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100 Mohalla Clinics have come up in Delhi and their number will increase to 1,000 in 6 months: Lt Governor

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Community Health centre in India (representative image), Wikimedia

New Delhi, March 6, 2017: More than 100 Mohalla Clinics have come up in Delhi and their number will increase to 1,000 in six months, Lt Governor Anil Baijal said on Monday.

Addressing the Delhi assembly on the opening day of the budget session, Baijal listed the achievements of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the last two years.

This was Baijal’s first address to the house after he assumed office in December.

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Primarily focusing on the health and education sectors, Baijal said his government started work on constructing 8,000 new classrooms and 20 new schools, out of which 14 schools had been completed.

He said over 100 Mohalla Clinics – where people have access to doctors, tests and medicines for free – were already working and their number would be increased to 1,000 in the next six months.

He added that 122 polyclinics — secondary healthcare centres — would also be completed in the next one year.

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“My government is working with complete commitment towards improving the health facilities available to the people of Delhi,” Baijal said.

In his 25-minute address, the Lt Governor also talked about significantly increasing the minimum wage for the city’s labour class.

Last week, Baijal approved the Arvind Kejriwal-led government’s proposal to hike minimum wages by around 37 per cent.

Talking about Delhi Jal Board’s initiatives, Baijal said water connections had been provided in 1,175 unauthorized colonies.

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He said the government was providing 20,000 litres of drinking water free of cost to every household.

Baijal said the government had approved the fourth phase of Delhi Metro which will be completed by 2021.

“The third phase will take the Delhi Metro’s operational network from 179 km to 330 km by June 2017,” he said. (IANS)

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‘Delhi Metro Cruelly Killed my ‘Achhe Din” : Here is why Passengers are dumping the popular mode of travel

The author shares her take on shifting to Delhi from Kolkata and her experience with the Delhi Metro

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Delhi Metro
Delhi Metro. Wikimedia

– By Somrita Ghosh

New Delhi, November 5, 2017 : Delhi Metro cruelly killed my “acche din”.

Metro fares have been doubled in just four months, forcing me to give up my favorite mode of transport and take to crowded DTC buses.

Besides putting the new fares beyond my budget, I have also been stripped off the safety of travelling in the Metro. And I am not the only one.

My biggest shock came two days after the latest Metro fare hike. I commute daily between Green Park in south Delhi and Noida Sector 16 where I work.

As I punched my smart card while leaving the Sector 16 station, my heart skipped a beat — Rs 37 had been deducted from my card.

By the time I reached my office, the mental calculation was already done. I realized every month I would have to spend double of what I was shelling out only five months ago if I wanted to use the Delhi Metro.

When the year began, I was spending Rs 18 on my Metro ride — one way. The Metro then hiked the fares and my one-way cost shot up to Rs 27. The latest hike had taken it to Rs 37!

This was hard for me to digest. The sudden hike of almost Rs 20, that too one way, was surely going to painfully pinch my wallet.

When I landed in Delhi five years ago, my friends advised me to avail the Metro, not just because it is safe for women but comfortable too, never mind the crushing rush during peak hours.

Most important, as I realized very soon, the Metro was affordable. It was so cheap that while an auto-rickshaw would charge me a minimum of Rs 25 from my home to the nearest Metro station, the Metro charged me only Rs 18 all the way from south Delhi to Noida in Uttar Pradesh. This was too good to be true.

Since I came from Kolkata, where the minimum Metro fare was only Rs 4 and the maximum Rs 12, Delhi Metro initially seemed costly.

But I realized the full story in no time once I started using the Delhi Metro. The infrastructure, service and overall facilities provided by Delhi Metro were far better compared to Kolkata.

Delhi Metro offers free WiFi, its stations have coffee shops and the bigger ones even host fast food chains. Travel is hassle-free despite the odd technical snags that hit the Blue Line that I use.

But suddenly charging a salaried person like me Rs 40 more, or Rs 1,200 a month, just because the Metro needs to finance itself better is something I cannot appreciate.

Like numerous others, I have changed my mode of transport. It is now the DTC buses. The DTC’s frequency may not match the Metro’s and DTC rides can be bumpy too, not to talk of unending traffic jams. But do I have a choice?

(Editorial note : This article has been written by Somrita Ghosh of IANS. She can be contacted at somrita.g@ians.in)

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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Aam Aadmi Party’s Mohalla Clinics come under scanner: Vigilance Department exposes, Ministers faked the rent amount

Top highlights from findings of Vigilance Report

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Delegation from University of Southern California visits Mohalla Clinic
Delegation from University of Southern California visits Mohalla Clinic. Delhi Govt. Website
  • There are currently 110 Mohalla Clinics in Delhi with 106 doctors working
  • The Vigilance Report stated that the doctors were allegedly treating around 533 patients a day
  • The doctors were paid Rs. 30 for attending each patient per day

New Delhi, September 1, 2017: The Delhi Government’s Vigilance Department has submitted a report on the functioning of Aam Aadmi Party’s Mohalla Clinics to Anil Baijal, Lieutenant Governor. Anil Baijal suspected blunders in the functioning of all the Mohalla Clinics, the probe is going on.

Mohalla Clinics were introduced by AAP Government so that free healthcare could be provided to people of Delhi in the vicinity of their homes.

Also Read: Rankings of Aam Aadmi Party Delhi MLAs Drop due to Poor Performance. Praja Foundation publishes Latest Government Performance Report

There was a conflict between Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal over the clearance of pending files regarding the Mohalla Clinic Project. After 45 MLA’s of AAP protested at his office, he had a meeting with AAP Party leader and said that the decision on it will be taken soon.

Top 10 points on the issues highlighted in the Vigilance Report:

  • It all started when the Vigilance Department received complaints on “irregularities” in the running of Mohalla Clinics after which it asked details of it from Chief District Medical Officers (CDMO) and Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
  • There are currently 110 Mohalla Clinics in Delhi with 106 doctors working.
  • The complaint was based on issues like total salaries being paid to private doctors who worked in Mohalla Clinics and on rent for few of the clinics
  • The doctors were paid Rs. 30 for attending each patient per day, they allegedly played with the number of patients (they increased the number of patients to take more money home).
  • The report stated (as per probed complaints) that the doctors were allegedly treating around 533 patients a day (9 am- 1 pm) which is practically impossible considering they were told to give 7-10 minutes time for each patient. So, it means that they violated the rules and fudged the numbers.
  • The data of patients are evaluated by an NGO called Wish Foundation and its role was questioned. The Vigilance department wrote in its report, “The data needs to be strictly under the control of the Health and Family Welfare department to ensure its reliability and integrity. The payment to doctors was made without requisite audit and verification of the patient footfall.”
  • Some Aam Aadmi Party leaders have been hugely benefited from the opening of Mohalla Clinics. According to ABP report, “Some of the Mohalla Clinic’s rent being paid is more than the average rent for that place. It was the case with areas like Vikas Vihar, Todapur, Paschim Vihar and Indra Park.”
  • In the Vikas Vihar area of Delhi, the average rent of two rooms for Mohalla Clinic is Rs.5500 but Rs.12500 more rent is being paid from the actual rent.
  • In Todapur, the average rent of 2 rooms is Rs.7500 but the Delhi Government is paying as much as 15000 for it.
  • A Mohalla Clinic in Paschim Vihar was found in the house of AAP’s Trade Wing leader Sanjay Aggarwal where the average rent is Rs.8000 but the Government is paying Rs.20,000 for it. Whereas In Indra Park, Secretary of AAP, Umesh Sharma’s house has a Mohalla Clinic the average rent of which is Rs.6000 but Rs.15000 is being paid for it.

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