Auditing body’s report shines a light on public land used illegally, and high levels of encroachment on DDA land
Have a stinking toilet in the neighbourhood or hassled over parking? For those living in Lutyens’ Zone there is a unique solution. They can now go to the ‘Budget suggestions’ link on the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) website to post their problems, which may not only be tackled, but may also be ensured of never recurring.
The initiative is thanks to a unique measure by the NDMC where it is actually seeking suggestions from the public on how its funds for the annual 2017/18 budget should be best spent.
NDMC officials said that this new link was launched on its official website on Wednesday evening. The link can also be accessed on the civic body’s mobile application, NDMC 311, as well, said officials.
On this link, the public can access 18 categories, and comment on civic issues which include stray animals, Wi-Fi, fogging, encroachments, roads, streetlights, parks and playgrounds, drains, urinals, pruning of trees among others.
“The idea is to involve people in the administration of their area. The feedback will also help us gather a real perspective of the projects already underway and those requiring changes,” a senior NDMC official said.
Already some members of the public have taken up the NDMC initiative and have started posting their solutions. “It is suggested that steps should be taken to remove stray dogs and monkeys from the said colony as presence of stray dogs on the road not only create havoc to passersby in the colony they also make the area dirty by night soil,” read one of the posts by a Laxmi Bai Nagar resident.
Another post read: “Please fix footpaths near Palika Kendra.” De-clogging of busy marketplaces such as Khan Market and Connaught Place also saw a high number of public posts.
“These areas get too clogged even during the non peak hours, in particular, on weekends. The civic body had earlier proposed a ‘Smart Parking’ scheme, which still could not be seen on ground,” lamented another resident. Incidentally, the names of all these posts are kept confidential.
Reacting to these posts, NDMC officials assure that all the suggestions will be kept in mind when the budget is framed. “The budget will be prepared in line with the suggestions/changes requested by the people in general. Within a day we have received a number of posts including on fixing footpaths etc.” the official added.
Shivraj Singh, a former naval officer, who lives in Khan Market area, welcomed the NDMC’s initiative but said he hoped it would translate into strict action. “Though the feedback idea sounds good, I hope they take the complaints seriously. In the winters, overgrown tree branches covering the streetlights here pose a major problem.”
Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson Swati Maliwal on Thursday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to highlight the degrading law and order situation in the national capital and the rising crime against women. The letter by the DCW chief came on the eve of the anniversary of the brutal Nirbhaya gang-rape case .
“Minors as young as three year old are being raped in Delhi and the crimes against women are increasing day by day. Last month on 21st November, a four-year-old was first brutally raped and then murdered. Just the next day, a three-and-half year-old was raped and the perpetrator attempted to kill her but then abandoned her in a field thinking her dead,” said Maliwal in the letter.
The women’s panel chief added that while everyday, over six Nirbhayas are being created in Delhi and it has come to be known as the ‘Rape Capital’ of the World, nothing has changed in the women safety scenario.
Quoting data from the Delhi police, Maliwal, in her communication to PM Modi, said that of the 31,446 FIRs registered in crimes against women during 2012 to 2014, convictions were achieved only in 146 cases. “There is absolutely no fear of law in the mind of criminals in Delhi and a major reason for this is the fact that there are hardly any convictions. The Commission feels that strong deterrence will be created against crimes against women if swift and certain punishments are meted out to criminals,” said Maliwal.
Sadiq Saifi, 15, takes an auto ride till the main bus stand and an hour long bus ride to reach his school in Ajmeri Gate from Ghaziabad, every day. Ask him if he would like to study at a school near his home and he will refuse. Ubaid Alam, 17, came from Sambal district in Uttar Pradesh to study at the only Anglo-Arabic school in the country, stays with his uncle here, and does not want to return to the old school in his village.
A little walk away from the New Delhi Railway station takes you to a sprawling campus of the Anglo-Arabic Senior Secondary School. On entering you get the feel of entering a bygone Mughal era, as the large courtyard, the red sandstone gateway, and the long silent corridors give a nostalgic sight to anyone entering the building.
It thus comes as no surprise to learn that the school’s premises have served as a perfect Mughal/Colonial era setup for some renowned movies. The famous Jallianwala Bagh scene from Ben Kingsley-starrer Gandhi, 1982, was shot in the school football field. Scenes from The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Dil Se, and Saat Uchakke were shot here too.
The double-storeyed building was built by Nawab Ghaziuddin, father of the first Nizam of Hyderabad, in 1692, as Madarsah Ghaziuddin, and is the oldest living educational institution in North India that represents the Mughal era Madarsah. The school which still preserves its original design, started as a place for giving spiritual education to the elite class of the walled city. However, with the weakening of the Mughal Empire, the Madarsah closed in the early 1790s, but with the support of local nobility, it stood again as a centre for oriental literature, science, and art in the year 1792.
The school houses a mosque and an elegant tomb (maqbara) of Nawab Ghaziuddin himself enclosed within lattice screens made of marble (jaali). The maqbara of this Delhi noble is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), while the school building is maintained by the heritage department under DDA. There are a few other unknown tombs and a Sufi shrine, that lies in an underground cellar, and thus has earned the name of ‘Taikhane wale baba’.
The school also has a prominent Alumni, the list includes — Liaquat Ali Khan, first PM of Pakistan, Maulana Qasim Nanautwi, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan (famous pragmatist and philosopher of the 19th century) among others.
Commenting on the makeup of the students, current principal Mohammad Wasim Ahmed reveals that while a majority of students are within Delhi, there are a few coming in from other states like Bihar, Rajasthan, and Eastern UP. For these students, there is a hostel facility within the premises.
The school currently has 1,800 students out of which five per cent are non-Muslims. The admission process is the same as any other government school in the country; the classes are from 6th to 12th. This is the only school in the country that teaches Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Hindi as well as English. Unlike other schools in Delhi that focus on Science, Commerce and Arts as streams, Sociology, Geography, Engineering drawing are also taught as main subjects here. The school completes its 325 years early next year.
On the question of women students, the school has 74 women studying here after they opened its gates to female students in 2012. In certain cases, women students have left other institutions in order to study here. Nitika Yadav, 16, is a case in point. She joined the school early this year in Class 11 to study subjects realted ot her field Commerce, leaving behind a good private school education to study here. Her reasons: she wanted to focus on the ideal discipline, along with non-theoretical knowledge.
Apart from students, students have earned distinct fame in arts and sports. The football shield has been won by them year after year. As for other activities the principal proudly says, “We have been the best in co-curricular activities and even won the first prize in the National Qawwali competition last year and came second this year.”
Certainly, there’s a lot to celebrate here.
Three people were injured after the driver lost control of the vehicle he was driving, and rammed into a metro pillar in North-West Delhi’s Keshavpuram on Wednesday night.
The injured have been identified as Puneet Arora, 24, Anjum, 25, and Deepak, 25. They are all residents of Outer Delhi’s Rohini area.
“The accident took place at about 11.30 pm when the injured were driving from Kanhaiya Nagar to Rohini. When they neared Keshavpuram metro station, Arora lost control of the car, and rammed into a metro pillar. The vehicle flipped thrice,” a senior officer said.
Arora and his friends were allegedly driving at 100 kilometres per hour without seat belts, police said, adding that they were under the influence of alcohol.
“The three of them were rushed to a nearby hospital. Punnet is critical,” the officer said.