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There is a good news for all Delhites particularly those hailing from the lower middle class and lowest ebb of the society depending upon government health schemes for free treatment etc as the leuitenent governor of Delhi Anil Baijal has shown a great heart for those living in Delhi by giving his consent to the AAP government’s people friendly proposals of free treatment in private hospitals for all the road accident victims including the victims of brutal acid attacks etc including free testing facilities to the various polyclinics functioning in various colonies and parts of Delhi especially those living in the unauthorised colonies and JJ clusters of the capital.

In addition to the above a separate Delhi government’s recomendation for providing the latest and advanced free radiological tests and surgeries have also been accorded the LG’s consent. This pro people move of the Delhi government if seriously implemented in toto would help a large section of the people of Delhi.

Prior to these recommendations having acknowledged the LG’s stamp with whom the Delhi government had been on loggerheads on the important issue of regularisation of the services of 15000 adhoc teachers, will send a positive message accross the cross section of the society of the AAP government’s pro people functioning.

It may be recalled that after coming to power in Delhi the Arvind Kejrival government has put special emphasis on the Dlhi health services and has not only made free medicines available in govt hospitals and dispensaries for the general public majority of whom are from the economic marginalised classes but has also made a provision through cabinet approval regarding free treatment and surgeries for critical illnesses to those with annual income of less then 2 lakhs in high profile private hospitals.

The day since the government of AAP has assumed power in Delhi for the last three years while on infrastructural and transport (DTC) sector the AAP government has not achieved anything fruitful or impressive but on water, schools and health front it has done tremendously well as compared to the previous state governments.

The Delhi CM has also for the time being given up his confrontationist attitude and posture with the prime minister Modi and the Delhi’s LG and is rather concentrating on finding ways and means to improve the lot of the electorates. The AAP government has also been successful in enticing the Bihari and Uttarakhandi votes by way of allocating them extra budget on Chat Puja and Uttarayini celebrations.

This year the Delhi AAP government is financially assisting Uttarakhandies celebrate Uttarayini function at 33 different locations of Delhi and has also won the hearts of Delhites by outrightly opposing the arbitrary manifold metro fare increase by holding demonstrations all over Delhi and offering Rs 500 crores annually to compensate the metro loss but the Modi government went ahead with the manifold increase in the metro fares thinking that if the fares are lessoned the entire political credit would go to Arvind Kejrival and his government. What’s your take friends?
SUNIL NEGI

126

The long pending issue of declaring Gairsain as the permanent capital of Uttarakhand has gained tremendous momentum with people of the state, especially the various anti BJP and anti Congress socio political organisations of the seventeen year old state witnessing series of demonstrations, hunger strikes and dharnas all over the state.

The current capital of Uttarakhand, Dehradun today witnessed a massive demonstration and a vociferous march with anti BJP government slogans from Gandhi Maidaan till Ghanta Ghar. The extremely furious pro Gairsain capital processionists holding playcardsand banners in their hands raising slogans deploring the government of the day and demanding declaration as the permanent capital of Uttarakhand converged at Ghanta ghar warning the BJP ruled state and central government for being prepared for the sevete and serious consequences in case they dose not declare Gairsain as the capital of Uttarakhand instead of Dehradun.

Extremely angered and annoyed all the processionists wanted Gairsain as capital at all costs who feel completely ditched by the both the Congress as well as the BJP governments who’d ruled this Himalayan state for the last seventeen and a half year but always betrayed the people despite promising the issue in their pre election menifestoes. The chief minister of the state was in Delhi a day ago to meet the central leaders and discuss this issue which has become the subject of tension for the current state government.

The demand for Gairsain which was being feebly raised earlier gained momentum recently from Rudraprayag and Gairsain the sparks of which later on engulfed the entire state. The young journalist Mohit Dimri and others has played a key role to gave it a special momentum and energy by holding protest meetings and demonstrations in Rudra prayag and the adjoining areas including mobilising the media, print, electronic and social networking sites.

Even the once defunct regional political party, the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal has became too active and is organising sit ins at district and block headquarters alongwith the general masses and the social organisations.

Today’s massive rally in Dehradun from Gandhi Maidaan to Ghanta ghar and burning of CM’s effigy has proved beyond doubt that the sparks of Gairsain issue has now assumed the shape of a widespread fire and the demand, if not met or fulfilled at the earliest mayresult in one more statewide massive movement against the present BJP government of Trivendra Singh Rawat. What do you say friends?
SUNIL NEGI, PRESIDENT, UTTARAKHAND JOURNALISTS FORUM

162

As is Delhi increasingly in the grip of life taking pollution, similarly is it the victim of massive chain snatching crimes and subsequent assaults, particularly the women being the worst sufferers. In almost every street, nook and corner, parks, market place, cinema houses, residential colonies or in busy areas these dreaded criminals, majority of them being the delinquents below eighteen years have created havoc and the law enforcing agency, the police, already short of staff is extremely complacent to deal with these termites who’d made the lives of Delhi’s women a hell.

Moving around with gold wearings and handy mobiles has become a risky affair with women and college going girls, the most affected. What is more worrisome is that these professional gangs now also operate from expensive and ostentatious marriage ceremonies where they mix themselves wearing facinating attire and clandinely rob the expensive jewellery and cash. Today, out of the fear and risk to one’s life, especially inaction from the side of the police authorities the women have given up wearing gold chains or ornaments n keeping their expensive mobiles intact in purse than hanging around.

Even the family members of the higher ups have been the victims of these snatchers but fortunately they get their stolen ornaments or properties back in record time, thanks to their status and influence. If we go by the Delhi Police records there had been a whopping six fold increase in cases of snatchings compared to previous years and the resolution rate is surprisingly less than 30%.

But now there seems to be a little ray of hope for DELHITES as the Delhi High Court has issued directives to the state government to make the law on chain snatching stricter by amending the panel provisions terming the chain snatching as a very serious matter. It sought a detailed report from the Delhi govt as well and simultaneously issued notices to DP, civic body MCD and the state govt seeking replies.

An enlightened Delhi advocate Prashant Manchanda after feeling concerned have filed a writ petition in the DHC saying that the myriad increase in chain snatching incidents in the capital have made the people, especially the foreign tourists completely insecure.

SUNIL NEGI

165

The fog or a smog this morning was so dense that not only has it resulted in delaying flights and trains but has also resulted in several accidents in different parts of Delhi and the neighbouring states.

This morning the smog in Delhi, NCR and the adjacent state like Haryana was so intense and extensive that few cars and a bus got clashed on the Delhi Haryana Highway causing injuries to few persons who were evacuated safely afterwards.

While during winters this is a usual affair but this time, Delhi in the aftermath of Deepawali has broken all records with poisionous gases badly entangled in the environment in the absense of winds that usually take the smog away.

Though the Supreme Court of India has issued special directives to the Delhi citizens as well as the firecracker sellers through the Delhi police and law enforcing agencies prohibiting the sale and fixing the limit till 10.30, shockingly Delhi has witnessed a negligible response to the court’s instructions and added to the pollution woes of the Delhites further more, enhancing pollution level to the most severest catagory.

It’s really shocking that today the newspapers of Delhi have shown the Pollution index going to 448 points which is considered to be of the most severest nature. The smog over Delhi skies for the last two days full of polluted gases literally making the lives of Delhites a hell has even compelled the National Green Tribunal to issue the Delhi government serious instructions to do something positive and constructive to reverse this most distressing trend of extremely polluted environment.

The visibly disturbed Delhi CM Arvind Kejrival had no option but to announce the closure of the schools for next two days or even more, till the smog is fully cleared from the Delhi skies and environment. The court has also instructed it to restart the odd even exercise.

The Delhi Pollution Control Board on the other hand says that in the absense of winds the smog which is the result of stubble burning in the neighbouring states and the already existing pollution, developed and enhanced after the Deepawali due to bursting of excessive fire crackers has got preserved in the environment and would be cleared on if the extensive winds take it along. Smog and increasing pollution in Delhi and NCR have become a permanent feature putting the life of 135 crore Delhites at excessive risk.

Something extremely credible and concrete needs to be done in the near future to clear this permanent ongoing mess failing which Delhi which has already turned into a poisionous gas chamber would prove highly disastrous to the already ailing health of Delhites, particularly the children. What do you say friends?

SUNIL NEGI

1306

IN the absense of the decentralised socio economic, educational, industrial, medical , agricultural and health related development during the last seventeen years though the conditions of the local towns must have improved to some extent, the large scale influx to the tune of about 32 lakh inhabitants of Uttarakhand from villages to state capital Dehradun, Haridwar, Rishikesh etc and metropolises like Delhi and Mumbai have undubtedly led people to believe that the successive governments of this Himalayan state have indeed not responded to the expectations of the rural electorates and instead promoted the interests of the plain areas and those residing here enjoying all facilities and comforts.

Lot and lot have been said and written about the plight of the hill people who had been constrained to leave villages enmasse in view of the lack of basic health and educational facilities including options of job avenues. Health and education apart from sustenance through agriculture are the prime basic requirements of human beings. But unfortnately the governments of Uttarakhand which have ruled this 17 years old state have drastically failed on these fronts though they do claim of doung tremendously for the peoples’welfare. Now the situation has gone to such a sorry pass that deliveries of ptegnant women are taking place on swinging bridges as happened just a few days ago in Tyuni Chakrata in a constituency of the state Congress president and five time MLA but under the rule of the BJP government.

One can just imagine the plight of the women in view of the lack of health n medical faciities. Similarly on the educational front two while the state is already witnessing closure of about25000 primary and middle schools and new order by the state’s education minister Arvind Pandey has further added to the vows of the remaining villagers of Uttarakhand. According to the new order the schools which has the capacity of less than 10 students willbe either closed or merged with the other school situated within the periphery of one kilometre. This means thousands of other schools are now on verge of closure in addition to the already shut down schools thus adversely affecting the educational career of thousands of poor village students of primary, middle and intermediate schools. According to one of the reports out of several blocks in Uttarakhand Bironkhal block in Garhwal will witness the closure of such 55 schools. Bironkhal development block has 135 primary schools.

But due to the complacense and ignorant attitide of the local teachers andthe officers of the department of education the status and standard of education is not improvising as a result of which the students participation in primary schols is decreasing day by day. Therefore the poor parents are worried of their childrens’ academic future. Similarly is the condition of schools in almost all the blocks of Uttarakhand. The teachers use their political clout or after allegedly bribing senior officers get themselves transferred to the plain areas near their hous and majority of the schools in the interiors are without teachers thus affecting the career of the students.

Same is the condition of the local hospitals and health centres where doctors are conspicuous by their absense. Such disturbing and shocking status of schools and hospitals in the interiors and even towns of Uttarakhand bereft of teachers, students and doctors have ultimately led villages to leave their respective villages and migrate to the plains in search of adequate and better job, educational and health prospects thus literally undermining the concept for which separate Uttarakhand state was created after the loss of 47 precious lives. It’s not that the government is not doing anything. They are definitely doing but the thrust is required in the interior villages not in towns.

SUNIL NEGI