Delhi Government rejects user fees proposed by MCD

The Delhi Government has raised objections on the MCD’s proposal of levying user charges under the Solid Waste Management (SWM) rules that were revised in 2016.

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About two months ago the Delhi Municipal Corporation (MCD) along with a set of environment experts had framed a draft of bye laws on Solid Waste Management (SWM) proposing user charges on individual households. The proposal was then sent to the state government for approval. City Spidey had reported this development on November 23.

The Delhi Government has now returned the proposal saying it would translate to an additional financial burden on the residents of the city. Speaking to City Spidey, Satyendra Kumar Jain, Delhi Urban Development Minister, said, “Collection of garbage comes under the obligatory functions of Delhi Municipal Corporation.”

The government, however has agreed to allow the imposition of user charges on the commercial and industrial units of the city. Delhi News

The draft suggesting user charges was framed jointly by local authorities and a court appointed panel of environmental experts. According to sources it was the environment expert panel that had actually proposed the user charges.

As per the draft proposal, buildings with floor areas upto 50 square meters (within residential areas) shall be charged Rs 50 per month by way of municipal user fee. Depending on square feet area of buildings, different charges have been proposed.

The draft committee had also proposed different charges on commercial establishments, eating places, hotels, restaurants etc subject to their capacity. These range from Rs 500 to Rs 5000.

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Dwarka Sector 3 senior citizens request DDA to build them a shelter in locality

Senior citizens of Dwarka Sector 3 want the Delhi Development Authority to construct a shelter in the locality park that can save them from heat and cold. At present, there are five benches that are unable to accommodate all the elderly persons who frequent the park for their daily get-togethers. Dwarka News

The oldest member of the senior citizens’ group is 92, and he gets a place to sit. But many “younger” members have to stand, as the space is limited.

Now, these aged men, numbering over 50, are regulars at the park, where children also play cricket. Which is why the senior citizens want the construction of a shelter with more benches under it, so they can hold their daily meetings more comfortably.

Now the group has prepared a petition for the DDA, seeking the construction of a shelter, with a mesh surrounding it to protect them from cricket ball that can hurt them.

The petition has already been signed by 41 members, all residents of high-rise residential complexes in the locality.

At 92, BB Rajput is the senior-most member of the group. A resident of Heritage Tower Apartments, Rajput said the shelter they seek should be open from all sides but covered with a mesh, so cricket balls don’t hit them.

“It would be ideal if the shelter was of a size 7×6.2 m, with a raised cement flooring, eight benches and one centre table,” Rajput said, adding that “we have made a rough design for DDA to consider”.

DDA can easily fulfil our requirement, as similar shelters as there are similar shelters in the parks of sectors 6, 9 and 12.

MP Sharma, of Balaji Apartments, and a regular at the Sector 3 park, said, “This park is surrounded by many sicieties, such as Balaji Apartments, National Apartments, Astha Kunj Apartments, Heritage Tower Apartments and Welcome Apartments, and is regularly used by many residents. You can see how crowded this park is in the evenings. We are senior citizens and we cannot sit on the ground. We use these benches. But these are not ideal for us,” Sharma said.

A senior DDA official promised to look into the matter and do the needful when City Spidey sought his comments on the senior citizens’ petition.

Why isn’t anyone doing anything about the encroachment in Dwarka markets?

Encroachment in the market areas of Dwarka has become a hot discussion topic these days. Resident groups, RWAs and social organisations are all raising the subject on their various WhatsApp groups in a bid to get the attention of civic bodies and public representatives.

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Anil Kumar Parashar, a resident of Sri Agrasen Apartments in Sector 7, has been writing about the issue regularly on social media. Speaking to City Spidey, he said, “I had drawn the attention of the authorities towards a chaat vendor whose stall had been obstructing traffic and blocking a pavement in Sector 7. At our insistence, the municipal authorities forced him to evacuate his business site. However, after a few days he was back at the same spot. Sector 10 markets are also filled with encroachments. Even pictures of these encroachments have been posted to the authorities, but no action has been taken.”

Residents are alleging that there is a lack of political will preventing authorities from taking a tough stand on encroachments. “Every political party blames the other. The situation is worsening every day and merits serious attention,” said Parashar.

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The situation is not different in the market areas of sectors 4, 10 and 12.

People are alleging that all encroachments are happening in the knowledge of civic authorities and representatives of political parties. SN Singh, a resident of Sector 4, said, “The entire corridor of the Sector 4 market has been captured by vendors. These vendors, who have set up their wares in front of shops, are either bribing the shops or the administration or soliciting the support of the powerful people in the area.”

Visitors to the markets are tired of negotiating their way through these encroached corridors. They are demanding a proper policy that can govern these shops.

Nidhi Gupta, a resident of Sector 10, said, “Encroachment in the markets is mainly being done by shopowners who put big standees for advertising, or even refrigeration units. A shop of export items and another of worship accessories and idols are a case in point in Sector 10. The encroachment in front of the latter expands during festivals.”

The encroachments in the Sector 6 market were removed earlier, following High Court orders. Residents of the sub-city are hence questioning why this order has not been enforced in other markets as well.

Dwarka to glow with LED lights

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) is busy replacing high-mast halogen bulbs with LED lights in the residential societies of Dwarka.

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According to the mayor of SDMC, Kamaljeet Sehrawat, the project started a few days ago and is being well received by the people of the sub-city. People are understanding the rationale of the replacement both from the perspective of cost and energy.

Speaking to City Spidey, K Darwari, president of Ram Krishna Ashram Apartments, Sector 23, said, “For the high-mast fittings in our society, we have received four LED bulbs in exchange of four halogen bulbs. The LED bulbs are brighter and consume less power. The halogen bulbs were an expensive proposition.” Dwarka News

According to the mayor, four teams have been formed to implement this bulb-changing project. These teams are approaching RWAs across Dwarka and asking if there is any need for replacement. The RWAs and managements of residential societies are responding positively and even demanding the change through WhatsApp groups formed by the mayor.

In the words of Sehrawat, “This project is of Rs 1.2 crore, and all transformation work should be completed by March.”

RWAs are leveraging social media groups to demand more lights in the streets under their jurisdictions. They are also demanding the illumination of peripheral areas and dark stretches.

There are many societies that have high-mast poles without lights, or with defunct lights. One such society is Ganpati Apartments in Sector 9.

Speaking to City Spidey, Advocate KS Bhati, president of Ganpati Apartments who is also the president of the Sector 9 Federation of RWAs, said, “The high-mast pole of our society was set up by the municipal corporation a couple of years back. However, they hadn’t provided any bulbs. Now, however, we are hoping that they will provide us with LED bulbs. The corporation should ensure that all societies get these bulbs. They should also illuminate the dark stretches across the sub-city. Even the service lanes should be properly illuminated, and where required, SDMC should even start setting up light poles.”

Chargesheet filed in the case of 4-yr-old girl’s sexual assault in Dwarka school

The police, on January 15, filed a chargesheet against a private school in Dwarka in the case of sexual assault of a 4-year-old girl on school premises by a boy in her class.

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According to sources, four persons have been named in the chargesheet, including the owner, the principal, a teacher and a caretaker of the school under Section 21 of POCSO Act and Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act.

Police said summons would now be issued to all the accused after the court took cognizance of the chargesheet. Dwarka News

City Spidey spoke to the mother of the victim. She lashed out, saying, “The school needs to answer how such an incident happened. Why weren’t there two teachers on duty? Why did the teacher in charge leave the responsibility of the class on an ayah [help]? And how could the management remain silent on this lapse? Why did they not remove the principal and the teachers? They are still in denial, and defiant!”

The incident happened in November. when the 4-year-old boy had allegedly inserted a pencil into the private parts of his classmate.

Dwarka, Sector 3: When a vacant plot turns into a hub of fear

A vacant plot behind the market of Sector 3, near the DDA Park, has become a source of worry for the residents. Open consumption of liquor and drugs in the plot has been posing a threat to the safety and security of the area. And the situation is no different even during daylight hours. Dwarka News

Vijay Sharma, a resident, said, “This vacant land has made the surroundings unsafe. They buy liquor from the shop in the market and consume it on this vacant land. The police should look into the matter.”

The miscreants have also damaged the equipment in the park.

A DDA official said on condition of anonymity, “This land should be developed as a play area. The DDA has developed other such vacant land into a temporary play area.”

People said that police do patrolling in the area and keep vigil, yet open drinking persists. Some residents have asked the DDA to fence the area with a concrete wall.

MK Singh, a regular visitor to the park, said, “The broken wall near the market should be repaired by the DDA immediately. This will stop the hooligans from accessing the area from the market.”

When City Spidey contacted ACP Rajendra Singh, he said, “We’ll take up the issue and do whatever’s required.”

Delhi police commissioner stresses on community policing for 2018

Addressing the annual press conference of Delhi Police at the convention hall of New Delhi Municipal Council yesterday, Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik emphasised on making community policing more effective and organised in 2018.

Dwarka notably has a good history of community policing, with several schemes such as Neighbourhood Watch Scheme, Prahari, Police Mitra, Buddy Patrolling  — all introduced last year — doing well.  The sub-city has a rich culture of RWAs participating in such social initiatives.

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The commissioner stressed on the need to strengthen policing at the grassroots level. Involvement of RWAs and security guards with the local police will be one of the prime focus areas in 2018, he added.

He also said sharpening response to distress call will be looked into as well.

Besides community policing, he also spoke on the subject of digital policing and making beat officers more tech savvy.

The CP also mentioned the success of cycle patrolling and neighbourhood watch scheme, introduced last year. All these initiatives have been greatly successful in the sub-city, where RWAs and managing committees of societies have lent an active hand.