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Demonetising currencies results in massive traffic jam at Gurgaon toll

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thousands of commuters and office goers were stranded in a massive traffic jam at the Gurgaon Delhi Expressway on Wednesday, hours after the Centre stopped circulation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.”After the news about Rs 500 and 1000 came, it has really affected us a lot. The commuters are giving us Rs. 500, but are not ready to accept it. This is the main reason for the chaos and arguments with people. We are facing a lot of difficulty,” said Public Relations Officer Skylark toll company Kirpal Singh. “Eighty percent of the commuters have given us Rs 1000 and are not ready to accept Rs 500 in return,” Singh added. The chaos started on Tuesday night soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation of Rs 500 and 1000 currency notes with effect from midnight, making these notes invalid in a major assault on black money, fake currency and corruption. “I have been stuck in traffic for more than half an hour and now it is a sigh of relief, when the toll been made free,” said a office goer TD Singh. “I am stuck in traffic for more than an hour. And making toll free gave us happiness,” said another commuter.In his televised address to the nation, the Prime Minister yesterday said that people holding notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 can deposit the same in their bank and post office accounts from November 10 till December 30.Following the announcement, there were huge crowds outside ATMs across the country as people lined up to withdraw currency of smaller denominations. He also announced that new notes of Rs 2000 and Rs 500 will be introduced. ATM withdrawals will be restricted to Rs 2000 per day and withdrawals from bank accounts will be limited to Rs 10,000 a day and Rs 20,000 a week.Besides depositing money in bank accounts, the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes can also be exchanged with lower denomination currency notes at designated banks and post offices on production of valid government identity cards like PAN, Aadhaar and Election Card from November 10 to November 24 with a daily limit of Rs 4000. Those unable to deposit Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes till December 30 this year can do so in designated RBI offices till March 31 next year after filling a declaration form along with proof and reasons, the Prime Minister said.

20 cars pile up at Yamuna Expressway due to dense fog

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 20 cars piled up at the Yamuna Expressway near Mathura on Thursday morning, as smog continues to engulf the Delhi-NCR region, three days after Diwali.According to reports, several people have been injured in the accidents. The injured were rushed to hospital.Meanwhile, the capital’s air quality continued to be in the ‘severe’ category despite experts predicting that it would improve to ‘very poor’ by Wednesday.Children, elderly and the sick are considered most vulnerable to the harmful effects of hazardous air. The National Air Quality Index also reported air quality in Delhi at ‘severe’, with PM 2.5 being the prominent pollutant.Pollution peaks in the national capital during Diwali as a hazardous mix of noxious gases and respirable pollutants hang very close to the surface due to low temperature and near-stagnant wind movement.

TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee finally released from hospital

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha MP Abhishek Banerjee was released from hospital on Monday evening.Around 5.30pm on Monday, Banerjee seen sporting dark glasses was escorted out of the hospital by his security personnel to his vehicle.The 28-year-old Banerjee met with an accident on October 18 and suffered injuries to orbit bone beneath the left eye. Since then, he had been undergoing treatment at the Belle Vue Clinic in Kolkata. On October 25, doctors operated for over three hours on the orbit bone, beneath the eye.The hospital constituted a 14-member medical board to attend to the MP. The members of the board revealed that over last 13 days, ever since Banerjee was admitted to the hospital, his health condition has steadily improved. A medical bulletin issued on Monday said, “Abhishek Banerjee’s health condition has substantially improved over the past two days with improvement in all vitals. His superficial stitches of lacerated wound over the left cheek were comfortably removed on Sunday afternoon while most important stitches within the eye/orbit area shall be removed in due course after appropriate planning by the Medical Board.”Though he has been released from the hospital, Banerjee will have to come to the hospital for routine check-up later this week. Banerjee had met with an accident while returning to Kolkata from Berhampur on October 18. Banerjee’s vehicle suffered a head-on collision with a truck and overturned near Singur on the Durgapur Expressway. The Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited him a number of times at the hospital.

Uttar Pradesh: 6 injured in stampede at Akhilesh Yadav’s Janata Durbar in Saifai

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Six people including a Zila Panchayat head were on Sunday injured in a stampede at a Janata Durbar programme of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at his ancestral village of Saifai here.Additional SP Ram Kishan Yadav said a large crowd had gathered outside the PWD Guest House where the CM was holding the programme.The main gate had to be closed to keep the crowd away. But when it was opened to allow a VIP car, people rushed inside causing the stampede, he said.Six people, including Kannauj Zila Panchayat head Santosh Yadav, were injured in the melee. One person suffered a head injury.Eyewitnesses said when the chief minister was meeting people and exchanging pleasantries with them, the crowd surged towards him and in the stampede-like situation some fell down and got hurt.Some mediapersons covering the event were also injured, police said. All the injured people were rushed to a hospital in Saifai, they said.This was Akhilesh Yadav’s first visit to Saifai after the recent Samajwadi Party family feud became public. As news of his arrival spread, thousands of people gathered at the venue to wish him on the festive occasion of Diwali.Police had a tough time trying to manage the crowd as the number of people who turned up at the event was far beyond their expectation.Akhilesh also interacted with people and listened to their woes before directing officers to take action. Akhilesh had driven down to his ancestral village Saifai to celebrate Diwali with his extended family.A large number of people greeted the CM along the 200 km route from Lucknow to Safai as he stopped at various places to meet them on the soon-to-be-inaugurated state-of-the-art Lucknow-Agra Expressway.

Mamata Bannerjee seeks probe into Trinamool MP Avishek’s car accident

Kolkata: Trinamool Congress MP and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee‘s nephew Avishek Banerjee was seriously injured on Tuesday when his car met with an accident on the Durgapur Expressway in Hooghly district, police said.

File photo of Mamata Bannerjee. PTI

File photo of Mamata Bannerjee. PTI

Avishek was rushed to a city nursing home where doctors said he had sustained an orbital injury in a facial bone below the eye.

The Chief Minister has ordered a Criminal Investigation Department probe on whether there was any foul play.

Former minister Manas Bhunia, who was part of the convoy but in another vehicle, was safe.

Avishek’s car hit the crane of a van towing a snag-hit milk van at Ratanpur, about six km from Singur, when the TMC leader was returning to Kolkata after attending a party programme in Baharampur in Murshidabad district, police said.

Trinamool leader Becharam Manna said Avishek’s car upturned and hit a divider after the accident.

“He is stable, but obviously there is cause for worry because in such cases there may be complications at a later stage,” said attending doctor Subir Mondal.

“There is no head injury. All his vital parameters are OK. We have done bone and brain scans. But nothing was found. We have to go for repeat tests,” Mondal told the media.

A 14-member medical team comprising internal medicine and eye specialists, surgeons, neurosurgeon, neurologist and maxilo-facial surgeon has been formed for his treatment.

The doctor said no major fracture was diagnosed but he needed to be kept under medical observation.

Mamata Banerjee, known for her fondness for Avishek, rushed to the nursing home.

“She was talking to the doctors, and also his nephew,” said a nursing home official,

Senior Trinamool leaders also reached the health facility to ask after the TMC leader, who represents Diamond Harbour constituency in the 16th Lok Sabha.

Abhishek Banerjee ‘stable’ after accident; PM Modi conveys regards to Mamata

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Trinamool Congress MP and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee was on Tuesday injured when his vehicle met with an accident on NH-2 near Singur while he was returning here from Murshidabad. Ten policemen of the 28-year-old MP’s convoy were also injured.”Abhishek Banerjee was injured when the vehicle he was travelling in met with an accident on the Durgapur Expressway near Singur in Hooghly district. He was immediately taken to a hospital,” ADG (Law and Order) Anuj Sharma told PTI.CM Mamata Banerjee said he was stable now. Two special teams from CID and Kolkata Police are inquiring into the cause of the accident, a senior CID officer said.”Even as five of them were released after preliminary treatment, I have asked to take all 10 policemen who were in Abhishek’s convoy to Belle Vue Clinic for thorough medical check up,” Banerjee said. “President Pranab Mukherjee called me up and inquired about Abhishek’s health condition,” she said adding, “Abhishek is stable now. Doctors are investigating the nature of his injuries.”PM Modi also tweeted wishes for a speedy recovery to Abhishek and spoke to the CM.Referring to earlier incidents in which other cars had came close to Abhishek’s convoy, Mamata said police would investigate why such things are repeatedly happening.Abhishek, also the TMC youth wing president, was returning from Murshidabad district after a party programme. Soon after his SUV reached Singur on the Durgapur Expressway, it hit a wrecker van and overturned, injuring the occupants, eyewitnesses said. He was rushed to Kolkata and admitted to Belle Vue Clinic.Hospital sources said a medical board has been formed for his treatment, while some medical tests and investigations have already been conducted.”Mr Banerjee’s injuries are being investigated thoroughly. He has been taken to the ITU and a CT Scan and other tests have already been done. After the reports are available, a medical bulletin will be released,” Belle Vue Clinic CEO P Tondon said.While the Chief Minister was keeping in touch with the hospital authorities, party leaders rushed to the hospital to enquire about Abhishek’s condition and treatment.Senior party leader Manas Bhuniya, who recently joined the TMC from Congress and was accompanying Abhishek, said his vehicle was at a gap behind the TMC MP’s convoy.On his way, Bhuniya rescued Abhishek and took him to the hospital in his vehicle.

‘Golden hours’ to ease traffic on Mumbai-Pune Expressway

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To ease the movement of traffic on the busy Mumbai-Pune Expressway, Maharashtra Traffic police have introduced the concept of ‘golden hours’, under which multi-axle vehicles and containers will be barred from plying for a few hours on specific days. This exercise will primarily benefit passenger and small vehicles. “The time sharing concept known as ‘golden hours’ has been launched on an experimental basis. Under this, the stretch between Khalapur and Urse toll plaza on the Expressway will be closed for around fours hours for three-axle and multi-axle vehicles over the weekends,” Additional Director General (Traffic) of Maharashtra, RK Padmanabhan, said in Mumbai on Wednesday.Under this initiative, Pune-bound vehicles will be stopped between 5 PM and 8 PM on Fridays and between 8 AM and noon on Sundays. Similarly, vehicles coming towards Mumbai will be halted between 4 PM and 8 PM on Sundays and 6 AM to 9 AM on Mondays, he said.Due to the increase in number of vehicles, the Expressway has been witnessing a rise in traffic jams as well as fatal accidents and this exercise is aimed at easing out the traffic. According to Padmanabhan, although they have started implementing the exercise since the last two weeks, it will be enforced in a full fledged way from this week. He said that the Traffic department staff will on the move in a vehicle on the Expressway to keep an eye on the vehicular movement and to see if anybody is violating the rules.”If they find any traffic violation, they will provide details of the offending vehicles to the nearest check-post, which will then take action,” Padmanabhan explained. Six high-ranked officers and 60 constables are part of this exercise, the official said.

Mumbai-Pune Expressway accident is a reminder of the state of road safety in India

The Mumbai- Pune Expressway on Sunday saw a deadly accident which was widely reported in the media. A bus rammed into two cars, killing seventeen people and injuring 30 others. This was just another accident among the 14,500 accidents that the 94 km Expressway has seen since its construction in 2002.

Over the years, India has seen a steep rise in road accidents. According to a report on road accidents in India released by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, 2015 has seen the greatest rise in number of accidents in five years- 12,023 accidents more than the previous years. Such a massive rise has not been seen since 2010 when the number of accidents rose by 13,244.

Rise/fall in road accidents

From around 4.4 lakh annual accidents in 2005, India saw over 5 lakh accidents in 2015. In this period, fatalities rose from 94,968 to 1,46,133 for the same time period. The report says that thirteen top states namely Tamil Nadu (69,059), Maharashtra (63,805), Madhya Pradesh (54,947), Karnataka (44,011), Kerala (39,014), Uttar Pradesh (32,385), Andhra Pradesh (24,258), Rajasthan (24,072), Gujarat (23,183), Telengana (21,252), Chhattisgarh (14,446),West Bengal (13,208) and Haryana (11,174) together account for 86.7 per cent of all road accidents in the country.

Number of road accidents in India

The data shows that on an average day 1324 accidents occur on Indian roads leading to the death of 349 people. This means 55 accidents and 15 lives lost per hour. In other words, a life lost every four minutes. A terrifying number!

Number of road accidents per day

Number of persons injured in road accidents

Accident severity has also reached its highest with 29 people dying in every 100 accidents.

Road accident severity

Harman Singh, President, Arrive Safe, a Chandigarh-based road safety NGO, says that apart from actual increase the rising numbers could also be due to more cases of accidents being reported. “With accidents, generally the affected parties just reach informal agreements and do not report it. Only when there are fatal accidents do officials get involved and then there is a formal reporting. Often, the actual figures are much higher than what are reported.”

Number of fatal road accidents

The number of vehicles being registered in India is ever increasing. From 6.7 crore vehicles registered in 2003, the number has steeply increased to 18.2 crore in 2013. While currently 27 kilometres of roads are being built everyday, the road transport and highways ministry aims to construct per day more than 40 kms of roads in the fiscal year of 2016-17. However, it remains to be seen if the ministry will succeed in reducing road accidents in the near future.

No of persons killed in road accidents

Though the report says that 77.1 per cent of times, accidents take place due to the drivers’ fault, Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport and Highways, admitted that “faulty road engineering” could also be one of the major causes for road accidents. Speaking to PTI he said, “Human sacrifices cannot be allowed. We have taken a slew of steps in the last two years to minimise this, including launch of Pradhan Mantri Sadak Suraksha Yojana and earmarking 1 percent of the project cost for road safety that translates to Rs 5,000 crore on it.”

Further Rs. 11,000 crores have been allocated to fix 726 ‘black spots’ on national highways in the coming five years. The black spots have been identified based on the deaths reported from fatal highway stretches during the three years from 2011 to 2013. According to government guidelines, a black spot is classified as a location on a national highway that witnesses more than 10 accidents a year.

To grade the safety of Indian cars and make them safer an agency will be set up -the Bharat National Car Assessment Programme. Even scooters and motorcycles in India will have automatic headlamps on.

The Ministry is also hoping that the passage of the Road Safety Bill will further bring down road fatalities.

No of persons killed per day in road accidents (Average)

But Harman Singh, speaking to Firstpost, makes a vital point. “Identifying and fixing black spots may not be the only solution. A black spot maybe corrected, but four- five kilometres away from there a new spot may arise. What is required is identification of problematic zones and dedicated teams to analyse the issues,” he says.

Roads to Hell: Here are India’s most dangerous national highways

The deaths of 17 people in an accident on Sunday on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway, a part of Thane-Chennai National Highway 4, once again brings to the fore the dangers of road travel in India.

According to the Global Status Report on Road Safety released by the World Health Organisation in 2015, more than two lakh deaths occur on India’s roads.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways revealed in a report that in 2013, over 39,829 people were killed in accidents on national highways alone. That number rose to 42,049 in 2014.

But all that’s going to change soon, if the ministry has its way. The ministry has allocated Rs. 11,000 crore to fix 726 ‘black spots’ on national highways in the coming five years.  According to government guidelines, a black spot is classified as a location on a national highway that witnesses more than 10 accidents a year. The states with the highest number of black spots are Tamil Nadu (100), Uttar Pradesh (99) and Karnataka (86), according to Factly.

Here we take a look at the top four deadliest national highways in India:

Delhi-Kolkata Highway

Children sit on a road blockade by the demonstrators from the Jat community to block the Delhi-Haryana national highway during a protest at SankholChildren sit on a road blockade by the demonstrators from the Jat community to block the Delhi-Haryana national highway during a protest at Sankhol

Official name: National Highway 2
Connects: Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal
Length: Over 1,465 km
Black spots: 59

Delhi-Mumbai highway

A robotic flagman signals to maintain traffic during maintenance and repairs on Ahmedabad-Delhi national highway on outskirts of AhmedabadA robotic flagman signals to maintain traffic during maintenance and repairs on Ahmedabad-Delhi national highway on outskirts of Ahmedabad

Official name: National Highway 8
Connects: Delhi, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Ajmer, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Mumbai
Length: 1,428 km
Black spots: 45

Nongstoin-Sabroom

INDIA-POLITICS-INDEPENDENCE-SECURITYINDIA-POLITICS-INDEPENDENCE-SECURITY

Official name: National Highway 44
Connects: Nongstoin, Shillong, Passi, Badarpur, Agartala and Sabroom
Length: 723 km
Black spots: 38

Thane-Chennai

A man rides a motorbike on a damaged highway along the Bay of Bengal Sea on the outskirts of Chennai after Cyclone ThaneA man rides a motorbike on a damaged highway along the Bay of Bengal Sea on the outskirts of Chennai after Cyclone Thane

Official name: National Highway 4
Connects: Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Chennai
Length: 1,235 km
Black spots: 27

Noida Jinx hits again: UP CM Akhilesh Yadav keeps away from President Mukherjee’s event

Less than a fortnight after he skipped Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s event, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday stayed away from a President Pranab Mukherjee function, apparently due to the so-called ‘Noida jinx’.Yadav skipping the inauguration of a global services event is the fifth time he has avoided going to Noida.Mukherjee in Greater Noida inaugurated the second Global Exhibition on Services (GES), which aims at promoting India’s trade in the sector. The sector is important as it contributes over 60 per cent to the GDP.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik was present at the event, Yadav was absent. His government was represented by a state cabinet minister.”It has been 1.5 years that I have been Governor of Uttar Pradesh. During this period I had opportunity to welcome President three times in Noida ,” Naik said.The three events are– World Dental Congress held in September 2014, convocation at Shiv Nadar University in January 2016 and Global Exhibition on Services held on Wednesday. Yadav did not attend these three events held at Noida.Earlier on April 5 and December 31 last year, Akhilesh had not attended Modi’s programme. On April 5, the Prime Minister launched the ‘Stand up India’ scheme and on December 31, 2015 Modi laid the foundation of Delhi-Meerut Expressway.Noida jinx, as per political circles, has in the past caught up with several chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh, including Veer Bahadur Singh, Narayan Dutt Tiwari, Kalyan Singh and Mayawati, who lost their chairs soon after visiting Noida. The jinx started in 1988 when former chief minister Vir Bahadur Singh lost power within days of visiting Noida that year. Later in 1997, Mayawati lost power after visiting Noida.Earlier, in 1989, N D Tiwari and 10 years later, in 1999, Kalyan Singh suffered the same fate. In 1995, Mulayam was out of power within months of his Noida visit. The last one was Mayawati, who lost power in 2012 assembly elections after she flew down to Noida in October 2011 to inaugurate the Dalit Prerna Sthal.In August 2012, Akhilesh inaugurated the Yamuna Expressway from Lucknow and avoided travelling to Noida. The following year, he inaugurated infrastructure projects in Gautam Buddh Nagar without visiting the city.In 2001, the then UP CM Rajnath Singh inaugurated the DND flyway from Delhi, but did not visit Noida.

Gatimaan Express: Travel agents, hoteliers demonstrate lack of enthusiasm as train reaches Agra

Though the common man expressed happiness as the country’s first semi-high speed train Gatimaan Express reached Agra from New Delhi in record time, a section of the local tourism industry, some hoteliers and travel agents, demonstrated lack of enthusiasm.”We really see no gain from yet another premier train as it will leave Agra in the evening. The tourists won’t prefer to spend the night in Agra but return the same evening,” said Rajiv Tiwari, president of Federation of Travel Associations of India.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu flagged off the train from Hazarat Nizamuddin railway station in Delhi.
ALSO READ Gatimaan Express: Check out timings, fares and facilities of India’s fastest trainThe train will ply six days a week. According to the schedule, it will start its journey from Nizamuddin at 8.10 AM to reach Agra at 9.50 AM. In the return, it will depart from Agra at 5.50 PM to reach Nizamuddin at 7.30 PM.”All three trains the Taj Express, the Shatabdi, and now the Gatimaan arrive in the morning and leave in the evening. So why would any tourist stay back?” Tiwari asked.He wondered if the government does not want tourists to visit other monuments like Fatehpur Sikri or the Etmauddaula.”Most tourists are now focused on the Taj Mahal and the Fort,” he said.Rakesh Chauhan, president of the Agra Hotels and Restaurants Association, alleged it’s another “conspiracy” of the Delhi-lobby of the hoteliers and travel agents.”They don’t want an international airport in Agra, they don’t want tourists to stay overnight here. The trains’ timings are scheduled in such a manner the tourists prefer to return the same day. With so many attractions in Agra, how can a tourist see them all in a single day? The railways should review the schedule,” he said.Hoteliers told PTI that an afternoon train would be the best option as many tourists want to return after the noon check out time in the hotels. “At least one train should come in the evening from Delhi,” Chauhan demanded.Hoteliers point out to other options before tourists.”Many options are now available. Once the inner city ring road opens a journey via the Yamuna Expressway to the tourist complex would be glitch-free. Work on six-laning of the national highway via Mathura is fast progressing and will save lots of time for the tourists,” said Raj Kumar of Alleviate hotel.

To avoid ‘Noida jinx’, Akhilesh skips PM Modi’s event yet again

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday again skipped Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s event at this town adjoining the national capital, apparently owing to the so-called ‘Noida jinx’.Yadav skipping the Stand Up India event is the second instance of his avoiding going to Noida in three months time. Modi at a gala event at Sector-62 of Noida township launched the ‘Stand up India’ scheme under which banks will give loans between Rs 10 lakh to Rs 1 crore to SC/ST and women entrepreneurs. While Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik was present at the event, Yadav was absent. His government was represented by a state cabinet minister.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier on December 31, 2016, Akhilesh had not attended Modi’s programme to lay the foundation of Delhi-Meerut Expressway. Noida jinx, as per political circles, has in the past caught up with several chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh, including Veer Bahadur Singh, Narayan Dutt Tiwari, Kalyan Singh and Mayawati, who lost their chairs soon after visiting Noida.The jinx started in 1988 when former chief minister Vir Bahadur Singh lost power within days of visiting Noida that year. Later in 1997, Mayawati lost power after visiting Noida. Earlier, in 1989, N D Tiwari and 10 years later, in 1999, Kalyan Singh suffered the same fate. In 1995, Mulayam was out of power within months of his Noida visit.The last one was Mayawati, who lost power in 2012 assembly elections after she flew down to Noida in October 2011 to inaugurate the Dalit Prerna Sthal. In August 2012, Akhilesh inaugurated the Yamuna Expressway from Lucknow and avoided travelling to Noida. The following year, he inaugurated infrastructure projects in Gautam Buddh Nagar without visiting the city. In 2001, the then UP CM Rajnath Singh inaugurated the DND flyway from Delhi, but did not visit Noida.

Yamuna Expressway accident: Probe team visits victim’s family, son blames Smriti Irani for death

A fact finding team of Uttar Pradesh’s ruling Samajwadi Party visited the residence of the doctor who was killed in the accident on Yamuna Expressway last week even as his family accused Union Minister Smriti Irani for “inhuman conduct” and ignoring the victims on the night of the mishap.On March 5, Irani escaped with minor injuries when her vehicle and her escort vehicle had rammed into another vehicle that had allegedly hit a motor cycle killing one Dr Ramesh Nagar and injuring his daughter Sandali and nephew Pankaj. The team, led by Samajwadi Party Lok Mani Jadon, yesterday met Nagar’s family in Etmadpur district of Agra.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, the minister’s office had clarified in a statement that the vehicle mentioned in the media reports of having hit the motorcycle had nothing to do with Irani’s cavalcade and that she had directed SSP, Mathura, to arrange ambulance immediately so that injured could be given medical treatment at the earliest. SSP Mathura Rakesh Singh had also stated that the minister’s car had nothing to do with the accident involving the motorcycle.According to Jadon, the family members alleged that Dr Nagar could have been saved had the HRD minister taken all the injured to hospital in Noida or Mathura. Abhishek Nagar, who had filed an FIR with the police alleging that Irani ignored the victims and moved away, said that police should have verified the vehicle from the injured before coming to any conclusion.”Only the eye-witness can identify the offending vehicle since, after the mishap, four or five vehicles of the minister’s fleet had collided,” Abhishek, Dr Nagar’s eldest son, claimed. “The minister virtually buried humanity and left without ensuring medical aid to injured,” he charged.”The minister should visit the bereaved family, express sorrow for her conduct and provide maximum help to family, failing which we will burn her effigy and demonstrate against her conduct,” he said.”My father was the only bread-earner and now our family is facing financial problems,” he said.”We shall apprise Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on the incident and request him to provide maximum help to our family,” he added.

Yamuna Expressway mishap: Victim’s daughter alleges Smriti Irani drove away, HRD ministry says no

The HRD ministry on Monday rubbished media reports on the involvement of a vehicle from union minister Smriti Irani’s cavalcade in an accident on the Yamuna Expressway, stating that ‘the vehicle had nothing to do with the cavalcade’ but family members of a doctor killed in that road accident have accused the Human Resource Development Minister of looking away from the dying man and driving off.

HRD Minister Smriti Irani. PTIHRD Minister Smriti Irani. PTI

HRD Minister Smriti Irani. PTI

Speaking to The Hindu, the victim’s daughter Sandli said her father lay bleeding on the road as Smriti Irani drove away. Sandli told The Hindu that she begged the minister to help but she “refused”.

She went on to say that even as she was begging for help, another car belonging to the Minister’s convoy again hit her father who was trying to rise on his feet, reports Shiv Sunny in The Hindu.

But the HRD ministry and Mathura police version is very different.

The Indian Express reports that Mathura police has registered a case which says that a Honda City hit the bike and the car bears a Delhi registration number.

The Mathura police insists that the car involved in the accident was not part of the convoy but Sandli maintains that she saw a BJP flag on the car that hit them, reports Times of India.

“In sections of the media, a news story is being run regarding the accident on the Yamuna Expressway late March 5 night, which mentioned that a vehicle (Honda City) with registration number DL-3C-BA-5315 allegedly hit a biker. It is clarified that this vehicle has nothing to do with minister’s cavalcade,” read an HRD ministry clarification.

“…union Human Resource Minister Smriti Zubin Irani had directed the SSP of Mathura to arrange an ambulance immediately so that the injured could be given medical treatment at the earliest,” the statement added.

The FIR stated, “Smriti Irani’s convoy was passing (by) in which one car hit the motorbike… the driver left his vehicle and is absconding”.

Irani escaped with minor injuries after a vehicle, allegedly part of her cavalcade, hit a motorcycle, killing Dr Ramesh Nagar and injuring his daughter Sandali and nephew Pankaj on Saturday night.

After the incident, in a series of tweets, Irani said: “For all enquiring re my accident – I’m fine. Thank you for the concern and wishes.”

“There was a pile up of vehicles due to an accident on the Expressway. Unfortunately the police vehicle before mine & my car also crashed.”

“Tried to help the injured who were lying on the road for quite sometime and ensured they reach a hospital. Pray for their safety,” she said in another tweet.

“Good Samaritan Manoj Chopra and his wife also helped injured citizens. God bless them for their empathy and kindness,” she added.

With IANS

Yamuna Expressway: Locals to move court after more than 2000 deaths in 1000 days

New Delhi: Following the death of a doctor and injuries to his daughter and her cousin after a car in the convoy of Union HRD minister Smriti Irani rammed into his motorcycle, people living along the expressway between Delhi and Agra are again moving the court to intervene.

Smriti Irani / PTISmriti Irani / PTI

Smriti Irani / PTI

Irani’s car too was damaged in the pile up. The doctor’s family members have alleged that Irani did not help the accident victims, contradicting the minister.

“In the past two years, hundreds have lost their lives in fatal accidents on the Yamuna Expressway between Agra and Greater Noida. This is a major cause of worry. The concerned government departments have not shown a will to address the problem and ensure road safety,” said social activist Shrava Kumar Singh.

The Yamuna Expressway has been rechristened “Death Highway” by the locals due to the alarmingly high number of road mishap fatalities.

The Agra Development Foundation, a trust, had filed a public interest petition in the Allahabad High Court to force the authorities to implement a series of recommendations by experts. “Since its inauguration, there have been 2,194 accidents recorded on the expressway in around 1,000 days,” the foundation said.

The court had also asked the foundation to give its suggestions to the high-level state committee on expressway safety for implementation. But so far no action has been initiated by the government.

“We now have no option but to go back to the high court seeking clear directive to save lives and property,” K.C. Jain, president of the foundation, said.

According to information given by the Yamuna Expressway Authority through an RTI query, there were 319 deaths till July 15, 2015 on the expressway. The road was opened in August 2012.

Jain said “a road that should have been a source of comfort and convenience is throwing up a real frightening picture.” Despite many families having lost their dear ones, the expressway authority was not even imposing speed limits, Jain added.

Road safety experts say that most of the vehicles involved in accidents were found to be driving above the permissible speed limit of 100 kmph.

According to the expressway authority, there were 275 accidents in 2012, 896 in 2013, 771 in 2014 and 252 in 2015.

On Sunday, some activists and volunteers got together to organise a “road puja” saying the authorities had failed to take steps to prevent deaths. “When governments, official bodies and politicians do not listen, the only option remains is to appease the gods,” said Jugal Shrotriya, priest of Sri Mathuradheesh temple on the Yamuna river bank.

IANS

Vehicle had nothing to do with the cavalcade: HRD ministry clarifies on Yamuna Expressway accident

New Delhi: The HRD ministry on Monday rubbished media reports on the involvement of a vehicle from Union Minister Smriti Irani’s cavalcade in an accident on the Yamuna Expressway, stating that ‘the vehicle had nothing to do with the cavalcade’.

Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani. PTI

Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani. PTI

“In sections of the media, a news story is being run regarding the accident on the Yamuna Expressway late March 5 night, which mentioned that a vehicle (Honda City) with registration number DL-3C-BA-5315 allegedly hit a biker. It is clarified that this vehicle has nothing to do with minister’s cavalcade,” read a ministry clarification.

“…Union Human Resource Minister Smriti Zubin Irani had directed the SSP of Mathura to arrange an ambulance immediately so that the injured could be given medical treatment at the earliest,” the statement added.

Irani escaped with minor injuries after a vehicle, allegedly part of her cavalcade, hit a motorcycle, killing Dr Ramesh Nagar and injuring his daughter Sandali and nephew Pankaj on Saturday night.

After the incident, in a series of tweets, Irani said: “For all enquiring re my accident – I’m fine. Thank you for the concern and wishes.”

“There was a pile up of vehicles due to an accident on the Expressway. Unfortunately the police vehicle before mine & my car also crashed.”

“Tried to help the injured who were lying on the road for quite sometime and ensured they reach a hospital. Pray for their safety,” she said in another tweet.

“Good Samaritan Manoj Chopra and his wife also helped injured citizens. God bless them for their empathy and kindness,” she added.

IANS

Agra accident: Police back Irani’s version, dead doctor’s children disagree

HRD Minister Smriti Irani was on Monday in a spot when the children of a doctor killed in an accident on the Yamuna Expressway on Saturday night contradicted her claim that she had tried to help the injured and ensure they reached hospital.On Saturday night, Irani escaped with minor injuries after her vehicle and her escort vehicle had rammed into a vehicle that had allegedly hit a motor cycle killing one Dr Ramesh Nagar and injuring his daughter Sandali and nephew Pankaj. However, the minister’s office said in a statement today that the vehicle mentioned in the media reports of having hit the motorcycle had nothing to do with Irani’s cavalcade and that she had directed SSP, Mathura, to arrange ambulance immediately so that injured could be given medical treatment at the earliest.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Commenting on the accident, SSP Mathura, Rakesh Singh said the minister’s car had nothing to do with the accident involving the motorcycle. “The bike was hit by a Honda City (car). Two other cars also hit it. Then came Smriti Irani’s pilot car. The minister reached the spot 7-8 minutes after the accident. She got out and called our control room for help,” said Rakesh Singh. In a series of tweets immediately after the accident, Irani had said, “For all enquiring re my accident-I’m fine. Thank you for the concern and wishes.” “There was a pile up of vehicles due to an accident on the expressway. Unfortunately the police vehicle before mine & my car also crashed”Tried to help the injured who were lying on the road for quiet sometime and ensured they reach a hospital. Pray for their safety,” she said in another tweet.”Good Samaritan Manoj Chopra and his wife also helped injured citizens. God bless them for their empathy and kindness,” she added. However, Sandali today told the media that they were on a motor cycle which was hit by a vehicle from behind and that belonged to Irani.”I did ask her for help but she completely refused to help us and said she could help us afterward also. Smriti Irani could have helped us. Had she helped (us), probably our father would not have died,” she said. Manoj Chopra, an eyewitness referred to as the Good Samaritan by Irani in her tweets, said the Honda City vehicle the minister was travelling in had rammed into other cars. “Then she had come and was in action. She called top officials. Within 10 minutes, the ambulance arrived at that spot,” he added.Sandali’s brother Abhishek also made similar remarks saying his father was lying dead and the injured children were pleading for help. He said the convoy of Smriti irani was on its way from Vrindavan to Delhi.”My sister, who was present on the spot, told me that they (minister and her entourage) did come out and see but instead of helping, they got back in the car and left. On humanitarian grounds she could have helped us and saved our father,” he said.Reports from Agra said that Abhishek had filed an FIR with the police alleging that Irani ignored the victims and moved away. It was later that police took the children to hospital. “A speeding car with registration (DL3C BA 5315), which was part of the cavalcade of HRD Minister Smriti Irani, hit a motrobike from behind on which Dr Ramesh Nagar and two children were going for a wedding party,” the FIR reportedly said.Irani’s office issued a statement today in which it said that in sections of media a news story was being run regarding an accident that happened on Yamuna Expressway on late night of March 5, in which it has been mentioned that vehicle with registration number (DL 3C BA 5315 – Honda city) has allegedly hit a biker.”It is clarified hereunder that this vehicle has nothing to do with HRD Minister’s cavalcade, while it is to be noted that Union HRD Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, had directed SSP, Mathura, to arrange ambulance immediately so that injured could be given medical treatment at the earliest,” it said.

Narrow escape for Smriti Irani after accident on Yamuna Expressway

New Delhi: It was a narrow escape for Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani after her car met with an accident on the Yamuna Expressway late on Saturday.

Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani. PTI

Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani. PTI

The minister, informing about the accident in a series of tweets, said she was fine.

“For all enquiring re my accident – I’m fine. Thank you for the concern and wishes,” she said.

The accident occurred after her convoy was caught up in a car pile-up following an accident on the expressway.

“There was a pile up of vehicles due to an accident on the expressway. Unfortunately the police vehicle before mine and my car also crashed,” she added.

According to media reports, Irani, along with other Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, was returning to Delhi from a meeting of the party’s youth wing in Uttar Pradesh’s Vrindavan town.

The minister said she also helped those stranded on the expressway after the accident.

“Tried to help the injured who were lying on the road for quiet sometime and ensured they reach a hospital. Pray for their safety,” she said.

IANS

Smriti Irani suffers minor injury in car accident on Yamuna Expressway

Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani reportedly suffered minor injuries on Saturday after her car was in an accident on the Yamuna Expressway on the way to Delhi.According to media reports, Irani, along with other BJP leaders, was returning from a meeting of the BJP’s youth wing in Vrindavan. Reports suggest that Irani injured her knee in the accident which was described as a pile-up involving several cars.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prima facie reports suggest that the accident took place when a motorcyclist collided with a Honda City which was in front of Irani’s escort vehicle. It’s believed that the motorcyclist died in the accident while three security personnel reportedly sustained injuries. Irani reportedly helped some of the injured before leaving for Delhi.

Budget 2016: Akhilesh Yadav writes to Arun Jaitley for proper budgetary allocation

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday wrote a letter to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley requesting him to include various proposals regarding development of the state in the General Budget.In the letter, he requested for proper budgetary allocation for the rest of the monetary relief sanctioned for farmers hit by hailstorm and drought, an official spokesperson said.The Chief Minister also asked Jaitley to make financial arrangements for AIIMS at Gorakhpur, Purvanchal Expressway, metro projects in Kanpur and Varanasi, international airports at Jewar and Hirengaon in Firozabad besides Purvanchal and Bundelkhand packages, he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Akhilesh expressed hope that besides these, more projects connected with the progress of the state should be taken into account in the Budget, the spokesperson added.

CBI arrests suspended Noida engineer Yadav Singh in corruption case

The CBI on Wednesday arrested suspended chief engineer of Noida Yadav Singh in corruption case. Last year, it was alleged that Yadav Singh was running a well-oiled machinery of bribery with fixed percentage of illegal gratification percolating down to a chain of officials in the authority.CBI had conducted raids at 16 locations across Uttar Pradesh in August 2015. CBI had registered case against Yadav Singh under sections 409,420,466,467,469, 481 and prevention of corruption act.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The agency had earlier registered two separate cases against the then Chief Engineer Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway and his family members for alleged corruption and amassing assets disproportionate to the known sources of income.The high court had ordered a CBI probe on the petition of activist Nutan Thakur alleging Singh had enjoyed plum postings under the regimes of Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati and incumbent Akhilesh Yadav, and the state government was not acting against him.He had executed projects worth around Rs 8,000 crore in Noida in the last 12 years, the Noida authority said in a report besides being involved in infrastructure projects such as Ganga water supply, sewage pipelines, drainage, hospitals, parks and the metro.

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