Heavy vehicles new choice of thieves
Compact family cars and two-wheelers aside, heavy vehicles such as trucks and tempos are Delhi’s vehicle thieves’ next best preference.
In fact, as many as three goods carrier vehicles, ranging from tempos to trucks were stolen from various parts of the city within minutes of each other almost daily between January 1 and 29.
“As per our figures, at least 22 goods carriers have been stolen from areas that see high mobility of commercial traffic this month. What is alarming is the fact that two to three of such heavy, goods-laden vehicles have been reported to have disappeared within minutes of each other every alternate day,” said a senior police officer who wished to remain anonymous.
While southeast Delhi’s Jaitpur reported five of such vehicles being stolen, four were stolen from west Delhi’s Mundka and Khayala areas and three from the northwest Delhi’s Wazirpur Industrial Area. Goods vehicles have also disappeared from designated parking spots at the Old Delhi Railway Station and in Patel Nagar.
“January 13 was a bad day for the owners of heavy vehicles as four of them were reported to have been stolen from Mundka, Jaitpur and Okhla within half an hour,” the officer said.
Senior Delhi Police officers and members of the city’s business community attribute the thieves’ subtle preference for heavy vehicles to their objectives of transporting stolen items, and sometimes contraband, to their hideouts on the fringes of the city in addition to feeding the Capital’s expanding market of grey merchandise.
“Stealing such vehicles serves a dual purpose for thieves,” the officer said.
“They use their local contacts to push the merchandise that they have acquired from them in underground spare parts markets such as Jama Masjid, Karol Bagh and Swami Shradhanand Marg near Kamla Market,” the officer said, adding, added, “The vehicle itself is then used to transport items that their associates acquire from small time crooks such as snatchers and burglars operating in the city.”
PB Babbar, who owns an iron rods manufacturing unit in southeast Delhi’s Okhla said, “In our area, there is an elaborate mechanism for lifting rods off trucks as they pass through the area. These are then sold at cheap rates in Ghaziabad, Noida and other areas of the national capital region (NCR).”
For the uninitiated, Dhan Mill Compound, a former granary and a cluster of warehouses, has morphed into the city’s modish food, fashion, design and lifestyle destination. Its streets are lined with art cafes, home décor outlets, ateliers, art galleries, pottery studios, dance halls and high-end boutiques, whose facades and interiors are as interesting and experimental as the wares they deal in. Interestingly, all of these fancy establishments are housed in re-purposed warehouse buildings, which still have metal roofs.
According to a Delhi government official, a break-up of the total jobs, including the list of employers and the number of people they hired, will be shared “in a couple of days”. Notably, the government portal was launched by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on July 27, 2020, to help entry-level and blue-collar job seekers connect with employers at a time when the Covid-19 induced lockdown left many people unemployed.
“Manufactures, and start-ups which are working on alternatives to single-use plastic have to pay more GST for raw material. Hence, the Delhi government will write to the Centre and request a reduction in GST rates,” Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai said.
Safdarjung, Delhi’s base weather station, recorded 0.1mm of rainfall between 8:30am and 5:30pm on Sunday. The Capital recorded 1.9mm of rainfall on Saturday and 117.2mm on Friday, making the monthly total 119.2mm so far. The normal monthly average for July is 210.6mm, said weather experts.
Monsoon elevates Adam Khan’s tomb into an emergency sanctuary for passersby (and dogs) speared by sudden showers. Perched atop a Mehrauli hillock, the monument overlooks the Qutub Minar, which appears totally bechara and defenceless in the heavy rain.