Garbage Collection : Delhi can learn from Chennai


NEW PLAN

From September, a knock at your door for garbage

Christin Mathew Philip TNN

Chennai:Get ready to expect your bell to ring around 6.30 every morning starting September. Residents of five zones in the city will get their wake-up call from conservancy workers.

      This is part of the city corporation’s plan to implement door-to-door garbage collection in five zones from the second week of September.
It is learnt that this decision comes after severe criticism from the public about poor garbage clearance and the blue group bins installed by the civic body. The first phase covers five zones in the old limits of the corporation, and will be later be implemented in the extended areas of the corporation.

     Mayor Saidai S Duraisamy said the zones are Tondiarpet, Royapuram, Thiru-Vi-Ka-Nagar, Ambattur and Anna Nagar. “We successfully conducted door-to-door garbage collection as a pilot project in ward 141 in T-Nagar. So we are planning to do this in five zones” said Duraisamy. He also said the civic body will also ask private firm, Ramky Enviro, managing Adayar, Teynampet and Kodambakkam, to begin door-to-door collection of garbage.

    The mayor also said that the criticism of group bins is baseless. “These bins will be effectively used for the doorto-door garbage collection,” he said. The idea is to remove garbage from the city completely with a better mechanism. So we are planning to collect garbage from households without any overflowing garbage bins in the city. When there is no piling up of garbage, then there will be a relief from mosquitoes, house flies and stray dogs” he said.

    Residents too have endorsed the move. “This is a good initiative by the civic body. But the civic officials should provide special bins for marriage halls, hotels and apartments. For instance, people staying on the top floors could not come with garbage to the collector,” said says R Govindaraj, joint general secretary, NGO, Exnora International

      A senior corporation official said: “The conservancy workers in these five zones will come and collect garbage in tricycles or other compact vehicles by 6.30am every day. They will dump the collected waste in the group bins that have been placed in various localities. By 10.30am, the compactors will come and take the waste materials from the group bins to Perungudi or Kodungaiyur”

     Corporation officials also have plans to distribute pamphlets on this. “We will distribute pamphlets containing the contact numbers of responsible civic officials and timings of the collection to the public. So they could also be ready for the new plan” said an official.
Meanwhile, the civic body had received several complaints from the public requesting to relocate the group garbage bins from their locality. Officials said that this will improve the garbage collection method.

      “Earlier, collected garbage materials were taken to the transfer stations only after 24 hours. But after the new system, collected garbage will be transported to the dumpyards” said an official.

AIADMK Govt Action Against Land Grabbers Bearing Results


Land sharks lie low as govt initiates strict action

Jayaraj Sivan | TNN

There has been a drop in the number of cases of land grabbing in the state even though the legality of anti-land grabbing courts has been challenged in the Madras high court.

     As soon as it came to power last year, the AIADMK government had initiated such stringent action against encroachment across the state that several ‘professional’ land-grabbers are now lying low, said police officials. Some of these land sharks had made the illegal takeover of property a vocation, said a police officer who handled several such cases.

     Police records show that government action had led to a steep dip in cases of land grabbing over the past few months.

   The police had set up 39 anti-land grabbing cells, one in every district and police commissionerate in the state. These cells received 34,703 complaints, but only 1,225 were registered after scrutiny.

     Police arrested 1,299 offenders in connection with these cases, retrieved 11,317 acres of property worth Rs 758 crore and restored the properties to their rightful owners, the police said.

    Though the state government on August 1 last year sanctioned the setting up of 25 fast track special courts for these cases, only two such special courts were set up, one each in Coimbatore and Tirupur, before their legality was challenged in the Madras high court.

     The drive against land grabbing had clear political ramifications. The AIADMK came to power after promising as a poll plank a stringent anti-land grab drive and the arrests of large number of DMK functionaries and members of other opposition parties gave the ruling party an opportunity to project itself as the common man’s guardian angel. And the ruling party grabbed the opportunity to score political points against its opponents.

    However, when two of AIADMK’s legislators were booked in alleged land grab cases, they brokered peace with the complainants and police closed the case. A case registered against DMK treasurer M K Stalin and a few others in Chennai city was also dropped after they struck an out-ofcourt settlement.

     Most of the people arrested in land grab cases have been released on bail. The initial enthusiasm of police officers gave way to a more judicious approach and they are now initiating criminal proceedings only in clear-cut civil disputes.

      But the drive served its purpose and struck fear among criminals, a senior police officer said.
jayaraj.sivan@timesgroup.com

Beware of Teaching Shops


English institute takes Ukrainian duo for a ride
Couple Moved District Consumer Forum Against Poor Teaching,

Awarded Rs 55,000 Compensation

Hetal Vyas TNN

     Bangalore: They came all the way from Kiev to learn English in Bangalore. But Kovalova Natalia and his wife, both Ukraine nationals, ended up getting lessons in India’s consumer protection law, thanks to a legal battle thrust upon them by an institution that promised to teach them English.

      The Ukrainians successfully fought for their right and won compensation of Rs 55,000 and refund of Rs 35,000 they paid as fees to ‘learn English’.

     The couple moved the 3rd additional district consumer disputes redressal forum in January this year against the head manager, English Center, based in RT Nagar and Kammanahalli.

     In their complaint, the Ukrainians alleged: “Classes were being conducted by incompetent and untrained teachers and there were no adequate equipments to teach.”. They alleged that when they made a complaint with the head manager, English Center, at RT Nagar they were asked to cough up Rs. 70,000 more ‘to get good-quality education’.
The duo had contacted the institute following an advertisement on a website in which it claimed to be the ‘largest training institute imparting various levels of English-learning courses’.

     “ We incurred heavy expenditure for air fare, lodging and boarding. We also paid Rs 35,000 towards the course fee for two persons,” their complaint stated.

     In its order, a bench of president T Rajashekhariah and member HM Shivalingappa noted: “Classes were being conducted by incompetent and untrained teachers. Had the opposite party not promised good-quality teaching, the complainants wouldn’t have joined the course. They faced financial loss.”

     The court on August 7 directed head manager, English Center to pay the complainants within 30 days Rs 35,000 (fee), Rs 50,000 as compensation for causing inconvenience and depriving the duo from availing quality course and Rs 5,000 as cost towards litigation.

Court Matter: A Debatable Verdict : A Dead Man’s Family to Suffer for His Crime


HC: Death is no reason to acquit corrupt man

Shibu Thomas TNN

Mumbai: For a person accused of corruption, even death offers no redemption, the Bombay high court has ruled. No leniency can be shown just because the accused has died, said Justice A P Bhangale.

Twenty-three years after Nagpur resident Balim Ghodki was convicted of corruption charges and over a decade after his death, the high court refused to show him any sympathy. Ghodki’s wife and five daughters had urged the court to give him the benefit of doubt and clear his name so that they could avail of his employment benefits.

Ghodki was working as an industrial supervisor with the Khadi Gram Udyog Bank. He was caught red-handed in 1988 while accepting a bribe of Rs 50 to sanction a loan of Rs 25,000. In 1989, a sessions court convicted him under the Prevention of Corruption Act and sentenced him to six months jail. Courts cannot be swayed by sympathy: HC
Mumbai: Balim Ghodki, an industrial supervisor, had been held guilty of corruption by a sessions court in 1989. He went in appeal, but died during its pendency. In 2001, after his death, his family filed an appeal challenging the verdict and urging the court to acquit him by giving him the benefit of doubt.
The court however refused and said that the evidence against Ghodki was strong enough to nail him.

“Courts cannot be swayed by sympathy, emotions or moral approach when in the facts and circumstances of the case no benefit of doubt can be granted (to an accused),” said Justice Bhangale.
“Witnesses in the present case appeared natural and truthful. Their evidence cannot be rejected as no guilty man shall be allowed to go unpunished or escape the consequences of the crime committed. Wrong acquittal will send a wrong signal to the society as corruption if proved, does not deserve leniency or sympathy,” he said.

     Ghodki’s family had referred to a 2005 judgment of the Supreme Court wherein a deceased accused was acquitted giving him “benefit of doubt”. The high court said the SC precedent cannot be applied in Ghodki’s case. “I cannot persuade myself to agree with this contention when offence of corruption is proved by sufficient evidence beyond reasonable doubt,” said the judge, adding, “The court cannot apply a blanket formula to acquit the accused by giving the benefit of doubt to him for the reason that the legal heirs would be benefited if such an appeal is allowed on behalf of the deceased accused.”

      Dismissing the appeal, the judge said, “Looking into the evidence on record, it appears that the prosecution has succeeded in establishing the fact of the demand of bribe made by the accused and voluntary payment of bribe amount by the complainant and acceptance of the bribe amount by the accused as illegal gratification in consideration of the unlawful promise for getting early sanction of the loan.”

 

DCDRForum : Insurance Company must pay compensation for rejecting claim


       Insurance companies have been known to reject claims on trivial grounds. Some times based on concocted reasons. Here is a case where the DCDRF has rendered justice to the claimant for the wrong rejection of his claim.

Insurance co to pay 7L for trashing patient claim

 Rebecca Samervel TNN

     Mumbai: The Mumbai Suburban District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum recently ordered The National Insurance Company Ltd to pay Rs 1.5 lakh compensation for wrongly repudiating the insurance claim of a Khar resident who underwent heart surgery in 2009. The complainant, Praveen Nischol, will also get the Rs 5.11 lakh he spent on the surgery. The company had rejected the claim on the ground that he was suffering from hypertension and diabetes before he took the mediclaim, but the discharge card proved it wrong.

     Nischol had taken the mediclaim policy in 2007 and it was valid till October 2008. Since he was suffering from various aliments, on February 25, 2009, he was admitted to a hospital. After undergoing a surgery, he was discharged on March, 7, 2009. However, when he sent his claim form to the insurance company, it rejected it on the grounds of preexisting disease. After failing to get any relief from the Insurance Ombudsman, Nischol filed the complaint before the forum on April 12, 2010.

     He also submitted various documents and his medical papers from the hospital. Among the documentary evidence, he presented his discharge card from the hospital where he underwent the surgery. The document stated that Nischol was suffering from diabetes and hypertension since January 2009.

     The forum held that since the insurance company had not submitted any documents to prove their version, the facts mentioned in the discharge card would be accepted. It further stated that the discharge card proved that Nischol was
not suffering from any of the ailments when the insurance policy was procured in 2007.

     Holding the company guilty of deficiency in service, the forum also stated that Nischol had undergone surgery for the heart ailment and not for the other diseases.