Delhi Underground

The lighter side

While addressing the sixth national conference on the protection of women from domestic violence at the India Habitat Centre on January 21, Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir said there was enough legislation in the country against domestic violence. Referring to the Protection of Women from Domestic (PWD) Violence Act, 2005 the Chief Justice said, "Unfortunately the Act is called PWD and we all know that PWD (Public Works Department) does not work," sending the audience into peels of laughter.

Minister in charge

At a function organised to inaugurate the new premises for the Centre for North East Studies in Jamia Millia Islamia on January 22, HRD Minister M M Pallam Raju, V-C Najeeb Jung, staff members, students and the media were in a cramped conference room in the Indo-Arab Cultural Centre. As cameramen struggled to take pictures and videographers looked for room to shoot, the minister took charge and directed camerapersons to the left side of the hall and the videographers to the right. He also told people to vacate seats in the room, thus solving the problem for Jamia authorities.

Beds on wheels

After an air conditioner caught fire in Delhi government's GTB hospital last week, authorities were thankful for the recent purchase of patient beds with wheels. Sources said two critical patients on ventilator support were wheeled out in time because of the new beds. The recently purchased beds are a lot smoother than the standard beds in Delhi government hospitals, and can be manoeuvred easily.

Fight for top posts

The administrative heads of two Central government hospitals Lady Hardinge Medical College and Ram Manohar Lohia due to retire next month. Also, the director of AIIMS will complete his tenure in September. The fight for the top jobs seems to have begun in the medical fraternity. The rumour mills are abuzz with talks of an outsider being transferred to RML hospital for the top post, while insiders have been doing rounds of the Health Ministry to register their protest. At AIIMS, there were rumours of the director seeking an extension and of lists of senior staff members being made to check their seniority. Five years ago, when the director's post was vacant at AIIMS, top names in medicine were considered including former chiefs of MCI and leading oncology surgeons.

Two steps behind

On Friday, the Noida traffic police kept the DND Flyway toll-free from 9 am to 10 am and 5 pm to 7 pm. This was done to ease traffic woes in the city because the Kalindi Kunj flyover is shut for repairs. But for DND toll officials, problems began after the police left. For nearly an hour after 10 am on Friday, several commuters argued with authorities, demanding free passage because the commuters ahead of them were allowed to pass without paying. Toll officials said, "If the point of the exercise, was to cut down the waiting time at the plaza, this entirely defeated the purpose."

Wedding venues

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has proposed construction of kalyan mandapams to give city residents an alternative venue to host weddings. The DDA has planned to construct nine such kalyan mandapams in each district of the city. Although the design has not yet been finalised, sources said four-storey structures were planned, allowing multiple marriages to be held simultaneously. According to sources, a special team of DDA officials was established and sent to Chennai to study various models of kalyan mandapams. Officials said kalyan mandapams are a popular concept in some cities in South India. It is both economically viable and convenient, an official said.

Gag order

After the December 16 gangrape incident, Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami has barred Transport officials from talking to the media. "Soon after the incident, the Transport department received a lot of flak. Thereafter, officials have been asked not to speak about any of the ongoing and new proposals. If any information needs to be given, it will be issued through the minister's office," a source said.

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