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Second metro fare hike in year is against law, says Kejriwal

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New Delhi, Oct 2: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said that Delhi Metro’s proposed fare hike, the second in a year  is against the law and appealed the centre to put the hike on hold.

Kejriwal asserted the increase in fares will be clear violation of the Fare Fixation Committee’s (FFC) recommendation which states that “there shall be a gap of at least one year between two fare hikes”, an official statement from the Chief Minister’s office said.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has claimed it follows recommendations of the FFC on fare hike, but by ignoring the time gap between two fare hikes the FFC recommendations are being “selectively implemented” by DMRC, it added.

“Delhi government has never interfered in functioning of DMRC, but when it comes to commuters who would face problems, then it can’t remain quite, ,” Kejriwal said.

“Delhi government appeals to the central government to invoke its powers under Section 86 of the Delhi Metro Railway (Operation and Maintenance) Act, 2002 to put on hold any fare hike till the entire matter is reviewed jointly by the central and Delhi governments,” the statement read.

However , new fares are slated to be implemented  from October 10 for second time in a year.

The last increase was in May when the minimum fare climbed from Rs 8 to Rs 10 and the maximum from Rs 30 to Rs 50.

DMRC and the AAP-led Delhi government are witnessing tussle over fare hike for the past one week.

On Saturday, Kejriwal urged Union Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri to direct DMRC to withhold the fair hike and following this, yesterday he called for an independent audit of the DMRC’s accounts.

Wefornews Bureau 

 

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Delhi air not fit for morning walks: Met

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New Delhi, Nov 21: It was a misty morning in the national capital on Wednesday with pollution levels ‘very poor’ as the Met noted presence of smoke in the air calling it “not supportive” for walking or jogging.

The minimum temperature fell over past the 24 hours, with Wednesday recording 12.4 degree Celsius, the season’s average, against 13.5 degrees on Tuesday.

The maximum temperature was likely to hover around 28 degrees Celsius.

“There will be mixture of smoke and haze. In the morning, the sky will remain clear but later it may get partly cloudy,” an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official told IANS.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi was 391 at 10 a.m., merely 10 points from being ‘severe’, on a scale of 0 to 500.

According to the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the Air Quality Index (AQI) data on Wednesday at Delhi’s Lodhi Road area was recorded in ‘poor’ category.

Major pollutants PM 2.5 is at 273 (poor category) and PM 10 at 266 (poor category).

The humidity also remained high at 93 per cent in the morning, making it difficult for pollutants to disperse.

The national capital faces westerly and southwesterly winds, which being moist were also not supportive of pollution dispersion.

The average presence of particle pollutants, across 37 areas of Delhi during the morning hours were on the verge of ‘severe’ category.

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5 killed, 9 injured as car falls from Jindal Bridge in Hisar

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Chandigarh, Nov 21: Five persons were killed and nine others injured in Hisar town of Haryana on Wednesday when a speeding car ran over two men sleeping on the roadside and then fell from a bridge, police said.

The out of control car had first hit another car on the Jindal bridge before running over the two sleeping labourers from Bihar, a police officer said.

It had three occupants when it fell from the bridge, killing all on board.

The accident happened after traffic was allowed along one-way on the bridge causing congestion, as work was going on in the other part, the police officer said.

IANS

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Ahmedabad court frames sedition charges against Hardik

The Gujarat High Court had earlier dropped charges under IPC Section 121 (A) pertaining to “waging war against the state,a which could attract death penalty.

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Hardik Patel

Ahmedabad, Nov 21 : The Ahmedabad Sessions Court here on Tuesday framed sedition charges against firebrand Patidar agitation spearhead Hardik Patel and two of his former associates in connection with alleged rioting after a massive Patel rally in Ahmedabad on August 25, 2015.

Sessions Judge D P Mahida framed the charges under Sections 124 (A) (sedition), 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) and others of the Indian Penal Code against Hardik Patel, 25, and his then close aides Dinesh Bambhaniya and Chirag Patel. All the three were out on bail in the sedition case filed by Ahmedabad crime branch in January, 2016.

Chirag Patel later joined the ruling BJP while Dinesh Bambhaniya quit the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, though never joined any political party.

The court fixed January 29, 2019, as the next date of hearing when the trial on the sedition charges against the trio would begin.

The Gujarat High Court had earlier dropped charges under IPC Section 121 (A) pertaining to “waging war against the state,a which could attract death penalty.

The framing of charges got delayed as Hardik Patel was not present in the court and was away to attend a social function. The court rejected his application for absence and threatened to issue an arrest warrant if he failed to turn up, prompting him to immediately reach the court. He was attending an OBC convention.

Dinesh was arrested in the morning and presented in the court as he had remained absent from the court several times in the past during hearings. Chirag Patel was duly present.

All the three unanimously pleaded not-guilty against the charges framed.

According to the chargesheet, Hardik and his aides, who were part of the PAAS then, were allegedly involved in inciting the Patel community youths to resort to violence as part of their conspiracy to put undue pressure on the government to accept their demand of reservation to their community under the OBC category.

Going by the allegations, inflammatory messages and rumours were spread by the accused and resulted in large-scale riots across Gujarat, which forced the police to impose curfew in several parts, as people resorted to stone pelting, arson and damaging public property for almost four days, the charge-sheet alleged.

The chargesheet claimed that the police was forced to open fire at different places in which 14 Patel youths were killed.

The police also attached call detail records, transcripts of calls intercepted, CDs containing video and audio clips, forensic reports of mobile phones of Patel leaders, Hardik’s speech at the mega rally and statements of 502 witnesses.

Meanwhile, the Gujarat High Court on Tuesday granted bail to Alpesh Kathiriya, a close aide of Hardik Patel, in the Ahmedabad sedition case. Alpesh, who had been in jail for the last eight months, but was not released immediately as the police subsequently detained him in connection with a separate sedition case in case.

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