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Odd-even: Three-wheeler operators feel the heat of AAP crack down

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New Delhi, April 22 : In an unprecedented swoop against errant auto rickshaws, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government on Friday challaned as many as 475 three-wheelers fleecing commuters or refusing to go to the desired destinations in the city on the eighth day of the odd-even traffic restriction.

The crackdown on auto operators, known to be a strong support base of the AAP, was undertaken by the Delhi transport department for the first time following a series of complaints.

Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai told reporters: “We conducted a special drive against the auto drivers and challaned 475 autos.” He said the convenience of the commuters was the prime responsibility of the government and any laxity by anyone “be it auto drivers or cabs aggregators will not be tolerated”.

Separately, the transport department booked 285 cars for violating the odd-even restriction.

The action against auto-rickshaws comes after the city government cracked the whip on app-based cab aggregators Ola and Uber for “surge pricing”. The government had impounded 68 app-based taxis for over charging commuters earlier in the week.

The day also saw heavy traffic in parts of central and south Delhi and witnessed a surge in the particulate matter pollution levels after two days of consecutive dips.

Braving scorching heat, denizens had a harrowing time negotiating traffic logjams, which prevailed in several parts of the capital city despite the road rationing scheme in place.

“At 11 a.m. I was stuck in bumper to bumper traffic near the Maharani Bagh flyover heading towards Noida,” Rashmi, a woman commuter told IANS.

Heavy traffic was also reported from Chirag Delhi to Nehru Place and between Dhaula Kuan to Safdarjung hospital in South Delhi during office hours.

Delhi traffic police too acknowledged that heavy traffic was reported during office hours.

The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said that particulate matter pollution showed un upward trend.

The PM 2.5 level increased to 93.8 on Friday from the level of 67.8 a day ago, while PM 10 reached to 234.9 from 206, SAFAR said.

Surprisingly, the AAP government’s pro-active step against erring autodrivers did not get brick-bats from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh(RSS)-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, workers’ union.

“We do not mind the challan of any wrong doer,” taxi operator Rajender Soni, who owes allegiance to BMS, told IANS.

However, he said the AAP government has “completely failed” to provide smooth public transport in the capital.

Meanwhile, Rai also announced that in order to encourage private car owners to switch to public transport the city government will soon launch app-based premium bus services in June.

“The prevailing quality and reliability of the bus service in the city has discouraged most private car owners to commute by bus,” Rai said.

The second phase of the odd-even scheme began on April 15 and will continue till April 30. The first phase was between January 1 and 15 this year.

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Girl and father end life in UP

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A teenager battling depression for two years following her mother’s death ended her life, prompting even the father to take his life out of sheer hopelessness.

According to reports, Shalu, 18, first committed suicide by hanging herself because she could not come to terms with the death of her mother. Suraj, too followed suit, leaving behind two more daughters.

The incident took place in Nankari village in Khairabad area in Sitapur district on Wednesday. Circle Officer Piyush Kumar Singh said that Suraj, who worked as a tailor, lived there with his wife and three daughters. His wife had died two years ago and his daughter Shalu could not come to terms with the death of her mother.

“She went into depression and finally ended her life. Seeing this, Suraj also committed suicide by hanging form the same ceiling fan,” the police official said.

Both the bodies have been sent for the post-mortem. The police had filed a case and further investigations are underway.

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Gujarat govt renames ‘dragon fruit’ as kamalam

It should be noted that the lotus is the symbol of the BJP and the state BJP headquarters in Gandhinagar is also named ‘Shri Kamalam’.

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Gandhinagar Jan 20: Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, while interacting with the media on Tuesday, said that the government has applied for a patent to change the nomenclature of dragon fruit to ‘Kamalam’.

According to the CM, the word dragon for the fruit sounded inappropriate and so the Gujarat government had decided for the fruit to be called as Kamalam.

While interacting with the media on Tuesday during the launch of the Chief Minister Horticulture Development Mission, Rupani said, “We have applied for the patent of the Dragon fruit to be called as Kamalam. But as of now, we the Gujarat government have decided to call the fruit as Kamalam.”

“Even though the fruit is known as dragon fruit, it doesn’t sound appropriate. The word Kamalam is a Sanskrit word and the fruit does have the shape of the lotus, so we have decided to call it Kamalam, and there’s nothing political about it,” Rupani added.

According to the CM, the fruit has long since been grown as a form of cactus in the country. “Nobody has to be alarmed by the word Kamalam,” Rupani added.

It should be noted that the lotus is the symbol of the BJP and the state BJP headquarters in Gandhinagar is also named ‘Shri Kamalam’.

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Another fake social media news racket on temple attack busted

“Accused Peraka Venkateswara Rao, 35, was convicted in the case and sentenced to eight months in jail on June 23, 2015,” the official said.

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Fake News

Amaravati, Jan 20: Police in Andhra Pradesh’s West Godavari district on Tuesday busted another fake news racket regarding temple attack in Eluru town and clarified that the Anjaneya Swamy idol incident was an old one.

“It came to our notice that some persons are using this 2014 incident as propaganda material to spread fake news on the social media,” said a district police official.

Police later registered a case under Sections 153-A and 295-A of the Indian Penal Code.

Police clarified that the Anjaneya Swamy idol incident occurred in 2014 and a case was registered then under Sections 295 and 427 of the IPC at Eluru town police station.

“Accused Peraka Venkateswara Rao, 35, was convicted in the case and sentenced to eight months in jail on June 23, 2015,” the official said.

Meanwhile, Prakasam district police arrested one more person for allegedly dubbing the damage due to corrosion to the Singarayikonda temple arch idols as an ‘attack’.

In this particular case, police identified 33 persons for spreading false information on the social media, of whom six were arrested from different places in the southern state.

Prakasam district Superintendent of Police Siddharth Kaushal on Tuesday visited multiple places to strengthen surveillance system, 24×7 beat and patrol systems for the security of all temples and religious places.

He met with members of village and mandal defence committees and gave suggestions on their security.

On Tuesday evening, Director General of Police Goutam Sawang held a videoconference with all districts police officials over the temple incidents in the state.

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