Tuesday November 19, 2019
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Delhi government suspends three transport officials

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New Delhi: The Delhi government on Saturday suspended three transport department officials over alleged corruption in issuing fresh Letters Of Intents (LOIs) for three-wheelers. BJP’s Delhi unit chief Satish Upadhyay demanded state Transport Minister Gopal Rai’s resignation over the alleged auto-rickshaw permit scam.

The three officials — Deputy Commissioner (auto-rickshaw unit) Roy Biswas, inspector Manish Puri, and Anil Yadav, a clerk — were placed under suspension with immediate effect after a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday morning.

Transport Minister Gopal Rai in a statement said he received some complaints on Wednesday over irregularities in issuance of LOIs to auto drivers at the transport department’s Burari authority.

“I held a meeting with the joint commissioner (transport) and other senior officers on the next day (Thursday), and issued directions to inquire into the matter,” Rai said.

Kejriwal received an SMS from some auto-rickshaw drivers regarding certain irregularities in the distribution of LOIs on Friday evening.

The chief minister convened a meeting with his cabinet ministers and senior government officials on Saturday, leading to the suspension of the three officials.

Reacting to the issue, Delhi BJP Chief Upadhyay asked Rai to resign.

“We have requested Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung to seek a report from the transport department on the issue and the investigation should be handed over to the Anti-Corruption Branch,” Upadhyay said.

Upadhyay said Kejriwal was also involved in the scam and the BJP would protest against him on Monday at the Delhi Secretariat.

“The Kejriwal government is completely involved in corruption and it has increased so much that this government is playing fraud with its own supporters, the auto drivers of Delhi,” he said.

He said that previously corruption was committed through touts in the transport department, but now their place has been taken by volunteers and legislators of the AAP.

Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) backed the government’s move and said the party was “proud of the government”.

AAP’s media coordinator Deepak Bajpai said: “We are so proud of the government that it swiftly takes action against corruption. The CM just got a message regarding the corruption being done in the department and he swiftly acted against (the) people involved.”

“This sends a clear message that the government will not spare anyone involved in the corruption,” he added.

The transport minister had made a preliminary inquiry in which two kinds of irregularities were revealed — the LOIs were issued on pick-and-choose basis despite orders of the minister to follow chronological order and the LOIs were being handed over to certain intermediaries/unauthorized people instead of beneficiaries/applicants.

All 932 LOIs issued by the transport department till date have been scrapped, and the exercise of issuing LOIs has been put on hold.

“The matter has been referred to the vigilance department of the Delhi government for further inquiry. The matter will be referred to the CBI for investigation if so warranted on the basis of a report of vigilance department,” Rai added. (IANS)(Photo: elderaldridge.wordpress.com)

 

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Americans Prefer Driving By Themselves Than An Autonomous Vehicle Drive Them

Researchers, from Washington University have revealed that people in the US would rather drive themselves than have an autonomous vehicle

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You have been out on the road, so, you know that not everyone is a good driver. Wikimedia Commons

Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, from Washington University have revealed that people in the US would rather drive themselves than have an autonomous vehicle drive them.

Many Americans use a ride-hailing service — like Uber or Lyft — to get to and from work. It provides the privacy of riding in a personal car and the convenience of catching up on emails or social media during traffic jams.

In the future, self-driving vehicles could provide the same service, except without a human driver.

“The average person in our sample would find riding in a driverless car to be more burdensome than driving themselves. This highlights the risks of making forecasts based on how people say they would respond to driverless cars today,” said study senior author Don MacKenzie.

For the findings published in the journal Transportation, the research team studied how Americans’ perceived cost of commute time changes depending on who’s driving.

Self driving, Driving, Americans, Vehicle, Transport
Many Americans use a ride-hailing service — like Uber or Lyft — to get to and from work or. Pixabay

Through a survey, the team found that people considered a ride-hailing service at least 13 per cent “less expensive,” in terms of time, compared to driving themselves.

If the researchers told people the ride-hailing service was driverless, however, then the cost of travel time increased to 15 per cent more than driving a personal car, suggesting that at least for now, people would rather drive themselves than have an autonomous vehicle drive them.

During the survey, the research team asked people across the continental US to select between a personal car or a ride-hailing service for a 15-mile commute trip.

Half the 502 respondents were told that the ride-hailing service was driverless.

ALSO READ: Himachal Pradesh Aiming to Achieve 100% Transition to Electric Vehicles by 2030

The researchers converted the responses to a score of how much respondents deemed that trip would cost per hour.

“If someone values their trip time at $15 per hour, that means they dislike an hour spent travelling as much as they dislike giving up $15, so a lower number means that the time spent travelling for that trip is less burdensome,” said study co-author and Indian-origin researcher Andisheh Ranjbari.

According to the researchers, driverless cars aren’t commercially available yet, so people are not familiar with them or may be leery of the technology. (IANS)