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Delhi government plans bill to save Yamuna

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New Delhi: There seems to be hope yet for the dying Yamuna river.

Delhi’s AAP government is planning to bring new legislation to eliminate multiplicity of authorities that has contributed to the Yamuna, once northern India’s pride and lifeline, turning into a hugely polluted waterway.

The legislation will enable the Delhi government to create a separate agency to revive the river which runs for 48 km through the eastern fringe of the national capital.

The trouble is the river, venerated by Hindus, is maintained by different departments, working at times at cross purposes, just like more areas of governance in the capital.

The proposed bill is likely to be named the Yamuna River and Flood Plain Development Bill, a government official told IANS.
The purpose of the bill is to set up one single authority, and it could be named the Yamuna Development Corporation Ltd.

A note pertaining to the legislation says the bill will “make special provision for securing, cleaning, rejuvenation, conservation and floodplain and development of the river”.

At present, multiple agencies are engaged in maintaining the river, which is the source of water for over 70 percent of Delhi’s population.

The Delhi Development Authority, a central government agency, looks after 22 km of the floodplain of the river. It is one among a dozen authorities engaged in the task.

Among the other agencies which have a say over the Yamuna are the Delhi Jal Board, the irrigation department, the revenue department and the flood control department.

“The proposed agency is a good step,” the Delhi government official said. “Multiple agencies have made the tough task of cleaning the Yamuna more complicated.”

The Yamuna originates at Yamunotri in the Himalayan range. It flows a total of 1,376 km before merging with the Ganga at Allahabad — to form the holy Triveni.

The river passes through Uttarakhand, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. It is considered relatively clean until it reaches Delhi where a combination of municipal, household and industrial waste begin to choke and kill the river.

The river is considered virtually dead in much of Uttar Pradesh.

Since setting up a separate authority will have financial implications, the proposed bill has to be ratified by the central government once it is passed in the Delhi assembly where the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has a good majority.

Asked if the bill might get stuck due the rivalry between the central and Delhi governments, the official said both sides were on the same page on the Yamuna.

“In fact, the decision to bring the bill was an outcome of a meeting between the central and Delhi governments,” the official added. It is learnt that the proposed authority will have officials from both the central and Delhi governments.

A whopping Rs.1,500 crore has been spent since 1993 on sprucing up the Yamuna but critics say the money seems to have gone down the drain. Cleaning up the Yamuna was one of the election promises of the AAP, which rode to power in February. The Yamuna also figures on the agenda of the Narendra Modi government.
(Gaurav Sharma can be contacted at gaurav.s@ians.in)

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Top Delhi Surgeons Under Scanner in Connection with International Kidney Racket

The racket is spread far and wide

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Delhi, Surgeon, Kidney Racket
The role of one more hospital of Delhi has come to light where poor people were being cheated by doctors and hospital administration through an organized chain of middlemen. Pixabay

Over a dozen leading private surgeons, including top urologists of Delhi are under the scanner of Uttar Pradesh Police in connection with a sensational international kidney transplant racket, spread across Turkey and the Middle East countries.

So far, 13 people, including CEO of Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute(PSRI) Dr. Deepak Shukla have been arrested. Two leading doctors of Fortis hospital have been served notice in the kidney racket. The investigation against another leading hospital located in central Delhi is underway and more arrests are likely to be made in the case which has sent ripples across the medical fraternity.

Talking to IANS, Senior Superintendent of Police Kanpur, Anant Deo said that the Fortis hospital has been served notice in cases relating to the violation of Transplantation of Human Organs Act.

“Besides Fortis and PSRI, the role of one more hospital of Delhi has come to light where poor people were being cheated by doctors and hospital administration through an organized chain of middlemen,” said Anant Deo, a Uttar Pradesh cadre IPS officer supervising the investigation.

Delhi, Surgeon, Kidney Racket
Over a dozen leading private surgeons, including top urologists of Delhi are under the scanner. Pixabay

According to the SSP, the police has launched a massive hunt for one Dr. Ketan Kaushik, a key accused in the case, who brought patients for kidney transplants from countries like Turkey, UAE and other places in the middle east.

“The racket is spread far and wide. Different groups were operating in different regions. As of now, we have busted one of the groups linked with Delhi-based hospitals,” Deo revealed.

The SSP said the name of Dr. Deepak Shukla was revealed by at least 10 accused involved in the case. Shukla will be confronted with accused already arrested by the police.

In fact, the racket operated like a well-organized crime syndicate. For instance, the international clientele was approached by a different set of people while local kidney donors were trapped by touts already operating in the human organs transplant racket.

The police sources said that there is enough evidence to prove that the accused removed kidneys of at least 12 donors for a huge amount of money taken from the recipients family.

After extracting the kidneys, donors were paid just Rs 2 or 3 lakhs while recipients were charged Rs 70 to Rs 80 lakhs per transplant.

During investigations, global links emerged wherein a Delhi-based doctor, Ketan Kaushik was found to be handling international clientele for the group.

Delhi, Surgeon, Kidney Racket
Two leading doctors of Fortis hospital have been served notice in the kidney racket. Pixabay

The racket which has sent shock waves amongst country’s medical professionals could see some more leading doctors being rounded up by the police in a few days time, sources added.

According to the SSP, a detailed interrogation of Dr. Shukla and other key accused is being done by a special team led by Superintendent of Police (Crime) Kanpur, Rajesh Yadav. (IANS)