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Free bus ride for women in Delhi begins, additional marshals for safer travel



Women commuting in state-run buses of Delhi will not have to pay for travel any longer with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government launching its “free-ride” scheme from Tuesday.

The Delhi government on Tuesday will also induct bus marshals in each of its 5,558 buses to ensure the safety of women, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Monday.

Availing of the free-ride scheme will be optional. Female passengers opting for free travel will be issued a pink single-journey ticket.

The combined daily ridership of cluster and Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses in Delhi is about 4.4 million. Of this, nearly 35% are female passengers, says government data.

“On the occasion of Bhai Dooj, the Delhi government will implement the free bus ride scheme for women from tomorrow (Tuesday). To ensure women, students, senior citizens and every passenger feel safe during public transit, we are deploying marshals in every bus from Tuesday,” Kejriwal told reporters after a press conference.

The chief minister said he would board a bus on Tuesday to mark the launch of the free-ride scheme.

Women travelling in DTC buses plying to other NCR cities such as Noida, Gurugram, Ghaziabad and Faridabad too will not have to pay.

The move comes ahead of the assembly elections in Delhi scheduled early next year.

At present, a ride in a non-AC bus can cost between Rs 5 and Rs 15 while AC buses charge between Rs 10 and Rs 25. The scheme is likely to cost the government Rs 350 crore in the first year.

The chief minister had on June 3 first announced his government’s plan to offer free rides to women in DTC buses, cluster buses and Delhi Metro.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) conveyed to the government that rolling it out in the Metro would take at least eight months. But the DTC, being completely under the state government, went ahead with implementing the scheme in its buses as well as those under the cluster scheme.

Marshals in every bus

On Monday, Kejriwal addressed 6,000 bus marshals at a training session organised by the government at Thyagraj stadium. The session was held to make bus marshals understand their duties and responsibilities.

Addressing the marshals, Kejriwal said, “The two crore people of Delhi are like my family and as the chief minister, I am like an elder son of this family. As the eldest son of my family, it is my duty to ensure a safe and secure environment for women. It is now your responsibility to ensure that all my mothers, sisters and daughters who travel on the buses are safe and secured.”

While 3,395 marshals are already deployed in buses, more than 9,500 will be put on duty from Tuesday. Around 10% of the total civil defence volunteers are women.

This means several buses will have female bus marshals too. All bus marshals will wear a red band with ‘marshal’ printed on them on their right arm.

Transport commissioner changed

The notification for the free-ride scheme was issued late Monday night after the transport minister reversed the principal (law) secretary’s recommendation of sending the file to the lieutenant-governor for his approval.

Transport commissioner Rajiv Verma, who signed the file notifying the scheme with the minister’s approval, was transferred on Monday evening during the same time. He is now principal secretary (finance) apart from holding the additional charge of principal secretary (revenue) and (planning).

The additional chief secretary (finance) revenue will now be the new transport commissioner.



Justice Served: UP Gangster Atiq Ahmed and 2 Others, Sentenced to Life Term for Kidnapping



Photo : PTI

In a recent development, a court in Prayagraj has sentenced Atiq Ahmed, a well-known gangster turned politician, along with two others, to rigorous life imprisonment. The verdict was pronounced after they were found guilty of the 2007 kidnapping case of Umesh Pal. Pal was an eyewitness in the murder case of BSP MLA Raju Pal. The court has also acquitted seven others, including Atiq’s brother Ashraf.

The sentencing of Atiq Ahmed and his accomplices comes after a long-drawn legal battle. They were found guilty of abducting Umesh Pal, who was a crucial witness in the murder case of Raju Pal. The court’s decision to award rigorous life imprisonment to the three accused has been welcomed by many, who see it as a step towards justice for the victim and his family.

In another development, earlier today, the Supreme Court refused to entertain Ahmed’s plea seeking protection in connection with the case. The apex court directed Ahmed’s lawyer to approach the High Court with his grievances instead. This decision has come as a setback for Ahmed, who was seeking protection from possible harm in jail.

The verdict in the case is being seen as a significant victory for the judiciary and the law enforcement agencies, who have been working tirelessly to bring the accused to justice. It sends a strong message to anyone who thinks they can get away with heinous crimes like kidnapping and murder. The case has also highlighted the need to protect witnesses in such cases, who play a crucial role in ensuring justice is served.

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Covid cases increasing in Delhi, more than 150 cases in 24 hours, infection rate also increased.



Representational Image | Photo by Firosnv. Photography on Unsplash

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Delhi has been on the rise again in recent days. The capital has seen a continuous surge in the number of cases, with 152 new infections reported in the last 24 hours alone. The infection rate has also risen to 6.66%. This represents a significant increase from the 117 cases reported on Thursday, indicating that the situation is worsening rapidly.

Experts have suggested that the rise in COVID-19 cases may be linked to the increasing number of cases of H3N2 flu in the city. As more people have been getting tested for H3N2, some have been found to be positive for COVID-19 as well. The trend is reflected in the figures from the past few days, with 84 cases reported on Wednesday and 83 on Tuesday, before the sudden spike on Friday.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has issued several recommendations to hospitals in the city to help tackle the situation. Hospitals have been advised to screen patients with fever and maintain an adequate supply of essential medicines. They have also been instructed to ensure that ventilators and other equipment are in good working order.

The Corporation has urged hospitals to promote the booster vaccine dose to their employees and patients and to follow all government guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A nodal officer has been appointed to ensure that hospitals maintain cleanliness, prevent the spread of infection, and manage biomedical waste effectively.

The situation is not limited to Delhi, as cases of COVID-19 are rising rapidly in other parts of India as well. Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Karnataka are all areas of concern, and the central government has held a meeting to discuss the matter. The focus remains on testing, tracing, and treatment, as authorities work to contain the spread of the virus.

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Traffic chaos in Delhi as marshals struggle to control heavy vehicles on Ashram flyover



Representational Image | Image Courtesy : Paramjit Dhillon @Paramjitdhillon (Twitter)

Delhi, India – Chaos ensues as the Ashram Flyover becomes a traffic nightmare for commuters in the city. But fear not, as a group of marshals has been deployed to restore order and bring some sense to the madness.

The Ashram Flyover, a major artery in the bustling metropolis of Delhi, has been a headache for commuters for quite some time now. The flyover, which connects the city’s south and central areas, sees heavy traffic congestion during peak hours, causing long delays and frayed nerves.

But things have taken a spicy turn as marshals have been brought in to keep things under control. These marshals, donning bright green jackets, have been tasked with managing the traffic flow, ensuring that vehicles move smoothly and without incident.

The marshals have their work cut out for them, as the chaos on the flyover seems to have no end in sight. The heavy traffic, coupled with the city’s notorious lack of lane discipline, has resulted in a free-for-all on the flyover, with vehicles jostling for space and tempers flaring.

But the marshals are undeterred. Armed with whistles and hand signals, they are determined to bring some order to the chaos. And their efforts seem to be paying off, as traffic has started moving more smoothly, and the honking and shouting have reduced considerably.

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