though casualties have so far been lower than last year, the virus remains potent, according to consultant Arindam Biswas. “Dengue hasn’t been spreading as fast as it did last year, but deaths have occurred very quickly. The symptoms have been very strong, often leaving no time to revive patients. Secondary bacterial infections could be a reason,” said Biswas. He added that NS1 tests should be done immediately without waiting for symptoms to show up. “But the virus often doesn’t show up in the first day of fever. So, a 24-hour wait is a reasonable one,” Biswas said. More than 700 tested positive for dengue between January and August. The number of patients spiraled from August when deaths started happening. Unlike previous years, most victims have been children or middle-aged. “This year, we have seen a growing number of young patients succumbing to the virus. This probably suggests a potent strain but we can’t be sure unless the strains are examined and analysed,” said a south Kolkata doctor.



Put CCTV, Panic button in all School Vehicles


Kolkata: The Howrah City police on Friday directed all pooled cars and buses ferrying school students to install CCTV cameras in their vehicles and panic buttons that kids can press in distress. This comes a day after a Class-VI girl was allegedly raped by the pooled car driver and cleaner. The cops have also demanded details of all the cars and buses ferrying students. “We have asked all schools to provide us with detailed lists of cars and buses ferrying students. We are preparing advisory for operators, schools, students and their parents. After the Puja, we will meet all the school authorities to ensure the rules are implemented.” said deputy commissioner (headquarters) of Howrah City Police Ranendranath Banerjee. In Kolkata, the police are supposed to carry out background check of pooled car and school bus crews and bar vehicles that don’t meet basic fitness measures from ferrying kids. The instructions issued about six months ago after consultations with transport department state only drivers and helpers whose antecedents have been verified should take the driver’s seat. As a thumb rule, rickety vehicles and drivers without a valid licence were not allowed to ferry students. “While CCTV cameras in the vehicles should be ideal, we want the pooled car association to start a GPS tracking system, especially in cars for lower-primary students,” said an officer.


Citing an example of a vehicle ferrying students being confiscated by the Jadavpur traffic guard at the Sukanta Setu-Raja SC Mullick Road crossing, the police said they had taken action against a dozen such vehicles across Kolkata. “The pooled car association has always extended a helping hand and supported our move to ensure security of students,” claimed a Lalbazar officer overseeing the crackdowns. However, several cops at the different police stations and traffic guards that TOI spoke to claimed vigilance was not always tight. They cited two reasons: punctuality of pooled cars being of vital importance, the vehicles were hardly stopped unless there was a specific complaint and secondly, the crackdown drive had to follow certain mandates laid down by the SC and that was not possible without the transport department joining in. Pool Car Operators’ Welfare Association general secretary Arupam Dutta said, “We depend on the referral system before appointing a driver and cleaner. We understand the gravity and sensitivity of such cases. But such criminal acts shatter the faith the parents’ faith. We want to appoint woman attendants on all school vehicles but there is a demand-supply issue”.



Two Dengue cases in Mambalam put civic body on Alert

ACTION TIME: Conservancy workers cleared garbage and stagnated water, in which dengue-causing mosquitoes breed (right), in West Mambalam on Friday.



Chennai: Two dengue cases have been reported in Chennai this week putting Greater Chennai Corporation on high alert. After the second case detected in West Mambalam, workers were deployed to carry out cleanliness and source reduction activities in the neighbourhood on a war footing. Sources said the first case in West Mambalam was detected earlier this week when a person from Kerala returned to the city and got high fever. He tested positive for dengue at a primary health centre run by the civic body. On Friday, a 45-year-old man from the same locality in West Mambalam tested positive for dengue after being admitted to Sri Ramachandra Medical College. Following this, conservancy workers, a sanitary inspector and the zonal health officer visited the street where the dengue cases were reported. “Tyres, coconut shells, plastic containers, and other items capable of holding rainwater were destroyed,” said a worker. Stagnant fresh water is the source of dengue-causing aedes mosquitoes.


Balu, a resident, said while conservancy workers are expected to work every other day, they turn up only once in three days. “Today the workers came and cleared all the garbage lying in several spots. All tubs and buckets holding water where mosquitoes had started to breed were removed. Why do officials have to wait for a dengue case to be reported instead of taking preventive action,” he asked. Balu said spraying of larvicide and fogging should be carried out at least four times a month. A health official from the zone confirmed the dengue case and said preventive measures were being taken across the zone. “The Kodambakkam zone is divided into 151 sectors. All health workers and sanitary inspectors are instructed to carry out source reduction activities in at least 80 houses. Work to prevent water stagnation and spraying of mosquito larvicidal oil is happening across the zone,” said the official.



4 Metro Stations go Solar, to cut costs by Rs.6 Lakhs


Chennai: From lights to air-conditioners and even trains, everything at four underground metro stations will now be operated on solar power. Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) has commissioned a 103kWp (kilowattpeak) capacity rooftop solar power system to cater to these stations. The photovoltaic panels have begun generating power at Thirumangalam, Anna Nagar Tower, Anna Nagar East and Shenoy Nagar stations. Through the panels, CMRL will tap around 13,800 units of power every month, and hopes to save Rs.6.3 lakhs a year in power costs. By the end of this year, elevated metro stations too will go green, as another 6MW capacity rooftop solar power plant will be installed. “We have a total installed solar capacity of 1.6MW. Solar power will meet all our technical demand for daily operations in the stations they have been installed,” a metro rail official said. CMRL began using clean energy in 2016, when it installed a 1MW capacity solar panel at its administrative building in Koyambedu. Around 5,000 units generated a day from the 1MW grid power the administrative office and for maintenance of trains at the depot.


In September 2018, another 350kWp capacity panels were added in the depot. With another 125KW capacity added in the car park area of its headquarters at Koyambedu, CMRL has been getting more than 1.35 lakh units of solar power every month, saving nearly Rs.22 lakhs a year on power charges. Besides, CMRL has started installation of panels at the entry points of both underground and elevated stations to power their lighting systems and electrical appliances used for daily operations. Last year, CMRL signed a contract with a Mumbai based company to install solar panels with a capacity of 6MW at all its existing elevated stations. CMRL identified about 25 locations spread over more than 1.4 lakh sqm, including those in Koyambedu and Alandur for the purpose. With the project ready, CMRL expects 90% of its annual power requirement to be met by solar energy. The remaining energy requirement will be drawn from the general grid.



International News



Storytellers give kids in Quake-Hit Indonesia a reason to smile



Palu: “Concentrate! Concentrate now!” shouts Mahmud in a high-pitched voice, prompting giggles from the 40 rapt kids staring up at him. He and his friend Muhammad Ayub, decked out in bright orange vests, are volunteers who travelled hundreds of kilometres to the quake-and-tsunami-ravaged Indonesian seaside city of Palu from the island of Lombok — which this summer was itself pummeled by a series of deadly quakes. The pair are not medics or engineers but storytellers, trying to brighten up the lives of children thrown into a world that even adults struggle to comprehend. Over 1,500 people have so far been confirmed dead since last week’s double disaster, with tens of thousands forced out of their homes and into evacuation centres. “We want to build up their spirits after the tsunami, there is a lot of trauma,” said 30-year-old Ayub. “It’s great, we are having fun here,” said 13-year-old Fatir, who exclaims “no way!” when asked if living a tented camp in a car park — with only a tarp and trees for shade — is difficult. It is for all intents and purposes a camp for the displaced, but as they run about, play badminton or kick a football around, the kids can forget about what has happened to them, if only for a moment. There are cheers and hands shoot into the air as Mahmud, who only gave his first name, starts another story under the trees nearby. Some in Palu desperately need medicine, some need a shelter over their heads — but others just need a good giggle. Save the Children say that some 600,000 children have been affected by the quake, with many separated from their families and sleeping among ruins in Palu.



This Suit can make you fly like Iron Man


London: Richard Browning (left), chief test pilot and CEO of Gravity Industries, wears a Jet Suit and flies during a demonstration in Woodbridge, Britain, on Friday. The creator of the jet engine-powered suit that allows people to take flight, said he would launch a racing series next year to glide over water. The suit, which has a record speed of 51km per hour, is made up of five miniature jet engines mounted on the pilot’s arms and back and is reminiscent of the one worn by Robert Downey Jr in ‘Iron Man’ trilogy.

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