The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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The Buzz in Big Cities

Protest show faked for TV

They should have been on stage, pulling rabbits out of their hats. An enterprising band of political activists created magic of sorts during a televised protest that showed a cyber café where none existed.

Many watched the Republican Party of India troopers descend on the outlet — shown to be located somewhere in Thane — rip apart cables and smash computers.

he café was punished for a cardinal sin: allowing a porn site that featured lewd photos of a woman posing next to a Buddha bust. The depiction was illegal anyway — cafes can’t permit such sites to be opened — but the self-appointed obscenity busters were taking no chances. They also wanted to be “seen” going about their business.

That the “reality show” was fake came through when police, looking for the café, discovered that the activists put up the “Sigma Cyber Café” banner outside a vacant shop. Computers shown during the “smashing act” turned out to be empty CPU boxes and faulty monitors.

Asked about the stunt, RPI’s district chief Sunil Kambe said that theirs was a “symbolic” protest. “We did not know whether a cyber cafe existed or not,” he said.

DTC cure for parking pain

The Delhi Transport Corporation went the extra mile when Blueline buses went off the roads in July. Now, it has a new responsibility — helping solve traffic problems.

The corporation will now make its depots available for private parking. The 13 depots that DTC buses are parked in will be used by private buses and trucks between 10.30am and 6pm, chairman Anshu Prakash said.

he vast space that surrounds each depot will be turned into parking lots for private cars and two wheelers. There is money, too, behind the good deed: the DTC hopes to earn extra revenue by opening up its space.

“The city’s parking problems are known. The DTC will make available its extra space. Only the area in front of the entrance will be kept free for our buses,” Prakash said.

Dacoits strike, Cash follows

Some real-life robbers made away with Rs 1 crore, a feat that would make the con artists of Cash look like wimps.

The gang struck on an ING-Vysya Bank cash vehicle when it was passing through a dense forest on the way to Vijaywada from Nandyal. The armed robbers tied the legs and hands of the driver and other occupants, left them in the forest and sped away in the car.

The incident took place in the Nallamala jungles of Prakasam, among the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh. Checkpoints were immediately set up on highways and combing operations launched in the entire area. But police, suspecting an insider’s job, questioned all employees at the bank’s Nandyal branch for clues.

In Cash, Ajay Devgan plays a con artist whose job is to rob a private convoy that is headed by his girlfriend. She doesn’t know about his profession. He doesn’t have a clue that his target would be someone he’s been living with. The movie was released after the Andhra heist.

Base checks

After the Mumbai building collapse last month, Delhi is ensuring its structures are not on shaky ground.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi recently unveiled a new set of building-safety norms. Among the far-reaching changes are new rules requiring developers to set up transit camps for dwellers of properties deemed “dangerous” and pushing for speedy revamp.

The Delhi Development Authority and the state government, which together own vast tracts of land, will be requested to offer plots where the camps can be set up.

Delhi: Some of painter Aditya Dev’s best works will be on display this Monday at the All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society. The venue is at 1 Rafi Marg, Connaught Place. Those taking the Metro can get off at the Central Secretariat station. Timings: between 11am and 7pm.

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