March 25, 2019

Delhi won’t stand tall with 100-storey building

Delhi/India/Politics by

The proposed tallest 100-storey building of the country planned to come up in Delhi that includes residential and commercial space will now be reduced to 60-65 floors. This was after security concerns were raised by the Hindon Airbase and the Indira Gandhi International Airport. A Delhi Development Authority project under Transit Oriented Development (TOD) was announced in 2015 in East Delhi’s Karkardooma area. The 100-storey building was part of the 4,500 flats project spread over 75 acres.

The Delhi Development Authority in 2015 had announced the East Delhi hub based on TOD to ensure development in high density areas. This was aimed towards increasing connectivity to a mass rapid transport mode and offering pedestrian and cycle-friendly environments. There are approximately 91 buildings in the country at 125 meters or above, 71 of these are in Mumbai alone.

Currently, the tallest building of the country is in Mumbai, which stands tall at 254 meters and 60 storeys. Meanwhile, Delhi’s tallest building is the Civic Centre which is the headquarters of two out of three municipal corporations in the national capital. The building is 28-storeys high and stands tall at 112 meters.

After completion, the tower would have been the country’s tallest building with 4,800 flats, 80,000 sqm of retail space, a five-acre park, apart from sculptures, laser park, and a circular skywalk. Other towers within the complex would have had 10-30 storeys. However, the officials say that the building plan will now undergo changes, including the commercial angles.

“The project at Karkardooma involved development of 75 acres of land in east Delhi between two Metro lines. The project was to be built by National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), with a total expected cost of Rs 4,500 crore,” said a DDA official.

“There is an entire chapter on TOD in the Master Plan of Delhi 2021 which proposes corridors on the Chattarpur to Arjangarh Metro stations, Peeragarhi to Teekri Kalan Metro stations, Dwarka Mor to Dwarka Sector 21 Metro stations and Nehru Place to Badarpur stations,” said the official.

Demonetization hits child trafficking industry hard

Delhi/India/Politics by

The recent demonetization measures in the country has had a positive impact on child trafficking. According to various child right NGOs, there has been a dip in the number of girls being trafficked from various states to Delhi, just after the Prime Minister made Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes illegal.

There are around 5,000 functional placement agencies in Delhi which supplies maid-servants to various families in the capital. A number of these servants are under age, and around 45-50 per cent of these girls are brought in to the Capital from states like Jharkhand, Assam and West Bengal.

Sources say the transactions conducted at the time of trafficking was in cash. This cash used to get distributed between traffickers, source agent, and the sub-agent. But now after the recent demonetization measures, the middlemen (sub-agents) are finding it more difficult to get their money which has resulted in a dip in child trafficking.

Child NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) recently visited a few placement agencies, where they said they found that there are little to no under-age maid-servants available with these agencies.

“Earlier, these agencies used to have a large number of girls and then sell it to the people (hiring person) as per their needs. From trained servants to untrained, they used to categorize the girls,” said Rakesh Sengar an activist associated with the BBA.

“When our team recently visited a few placement agencies and posed as customers, we got to know that they don’t have many girls now. The people at the agencies said the business was down these days and we would have to choose between the two-three girls they have,” he added.

The child rights agency said that they had also seen a dip in the number of girls coming to railways stations from Assam, West Bengal and Jharkhand. As per its data, if 50 girls were found in any station earlier, now they had seen only a single girl who had been trafficked.

Rishi Kant, activist from the NGO Shakti Vahini, which focuses on core issues related to children, women and Right to Information, said that he had also seen a drop in child trafficking, but added that it was too early to attribute it to the note ban.

A report by the NGO Global March Against Child Labour entitled ‘Economics Behind Forced Labour Trafficking’ found that illegally run placement agencies in India earn Rs 13,000 to Rs 41,000 crores per year by exploiting an estimated 7 to 17 million domestic child labourers. While these women and children are being paid a pittance of Rs 1,000 to Rs 4,000 per month as remuneration, the agencies receive commission between Rs 20,000 to Rs 50,000 per child.

Mostly, these victims are being sent to houses to work as slaves in Faridabad, Gurgaon, Noida and Delhi. Children as young as 11-14 years are placed in homes and are made to work as domestic help for 14-16 hours a day.

ABVP activists threaten DU Law Faculty Dean in presence of cops

Delhi/India/Politics by

The Dean of Delhi University Law Faculty, Ved Kumari was threatened by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activists, in the presence of police officers on campus, while they were staging a protest over the detention list of students that was released on Wednesday.

A video went viral on YouTube on Saturday in which the former Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) president and ABVP activist Satender Awana were seen threatening Kumari, even as the police officers stood on silently.

According to the Dean, she was abused and threatened by the students who had failed to meet the attendance required to appear in the examinations. “They abused me in front of the police and even threatened me with dire consequences if they were not given the admit cards, and police did not even bother to stop them. Also, they destroyed my office property,” Kumari told DNA.

Awana however alleges discrimination by the Dean. “There are some students who have 70 per cent or more attendance, still their names are on the list. Also, some students who had never turned up for the classes are not there in the list,” he said.

“We have received a complaint from Ved Kumari and we will look into it,” said DCP (North) Jatin Narwal.

Kumari, who took charge of the faculty earlier this year, claimed to have notified students repeatedly throughout the semester, that 70 per cent attendance would be a mandatory requirement to sit for the exams as per the Bar Council of India’s (BCI) demand. She also arranged remedial classes for those who hadn’t turned up for the first part of the semester.

“We have to stick to the rules of BCI. Everyone is required to complete 70 per cent attendance to appear in the exams. Some of these students who are demanding that they should be given admit cards have 10 or 15 per cent attendance. How can we allow them to sit for examinations?” she said.

Some students have also claimed that ABVP activists, backed by DUSU members, have been creating a ruckus at the campus for the last couple of months over different issues.

“A huge number of students had failed their exams during the last semester and were demanding that they be promoted to the next year. ABVP played a pivotal role in this protest. Not only have they intruded into classes in the last two months, they also asked teachers to leave, and locked buildings. This deprived students of taking their routine classes,” said a third-year student at the faculty, wishing to remain anonymous.

“Now, they are threatening to not allow the faculty to hold examinations if they were not given the admit cards,” he said, adding that if it happens then the students who have attended regular classes will be at a loss.

The list has names of 550 students from all three centres of Law Faculty — 230 from Campus Law Centre (CLC), 191 from Law Centre I and 129 from Law Centre 2 — who did not have 70 per cent attendance that the Bar Council of India (BCI) asks for. These students will not be allowed to give exams that start on December 20.

On Thursday, agitating students, along DUSU members, had staged a protest outside the Dean’s office. Following this, some of them were detained by the police.

Metro smart card sales up after demonetization

Delhi/India/Politics by

The demonetization of old currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 has led to a boom in the sales of smart cards of the Delhi Metro.

Sources in the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said that since the announcement of demonetization, the sale of smart cards has grown over 75 per cent in the national Capital.

As per the data, while the DMRC sold close to 15,000 smart cards every day, the number has jumped to 26,000 per day since the demonetization announcement.

Metro also offers a 10 per cent discount to commuters on payment made through smart cards.

On an average, around 30 lakh people travel by metro on a daily basis, of these an approximate of 70 per cent travel through smart cards. “The rise in the sale and purchase of smart cards has been exponential, largely due to demonetization.

Commuters prefer the smart cards as they can avoid the long queues for tokens and easy transition,” said a DMRC official.

The Delhi metro had recently also decided to increase the maximum limit of smart card recharge from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000, temporarily. Commuters of the Metro can avail this increased top up service from December 12 and it will remain effective at least till December 31, 2016.

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