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HC notice to Delhi government on minimum wage rates for workers

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New Delhi, July 12 : The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to Delhi government on a plea seeking implementation of revised minimum wage rates that will benefit over 60 lakh workers.

A division bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal sought the city government’s response on the PIL that also asked to increase the strength of the trained labour inspectors and other staff of the Labour Department and filling up of the vacancies as it posted the matter for hearing on August 8.

The PIL filed by advocate Ashok Agarwal also sought direction to Delhi government to increase the minimum wage rates up to Rs 15,173 in terms of the norms laid down by the Supreme Court.

Agarwal told the court the Delhi government has revised and fixed the minimum wages at an “unreasonably lower rate” which violated the fundamental right of the workers.

“The enforcement of the provisions of the minimum wages in Delhi is at all time low. Even the current minimum wages are not paid by the employer to the workmen and violation of labour laws and minimum wages is at full swing in absence of any check by the Delhi government,” said the petition.

The Delhi government failed to enforce the payment of minimum wages in Delhi has also, thereby, failed to prohibit the forced and bonded labour and begar at mass -scale in Delhi, it added.

Agarwal told the court: “The ground realities are very shocking. On average male worker gets Rs 6,000 per month and female worker gets Rs 5,000 per month whereas the statutory rate of minimum wages for an unskilled worker is Rs 13,584 per month.”

The petition noted that there were about 20 lakh factories and shops in Delhi which employed about 60 lakh workmen.

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Major fire breaks out at shanties in outer Delhi’s Shahbad dairy

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New Delhi, April 24: A major fire broke out at shanties in outer Delhi’s Shahbad dairy on Tuesday in which around 100 shanties have been burnt, reported News 18.

As per the latest reports, 21 fire tenders are on the spot.

However, no casualties have been reported yet.

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Bengal Panchayat polls: Sporadic violations as fresh nominations filed

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Kolkata, April 23 (IANS) Fresh nominations for the West Bengal Panchayat polls were filed on Monday amid tight security even as sporadic incidents clashes between the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress and opposition party activists took place in some districts.

Most cases of violence took place in the districts of Bankura and Murshidabad where BJP and Left activists accused the Trinamool Congress supporters of forcefully stopping their prospective candidates from filing nominations.

In Murshidabad, a CPI-M party office was vandalised by miscreants while a CPI-M candidate was allegedly beaten up and sustained a serious head injury.

The car of Congress leader Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury was also alleged attacked with bricks and crude bombs outside the party office in Murshidabad district’s Shamshergunj.

“As many as eight bombs were hurled at my vehicle outside the party office. The car has been damaged and two of my associates got injured in the incident,” Chowdhury said.

Stray incidents of violence were also reported from South 24 Pargana district’s Diamond Harbour, Budge Budge and Nodakhali where the CPI-M accused Trinamool Congress backed goons of stopping their candidates from going near the BDO offices to file nominations.

Acting on a Calcutta High Court order, the West Bengal State Election Commission on Saturday fixed April 23 as the extended deadline for filing of nomination papers for the coming Panchayat polls in the state and asked the state police to ensure security during the nomination process.

It also fixed April 25 for scrutiny of fresh nominations and April 28 as the last date for withdrawal of candidatures.

The opposition BJP, CPI-M, Congress and PDS had moved the court, accusing Trinamool of unleashing massive pre-poll violence against their party workers to prevent them from filing nominations ever since the poll process began on April 2.

Justice Subrata Talukdar on Friday quashed the SEC’s April 10 order that had cancelled the extension of date for filing of nominations, which the poll panel announced on April 9 night, directing it to issue a fresh extended deadline for filing of nominations in consultation with the state government and other stakeholders.

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Heavy smoke disrupts services on Delhi Metro’s Red Line

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Delhi Metro's Red Line (Dilshad Garden-Rithala) were suspended for more than one hour on Monday after heavy smoke from a nearby blaze.

New Delhi, April 23: Services on the Delhi Metro’s Red Line (Dilshad Garden-Rithala) were suspended for more than one hour on Monday after heavy smoke from a nearby blaze made it difficult for the trains to run, the DMRC said.

“At 1.15 p.m., heavy smoke was reported to have originated from the nearby slums beneath the viaduct between Mansarovar Park and Shahdara Metro stations. As a precautionary measure, train services were suspended between three stations between Dilshad Garden and Mansarovar Park Metro stations during this period,” said the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) in a statement.

“Rest of the line remained unaffected. At 2.33 p.m., normal services were resumed after due clearances,” it added.

The smoke was due to a major fire incident which occurred at a building in nearby Shashi Garden of Gandhi Nagar. Two men were killed in the massive blaze that had broken out at around 11 p.m. on Sunday in the three-storey establishment housing a jeans factory.

“Although our metro train system is fire-proof, we could not take chances and run the trains through smoke, which could have hampered the visibility as well. We suspended the operations the moment it occurred to us that it could pose some threat,” a metro official told IANS.

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