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DNA Special: Centre’s air action plan in line with court order

Centre’s 12-point draft Air Action Plan — prepared by a task force under the Prime Minister’s Office — is not in conflict with anti-pollution measures approved by the Supreme Court (SC) and National Green Tribunal (NGT), CK Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) told DNA. Mishra said that the action plan to tackle pollution in Delhi-NCR was in fact based on the template provided by the courts.A task-force set up under the chairmanship of Nripendra Mishra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister released its own 12-point draft action plan earlier this week to seek public suggestions and comments. “This is an action plan, where we have decided on certain focus issues after discussion. Whatever has been said by NGT or earlier by the Supreme Court is sacrosanct, and we are implementing that,” Mishra told DNA.Authorities in Delhi are currently bound by court orders to implement emergency anti-pollution measures as per two different action plans. One is the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) prepared by the SC-mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, and the other is a graded plan NGT formulated in a judgment earlier this week. These action plans have come in the wake of toxic smog episodes that Delhi experienced in the winter of 2016 and 2017. Pollution levels at some pockets in Delhi were 13-14 times than the normal limit, which could even make a healthy person unwell.Mishra added that the draft plan will be fine-tuned keeping in mind the existing action plans, and Centre would continue to implement them even as its own plan is being prepared. “Court’s mandate is the overarching direction we are following. These are some of the issues we have picked up from the discussions and court’s mandate. We have also made it open to the public, largely because if there is some innovative idea we have not thought of, let people tell us.”The Centre’s 12-point action plan has sought to focus on tackling broad issues such as crop stubble burning, curbing industrial pollution, solid waste management, curbing dust pollution, enhancing public transport and reducing road congestion. It includes measures such as curtailment of Nitrogen Dioxide from power plants in a time-bound manner and creation of a dashboard for monitoring the most polluting industries.Even as the Centre seeks to curb pollution from thermal power plants, it has already allowed them 16 new power plants to emit sulphur and nitrogen pollutants above permissible limits, relaxing its December 2017 deadline to limit emissions.Point of focusThe 12-point action plan seeks to focus on tackling issues such as crop stubble burning, curbing industrial pollution, solid waste management, curbing dust pollution, enhancing public transport and reducing road congestion.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

DMRC launches ‘Museum for Children’ programme

With an objective to groom children into”responsible” Metro commuters, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) launched the ‘Museum For Children’ initiative under which a number of activities oriented towards this goal will be organised.The rail corporation will organise visits to the Metro and workshops as part of the programme that also marks its ninth anniversary. On the occasion, a ‘Museum For Children’ booklet featuring all the activities by the Delhi Metro was also unveiled and an exhibition on the same theme was inaugurated on Friday.To commemorate the occasion, children and youth from’Action For Autism’ participated in the programme, that entailed a Metro ride followed by a tour of the Metro Museum for them. They also participated in a short cultural programme in which the famous puppet show on Metro travelling etiquette was performed.A special book titled’Challenging the Limits’which encapsulates the engineering challenges of the recently inaugurated Magenta corridor was also unveiled on the occasion. A replica of the front side of the new age trains of the Delhi Metro, which have recently been launched on the Magenta Line, was unveiled as well. The new exhibit sized 9 ft by 6.5 ft is made of MS sheet and is expected to be a major attraction for the visitors.CHILDREN’S DAY OUTChildren and youth from ‘Action For Autism’ participated in the programme that included a Metro ride followed by a tour of the Metro Museum.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
SHOCKING! ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot’s fake porn video goes viral, here’s what happened
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

West Bengal: Violence erupts in South 24 Parganas over power project; Rapid Action Force summoned

Two vehicles were set ablaze and several people sustained injuries in a clash between groups of villagers in Bhangar South 24 Parganas over the protest regarding the construction of a power project.According to ANI, the Rapid Action Force has been called to calm the situation.The incident comes 10 months after an agitation over the project claimed two lives.At the time, local TMC workers clashed with agitators on Thursday leading to bullet injuries and gutting of vehicles. Clashes erupted when the TMC workers tried to prevent a motorbike rally of anti-power grid agitators from entering Bhangra by blocking the roads with tree trunks and wooden benches. In the ensuing melee, both side sides sustained injuries. All the injured are being treated at a local hospital. Two pick-up vans and three motorcycles were burnt during the clash.Two people were left dead and one seriously injured after clashes between the villagers and cops reached a boiling point after work on a power substation of Power Grid Corporation of India, for which 13 acres of land had been acquired, neared completion.One of the deceased identified as Mofizul Ali Khan was rushed to the SSKM hospital in Kolkata with bullet injuries. His brother, Intajul Khan said that Mofizul was not one of those whose land was acquired but he was protesting against the probable health hazards owing to the power grid project. Another person named Alam, who had also suffered bullet injuries was declared dead by the RG Kar hospital.

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Anti-eve-teasing squads to keep eye on eve-teasers among new year revelers

In order to avoid eve teasing instances during the new year celebrations, the Mumbai police would be setting up Anti-Eve-Teasing squads at Gateway of India and Marine Drive. The statistics provided by Mumbai Police revealed that there has been over 2000 molestation cases already registered in the city this year till November. However, police sources confirmed that the idea of using drones to keep a check on the activities of party goers at Gateway of India has been dropped.”The anti-eve-teasing squads would have women police persons too. Their primary responsibility would be to keep watch on movements of revelers and to take action against those who harass women. The utmost priority is towards women safety. Those in this squad will roam in public places like Gateway of India, Marine Drive and Girgaum Chowpatty in plain clothes and would keep eyes on anti-social elements. Action will be taken on those who are found indulging in any crime. ,” said a senior police officer.According to the statistics from Mumbai Police, from January till November this year 2046 molestation cases were registered and 1667 persons were arrested in these cases in the city.”The squad is particularly important to ensure women are safe in the crowded places as in the past there had been instances of women being groped by a group of men on New Year night in the city,” said the officer.WOMEN’S SAFETYStatistics provided by Mumbai Police reveal that there have been over 2,000 molestation cases already registered in the city this year until November. As such, anti-eve-teasing squads will be deployed

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1,700 pvt schools remain confused over fee structure

Days after the Delhi High Court stayed the order passed by the state Education Department, which enabled private schools to increase fees by 15 percent, left the latter in a fix. The 1,700 private schools in the capital are now confused over the fee structure of their entry-level classes for which admission to begin on Wednesday.”The Directorate of Education (DoE) has not issued anything on the fee structure as of now. There is immense confusion among the private schools on what to charge and what not to charge,” said SK Bhattacharya, president of Action Committee Unaided Recognized Private School.In October, the Delhi government had enabled the schools to increase their fee by 15 percent, apparently, to enable them to pay the teachers salary as per the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission. Soon after that many schools had issued notices declaring increase of fees. Many schools even saw a face-off between school authorities and parents.”What about the rights of the teachers? Like any other profession the schools also have to give hike to them every year. What can be done in this scenario?” Bhattacharya asked, adding the government school immediately make things clear for them.

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Pakistan denies Indian troops crossed LoC, summons envoy for ‘ceasefire violations’

Pakistan today summoned India’s acting deputy high commissioner to protest “unprovoked” firing by the Indian Army that killed its three soldiers along the LoC.The Foreign Office in a statement rejected reports that the Indian Army commandos crossed the Line of Control in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir and smashed a post. “The false claims by India about the alleged cross LoC adventures are a figment of their imagination and counter- productive for peace and tranquillity on the LoC,” it said. “The Indian actions got a befitting response from the Pakistani side and their guns were silenced,” it claimedThe Foreign Office spokesman said Director General (SA & SAARC) Mohammad Faisal summoned India’s acting deputy high commissioner and “condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations” by Indian forces in the Rakhchikri sector.He claimed that the firing “provided a cover for the planting of IEDs by non-state actors”, resulting in the death of three soldiers. Faisal urged the Indian side to “respect the 2003 Ceasefire arrangement; investigate this and other incidents of ceasefire violations; instruct the Indian forces to respect the ceasefire, in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the LoC.”Also readIndian Army crosses LOC to retaliate, kills three Pak soldiers The Indian Army sources in New Delhi earlier said a “small group” of ‘Ghatak’ commandos carried out a tactical level selective targeting of the Pakistani post around 200-300 metres across the LoC last evening in which three Pakistani soldiers were killed and one was injured. The operation is seen as avenging the killing of four Indian Army personnel by a Border Action Team of the Pakistan Army in Keri sector Rajouri district three days ago.

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10 TTV Dhinakaran loyalists sacked after RK Nagar results

AIADMK expelled five senior functionaries and relieved five district secretaries from their posts, calling them “betrayers” for supporting sidelined leader TTV Dhinakaran.The action came a day after he dealt a major setback to Tamil Nadu’s ruling party and also Opposition DMK by winning the crucial bypoll to late CM J Jayalalithaa’s RK Nagar Assembly constituency.The action was decided at a meeting of top leaders led by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam.The independent candidate and rebel leader has staked claim to Jayalalithaa’s legacy and AIADMK’s leadership because of the mandate and his jailed aunt VK Sasikala’s proximity with her.The constituency has a huge symbolic value because of its association with Jayalalithaa.”Action will be taken against all those from the party cadres to headquarters office bearers who betrayed the party,” said Palanisami after the meeting.This is the first instance of a ruling party losing a bypoll in Tamil Nadu since 2004. TVT is the first independent to have emerged victorious since 2006.He played down the action and said that true party cadres were with him. “More people would come to me as the people of RK Nagar endorsed my camp,” he said, noting that EPS and OPS convened an urgent meeting as they fear desertion from their camp.The bypoll was necessitated following Jayalalithaa’s death on December 5 last year.In August, AIADMK’s two rival factions finally came together, overcoming a series of false starts, six months after Jayalalithaa’s death caused a fracture in Tamil Nadu’s ruling party. Palanisami and his predecessor O Panneerselvam then announced a merger deal. They later expelled Dhinakaran and Sasikala from the party.After Jayalalithaa’s death, Panneerselvam was locked in a succession battle with Sasikala before she was convicted of corruption and sent to jail in February this year. Panneerselvam is Jayalalithaa’s staunch loyalist and was a preferred stand-in during her lifetime. Sasikala was a long-time associate of Jayalalithaa.As per the deal, Panneerselvam is leading the AIADMK as its coordinator, while Palanisami is its co-coordinator. Panneerselvam and his supporter Mafoi K Pandiarajan had been later sworn in as Deputy CM and a minister, respectively.

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Mumbai: TISS conference on disability marks year of new Act

The completion of a year since the Rights for Person with Disability (RPWD) Act was passed in the Parliament was marked by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences’ Centre for Disability Studies and Action with a national conference on disability, accessibility, inclusion and wellbeing at the Mumbai campus.Justice AK Sikri, of the Supreme Court who has given several landmark judgments on disability in cases like Jeeja Ghosh Vs Spice Jet and Sandeep Khanuja Vs. Atul Dande was the chief guest at the conference where Director Ministry of Social Justice and Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disability KVS Rao was also present.Rao spoke about the concerns on implementation of the Act 2016. “The government will soon release the Unique Disability Identity Card and ‘it will reduce the pains of person with disability regarding getting the Disability Certificate and its one stop scheme to provide all schemes under one card.”Senior Consultant of UDID Scheme Gaurav Gupta said: “Most relevant in availing facilities under one card including aids and appliances or pension and give hope to persons with disability”.The WHO national professional officer -Universal Health Coverage Dr Chandrakant Lahariya, stated that disability is not a mainstream agenda for them, but due to this conference he analysed few key schemes on disability under Universal Health Coverage . He presented two schemes Niramaya Scheme and Pension Scheme and highlighted: “Only 0.02% is the coverage of the beneficiary population of persons with dibsability out of 3% population, where its supposed to reach. So the disability schemes reaches less than 0.02%”The state programme officer of the Norway-India initiative Dr Dipak Ganvir who is in-charge of the new born project spoke about early intervention of neonates born with defects and also made a presentation on sickle cell anemia/disease which is one of disability under 21 categories of RPWD Act 2016. He suggested “an urgent need for training of government officials in tribal areas of Maharashtra on designing special prevention and treatment programmes on sickle cell anemia a genetic condition found in central Maharashtra Melghat region” due severe deaths of children, life threatening and extreme pain conditions of youth.Dr Vaishali Kolhe, Chairperson of Centre for Disability Studies and Action which organised this conference called the two-day conference historical since it was inaugurated by the Supreme Court Justice AK Sirki who gave landmark judgments on disability just before coming to the conference. “This conference aimed to bring best practices in the disability sector and re-imagining disability in the context of the current legislation and policy framework to design needs based intervention with rights-based approach for people with disabilities,” she said.A Journal of Disability Studies and Policy Research was also released on December 17, 2017 in presence of TISS director Prof S Parasuraman and Dean School of Social Work Prof Manish Jha with Dr Vaishali Kolhe Chairperson and Editorial board member. The inaugural theme is ‘Critical Analysis of Current Disability Laws, Policies and Accessibility.’ This first-of-its-kind journal aims to significantly look at how law can disable if not interpreted in the right context. This journal also brings the policy highlights in terms of inclusive education and UNCRPD context and implementation of new act RPWD Act 2016.

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Vehicles flout PUC norms as city chokes on toxic pollution

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While toxic smog remains one of the biggest concerns in Delhi, a large number of vehicles are flouting pollution under control (PUC) norms. Vehicular emission contributes to 20 per cent of the city’s air pollution.DNA had sought, through an RTI application, PUC-related information for 20014-17. Though the reply hides more than it reveals, it exposes inefficiency of the Delhi government’s transport department. No information was provided for 2014. The reply says records are not available for the year. It, however, admits that of the 1,16,077 vehicles checked during July 1-18 in 2015, only 67, 686 had valid PUC certificates. The reply also admits that 20,729 tickets were issued to vehicles for not having valid PUC certificates from January 1 to September 30 in 2017.Drives against polluting vehicles were intensified only after last November’s toxic smog episode when pollution levels reached alarming levels. This was followed by the formulation of a Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to deal with different categories of air pollution.While 13,122 tickets were issued to visibly polluting vehicles in 2016, 33,335 were fined for the same this year (till September 30).The city registered a total of 97.05 lakh vehicles till last year, while there are only 957 pollution checking centres (PCCs).However, an inspection of PCCs done this year (February to August) reveals that action against 353 was taken for various complaints.“We are strengthening PUC norms and testing centres. Also, we are cracking down on vehicles violating norms or not turning up for fitness tests,” an official from the transport department said.The Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA), a Supreme Court-mandated body to tackle air pollution in Delhi-NCR, found in April that most pollution checking centres did not have upgraded technology or trained staff to get correct readings. Besides, it also found that the rejection rate for vehicles is very less, as PUC norms in the region are weak.EPCA has recommended technological advancements in testing equipment to cut down on vehicular emission.Besides, a number of out-of-state diesel-run buses coming to the city daily have been found to be not having valid PUC certificates.

Residents’ associations across India meet in Ghatkopar to discuss waste

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Resident welfare associations from across the country met on Saturday to discuss the successes and challenges they experienced, at the fifth national Conference of Resident Welfare Associations (CoRWA) at Ghatkopar. The associations shared their ideas of waste management with an aim to inspire each other for the segregation of waste at the local level, rather than depending upon the civic body in their cities.”Children are the best sources to make parents and societies aware of how waste can be managed at the local level,” said Bandra-based Shyama Kulkarni, member of Action for Good Governance and Networking in India (AGNI).According to the resident association member, segregating waste in schools help children learn and achieve practical experience.Nitesh Jadhav, member of Goregaon (E)-based Advanced Locality Management (ALM), said, “We were inspired to come together as a society and segregate waste after we witnessed the fire incident at Deonar dumping ground. It should be an individual social responsibility rather than just being the responsibility of a civic authority. More than BMC, we are responsible for managing the waste we produce.”Resident associations from different cities shared their ideas on various ways to keep the area ‘swachh’ and manage waste. Rekha Chari, a resident association member of Malleshwaram in Bengaluru, said, “We created a school outreach programme where students were told to bring waste from their home in order to learn waste segregation in their school premises. We raise these issues with our local representatives on a daily basis in order to make sure waste is collected and managed properly.”Udya Shriname, resident association member from Visakhapatnam, added, “Having a proactive administration is important for successful waste management. Segreagation and composting is the only solution to get rid of the waste problems across cities.”

Odd-even scheme: Delhi transport ministry urges EPCA to implement scheme in neighbouring states

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot on Thursday urged the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) to implement the odd-even road rationing scheme in neighbouring states as a solution to bring down overall pollution levels in Delhi-NCR. The minister wrote to EPCA chairman Bhure Lal in this regard, as the odd-even scheme was to be implemented as an ’emergency’ measure under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), which has been prepared by the Authority to tackle various levels of air pollution. “The Delhi government immediately announced the implementation of third phase of odd-even, as air pollution reached emergency levels in order to comply with GRAP. However, due to NGT orders bringing two-wheelers and women drivers in the non-exemption category for which the government again had to approach the green court to allow the exemption. However, unfortunately, the impression that is getting generated is that only Delhi needs to implement the scheme as mandated by GRAP,” write Gahlot. The government has not been able to implement the same because of NGT order, hence it must not be seen as a failure of scheme on part of the AAP government, said Gahlot. The minister further requested EPCA chief to advise neighbouring towns to implement the odd-even scheme as well, in order to bring down the pollution levels. Meanwhile, despite repeated attempts EPCA chairman Bhure Lal was not available for comments. Also, the EPCA in view of improving air quality on Thursday lifted the ban it had imposed on entry of trucks in city limits, all construction activity in Delhi-NCR and the four-fold hike in parking charges. While the air quality has improved from the past week, it was still in the ‘very poor’ category.

Govt to examine if farmers eligible for flood relief

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday asked the state government to probe if 35 tribal farmers, of Banaskantha District (BK), are entitled to get compensation for the flood which took place in July.Citizens Resource and Action Initiative CRANTI’s had moved a public interest litigation (PIL) on behalf of the tribal farmer families of Keralu and Sekra villages of the district.The petitioner’s advocates, Dimple Thaker and Dixa Pandya, told the court that standing crops of these farmers were damaged by the heavy floods this July.Though the people are entitled to the compensation, neither any survey, nor any payment was made.Even the representation made to the district collector and other authorities, no response was sent by the authorities. These farmers have suffered Rs 91 lakh damage and the state government should pay them compensation, according to the plea . The amount of the damage was assessed by the farmers and the government can have its own assessment. But, based on it the farmers should be fairly compensated, the plea added.Opposing the petition, government pleader Manisha Lavkumar, who submitted a revenue record, said apparently these farmers were doing agriculture activities on government land. The land is not in any of the farmers’ name, and that could be the reason why they were denied compensation. Some revenue cases are also pending in this regard before the district collector over the ownership issue. These land comes under the new tenure.The tribal farmers’ contention is that their forefathers were allotted this land by the government after independence. They were rehabilitated to these villages in 1948. Since then, these people have been cultivating here. In 1976, then district collector sought revenues for doing any agricultural activities.Later, the farmers’ names were removed from the land records and given to the government. However, since the farmers were the first inheritors of the land, they could not be denied compensation.After hearing both parties, the first-division bench directed the government to examine whether the farmers are entitled for the compensation. The matter would be heard after two weeks.

States must also implement Odd-Even scheme

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government on Tuesday told the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that neighboring states must also implement the Odd-Even road rationing scheme in order to cut down on pollution levels in Delhi-NCR.The Delhi government’s transport department said this in the second review petition filed by it on Tuesday to represent its case on Odd-Even. The court had turned down the first review application of the government.”The Odd-Even scheme is one of the measures to be taken during ’emergency’ levels of air pollution under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). The set guidelines are also applicable to the NCR, where pollution levels are even higher than Delhi,” said a senior Delhi government official.Besides the official said, just beyond the boundary of Delhi extending to NCR towns vehicular traffic causes as much emissions as in the city.”Pollution is not limited to boundaries. On a daily basis a large number of vehicles cross through the capital from Noida and Gurgaon, if the state governments also implement the scheme, it will help cut down on emissions in a major way improving the overall air quality of Delhi-NCR. Most of the pollutants come to the city via UP, Haryana and Punjab, these states must think of ways for reducing pollution levels,” the official said.Besides, the government presented its defence on allowing exemptions on two-wheelers and women drivers in the Green court.”There are over 68 lakh two-wheelers in the city, which if not exempted, around 25 lakh will be on roads every day. In order to accommodate the others, the government will need at least 2,500 buses, which are not present with us right now,” the petition stated.The department also defended its exemption to women drivers citing safety issues, as “women will not feel comfortable in overcrowded public transit.””Women drivers will not feel comfortable commuting in heavily crowded public transport buses. The problem of shortage of public transport will be largely solved within a year,” the plea stated.The department requested the NGT to exempt two-wheelers and women drivers for a year or till 2000 buses are engaged for the third round of ‘odd-even’ scheme.AIR QUALITY IN DELHI-NCRDelhi 308 very poorGhaziabad 467 severeGurugram 355 very poorNoida 410 severeFaridabad 348 very poor

Delhi-NCR pollution: No immediate relief as air quality likely to deteriorate further today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Residents of Delhi-NCR may not get an immediate relief from the dangerous level of pollution in the air. On Thursday, the pollution levels spiked up to 599 as against 517 the previous day. This is almost 10 times the safe standards of 60. Ideally the air quality index (AQI) should remain between 51 and 100. The air quality constantly depreciating even after the key measures had been enforced under the ‘severe plus’ category of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). For eg, from Thursday afternoon the parking rates will turn four times higher in the city with owners paying upto Rs 800 a day to discourage people from using a large number of personal vehicles.The AAP government is also considering imposing a third round of odd-even formula also.
ALSO READ Smog, closed runway make Delhi-Mumbai air travel expensive as ticket prices shoot up to Rs 29,000Experts said that the situation was worst on Thursday morning with a low visibility and warned that in the evening the pollution level will be beyond hazardous. “The pattern is likely to stay in Delhi-NCR, as the south westerly winds are bringing moisture while the north westerly winds are bringing dust particles. The forecast given to us by the Met department suggests the air quality could improve by Saturday with a little sunshine and if winds at ground level pick up pace,” said Vivek Chattopadhyaya, senior scientist, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).
ALSO READ As deadly smog continues in Delhi, foreign nationals in dilemma to ‘leave’ or ‘stay’All the eight air quality monitoring stations under the SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecast and Research) including Delhi University, IGI Airport (T3), Pusa and Noida, among others recorded air quality 500+. The values are measured against PM 2.5 —- the most prominent pollutant in Delhi. The figures are measured in micrograms per cubic meters.

Cop-BMC-neta trio gives cover to hawkers: Citizen activists

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been undertaking hawker-eviction drives following the stampede at Elphinstone Road station, residents groups and civic activists – who have been pushing for action against illegal hawkers for years – fear the crackdown may just be a cosmetic exercise.They claim that before the recent massive outrage from citizens, their grievances about encroachment fell on deaf ears as hawkers regularly greased the palms of civic staff and policemen. Thus illegal hawking in neighbourhoods across the city was allowed to carry on with impunity.”Hawkers give at least Rs 100 every day to the BMC and police,” said Nikhil Desai, co-ordinator of Action for Good Governance and Networking in India, “All senior BMC officials are aware of this. The current drive is just a knee-jerk reaction.”If they are really serious, why don’t they immediately form the Town Vending Committee that is supposed to demarcate hawking zones and follow court orders?”Sources in BMC admit to corruption within the ranks, but pass the buck on to the police and local politicians. “There are times when we call up the police asking them to provide security when we decide to raid a particular area,” a senior BMC officer requesting anonymity told DNA, “By the time we reach the spot or the police arrive, the hawkers have already vanished. It is quite possible some junior civic staff may be alerting them. Not all civic staff or policemen are involved in these illegal activities. But it is very difficult to identify who might be leaking the information. It is not easy to take action against hawkers as there is also involvement of local politicians.”Desai refutes BMC’s claim that they have cleared hawkers from all railway stations, saying there are at least 100 hawkers outside Matunga station. “On Monday,” he says, “I wrote to Deputy Municipal Commissioner Narendra Barde and also met F-North ward officer Keshav Ubale, and written instructions were passed on to the ward’s Removal of Encroachments officer. However, the officer told me that he did not have the JCB to remove the stalls.”Desai says he had to request the ward’s Solid Waste Management department and arrange for the JCB himself, after which the hawkers outside Matunga station were removed. “But, as usual, the road was filled with hawkers that very evening,” Desai said.Another civic activist, Vasant Patil from Kandivli, said the identity and contact details of residents who lodge complaints against hawkers have been leaked to the hawkers, resulting in threats to the complainants.”The hawkers are aided by the connivance of BMC, police and local politicians,” Patil said, “I know many incidents where people visit ward offices and lodge written or oral complaints against hawkers. Within a short while, the complainant gets a call from a hawker leader, asking him/her to withdraw the compliant or face the consequences. After such experiences, many stop complaining. The question arises: How does the contact number of the complainant reach the hawkers?”Nita Bajpai, secretary of Gulmohar Residents Group, Juhu said, “We have already lost six to seven lives to unhygienic street food. We have complained to the police and at the BMC ward office several times, but the hawkers give them some money and the officers go away. Such officers should be punished. We want footpaths to be free for pedestrians and we will keep our fight going.”Advocate Nitin Nikam, secretary of Tilak Nagar Residents Welfare Association, says that even when action is taken, it is short-lived due to the unholy nexus. “The BMC does take action against hawkers, but only after repeated complaints. Even when action is taken, the hawkers put up their stalls at the same place the next day.”

Delhi air pollution: All you need to know

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>New Delhi, the capital city of the India, remains engulfed in dense smog. City residents woke up to witness a thick blanket of grey smog hovering around Delhi.The air quality index in the city has reduced to an alarming rate. Blaming the slow winds, cold temperature and the crop stubble burning in the neighbouring cities, airborne pollutants have been recorded as ‘hazardous’ in the city. The Indian Medical Association has declared a state of health emergency in the capital. Recommending to cancel Delhi’s half-marathon, IMA also urged the government to issue preventive measures for the current environmental crisis. The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research explains the air quality index as follows:SUDDEN DEVELOPMENT @850hpa and @700 hpaWind Speed: 15-20kmph (Strong Winds)Wind Direction: 315 degree (North-West) Punjab-HaryanaFire counts: High on Past 24 hr (More than 21)@SURFACEWind Speed: 2.2kmphVentilation Coefficient: Very SmallBoundary Layer height: Less than 800 meterWind Direction: 315 degree (Westerly)In simple words the ‘safe limit’ set by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is 100 µg/m3 for PM 10 and 60 µg/m3 for PM 2.5. Anything recorded beyond 400 µg/m3 indicates severe air quality, and between 300 and 400 µg/m3 is seen as very poor.Meanwhile, the air quality index recorded for Delhi by the CPCB, based on as many as 15 monitoring stations, on Tuesday, was 351 µg/m3.It also remained “very poor” for Noida and Gurgaon as well at 349 µg/m3 and 343 µg/m3 while neighbouring Ghaziabad and Faridabad had “severe” air quality with 439 µg/m3 and 410 µg/m3.Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) has directed the Delhi government to impose all conditions under the severe category of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) under severe category; start preparedness for tougher action and appeals to governments to take this public health emergency seriously and to undertake massive and drastic action to control air pollution The drop in temperature is also not good sign for air pollution. Decrease in temperature leads to reduced wind speeds. The reduced wind speed ensures the pollutants suspended in the air are not able to disperse and thus remain hanging in the air.PREVENTIVE MEASURES BY GOVT. Forcing the authorities to swing into action, certain emergency preventive measures have been issued. 1.Deputy CM Manish Sisodia declared that the primary schools in and around the city remain closed. 2.Government also proposed on increase in the parking fare to 4 times the actual amount in order to encourage usage of public transport.3. Intensify the enforcement of non-destined goods traffic into Delhi by physically checking all vehicles and turning them back – also, putting out public announcements of the numbers that are turned back. 4. All brick kiln in and around Delhi to shut down. EPCA also directs the government to close all hot mix plants and crushers. 5. Immediate scaling up of public transport has been directed, by increasing the number of buses and reliable services in Delhi.6. Fines shall be imposed on all construction agencies for dust spread. Fines upto 5000 per day shall be levied.7. Ban on use of diesel generators to be continued in the city.8. Deployment of police personnels in the blocked ares of the city and traffic prone spots. 9. Intensification of mechanized road sweeping and sprinkling of water10. The Delhi government has put out health advisories for high-risk groups, mainly the children.SERIOUS HEALTH ISSUESAccording to World Health Organisation (WHO) air pollution is a major environmental issue for health. Extremely high pollution levels in air can increase risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and both chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma. Major environmental health problems are witnessed in developed and developing nations. Air pollution leads to acute respiratory infections, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer among adults. “Exposure to ozone is a major factor in asthma morbidity and mortality, while nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide also can play a role in asthma, bronchial symptoms, lung inflammation and reduced lung function,” states reports by WHO. In 2012, some 72% of outdoor air pollution-related premature deaths were due to ischaemic heart disease and strokes, while 14% of deaths were due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or acute lower respiratory infections, and 14% of deaths were due to lung cancer.Well the only good thing about all these environmental crisis is that Delhities are not the only ones battling the gas chamber. Beijing, China’s massive capital had also declared health emergency because of air pollution in the city. Beijing who holds the worst reputation when it comes to air pollution in world was able to deal with the various steps taken by them.According to the amendments of China’s environment protection laws in 2014, the law gave more to environmental officials against polluting businesses and business men. After Beijing was covered in thick blanket of smog the government officials took ‘tough measures for tough tasks.’ More than 100 factories were shut temporarily and one-third government vehicles were reduced from the streets. Strict control measures were issued for heavily polluting industries and vehicles. STEPS TAKEN IN PAST A plan with various traffic restrictions and the shutdown of a major power plant, was announced after Delhi saw severe pollution last year. Desperate measures to reduce toxic air were taken by the AAP in 2016 in Delhi. Delhi Government decided to follow the odd-even number concept to reduce the number of private vehicles plying on roads. Supreme Court had banned the sale and distribution of fireworks in Delhi ahead of the festival of Diwali. All these preventive measures and guidelines are emergency plans, cannot become a long term plan to battle the health crisis in the city. The government needs to gear up soon and take decisive actions in order to cut down the air pollution in Delhi.

Odd-even scheme set to make a comeback

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government is all set to bring back the odd-even road-rationing system in the national Capital if pollution levels cross the ‘severe’ category mark. Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot, in a letter to the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and senior officers in the ministry on Wednesday, asked them to be “fully geared up for the implementation of the odd-even scheme, if pollution levels increase”.The plan to reduce the number of vehicles on the city roads, to cut down vehicular emissions contributing to 20 per cent of pollution in Delhi-NCR, was first introduced by the Kejriwal-led AAP government in 2016. It was first implemented during January 1-15, 2016, and then again from April 15-30, 2016.DNA had last month (September 25) reported that the scheme may return this winter, as part of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) which suggests resorting to the measure, if pollution levels cross the ‘severe’ mark touching ’emergency’ category. The GRAP was enforced in Delhi on October 17.”With the increase in pollution levels in Delhi, the government may have to resort to emergency measures, including implementation of the odd-even scheme. It is, therefore, essential that the transport department, DTC, DIMTS, are fully geared up, as and when the same is announced,” the letter stated.The procurement of additional buses by DTC shall be the main component, it further said.Gahlot, in this regard, also asked the concerned departments – DTC and Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) – “to chalk out an Action Plan for procurement of buses, conductors and submit the same within seven days”.The minister had discussed the implementation of the scheme with officials of the transport department in a meeting on October 23.”We are considering the implementation of the scheme in view of the increase in pollution levels beyond the severe mark. However, we have to make sure there is enough preparation if the situation turns so,” said a senior Delhi government official.The scheme, however, had failed in 2016 in absence of a robust public transport system, receiving much flak from the public at large.According to a recent survey, Delhi needs at least 11,000 buses plying on a daily basis. However, the DTC at present has a fleet of around 5,600 buses, of which only 4,200 are plying, as the remaining have turned defunct.The AAP government in 2015 had promised to add 10,000 buses to the DTC fleet and 736 cluster buses. However, while no new DTC buses have been procured, only 215 cluster buses were added.

Garage outside school: PIOs face penalty for not giving info

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two public information officers (PIO) have been slapped with a notice asking why they should not be penalised for not providing information on action taken on a motor garage that functioned outside a school premises and created problems for its students. The school, and an ex-student had complained about the illegal encroachment of the passage to the school but there was little action.Nava Samaj Mandal, which runs a school, and several other educational activities from its campus on Dixit Cross Road No. 1, Vile Parle (east) had filed a complaint of a motor garage that encroached the passage to the school.Along with it, it had also given signatures of the student. The complaint was filed with the municipal commissioner’s office after the garage owner did not stop parking vehicles and repairing despite assuring about the same.“They had filed a complaint and not enough action was taken. With spare parts, and oil on the road, access had become slippery and students had to navigate their way. When I went to the school, they informed me that road becomes slippery and dirty because of the spilled oil. I decided to file another complaint and follow up the action through an RTI application to know the action taken,” said Chetan Kothari, a former student of the school.Chetan in his application had sought details of action taken report, copy of notice issued and action taken on motor garage owner, details where the complaints were sent to take action, and officer who conducted the enquiry.

Lower VAT on CNG, PNG to 5%

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A few days after the state government lowered VAT on petrol and diesel, a consumer rights organisation has asked it to lower the rate on CNG and PNG too.The Consumer Protection and Action Committee said that the 15 per cent VAT charged on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Piped Natural Gas (PNG) is very high, and should be lowered to 5 per cent.In a letter to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy CM Nitin Patel, CPAC chairman Mukesh Parikh said that the state government collected Rs1,241 crore as VAT on CNG and Rs 3,542 crore on PNG in the last three financial years.”When the rate of VAT on LPG cylinder is 5 per cent, tax of 15 per cent on PNG, which is a substitute for LPG, is unfair, illogical and amounts to loot by the government,” Parikh said in a statement, adding that the government should lower the rate of tax and provide relief to 16 lakh households and other consumers who are using PNG.He also claimed that there is lack of transparency in sale of CNG and PNG in as far as sale of the two fuels is concerned.

Pune: Four stray dogs tied with ropes, dragged and burnt alive

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a shocking incident, four stray dogs were tied to a rope and burned alive in a Pune city of Maharashtra.The horrendous incident took place last week in a Baner locality near Pancard road of the city.According to reports, 16 other dogs were also poisoned to death.The NGO AaCT India (Action for Animals against Cruelty and Trauma) found scattered remains of the charred body parts of the dogs during the investigation.”While we were talking to people about the decomposed and charred dog bodies, some workers in the area pointed to an office nearby, saying that people from there had tied the limbs of four dogs, dragged them for 50 metres, poured petrol and set them on fire” AaCT India representative Neena Rai told Times of India.The NGO says that close to 21 dog bodies have been found in the area. “One small puppy was also burnt. We collected skulls and whatever we could find and took it for a postmortem with help of police,” said a local resident. Police are further investigating the matter.

IRCTC removes juice brand after former railway minister complains of contamination

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian Railways’ catering wing, IRCTC, has delisted a juice brand after former railway minister Dinesh Trivedi complained that he was served a “contaminated” drink onboard a premium train.Trivedi, who was travelling on board the Kathgodam-Delhi Shatabdi on Dussehra on September 30, was served lemon juice of a well-known brand, which, he said, had ‘kachra’ (contamination).”The IRCTC (Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation) really needs to pull up its socks. The railways needs to put in checks and balances so that there is some accountability of its subsidiary departments,” Trivedi told PTI.The railways has reacted to Trivedi’s complaint swiftly and delisted the brand pending laboratory investigation, IRCTC spokesperson Siddharth Singh said.”We have delisted the agency pending lab investigation.The brand will not be seen anymore on any train for the time being,” he said.This incident comes months after a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) which revealed glaring lapses in rail catering services.Trivedi said the rail minister could not be blamed for such lapses as the departments need to be held accountable.He also rued that passengers do not protest enough about such issues and in a way they are also responsible for such a sorry state of affairs.”Action must be taken against the caterer as well as the brand concerned. How can this ‘kachra’ be allowed to be served on trains? There should be an inspection at the factory where the juice was produced to see under what circumstances the drink was being churned out,” he said.The TMC leader, who quit as the railway minister in 2012 after a controversy over his recommendation for the formation of a rail regulator to hike fares, said there must be surprise checks on vendors contracted by the national transporter.​

BHU incident: 9 students detained for protesting at Jantar Mantar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi Police on Thursday detained nine students of the Banaras Hindu University, including a woman, who were on their way from Jantar Mantar to the Prime Minister’s official house to submit a memorandum at the Pancharipuri Police Station. However, no charges were being slapped against them.The students, who are the members of recently-constituted Joint Action Committee (JAC) at BHU, sought to make an appointment with the PM.”When we could not get the appointment we decided to submit the memorandum with his Secretary. We were at Race Course when police detained us,” said Mineshi Mishra, a BHU student.”We were simply walking at Race Course Road and there was no protest. We kept on asking them about the ground over which we were arrested, however, police did not say anything. I was made to sit in a bus even as there was no female constable with them at the time of the detention,” she added. The students also complained that the police threatened them .The students have been protesting at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, along with alumni from the university, social organisations and activists since Tuesday.Senior Delhi police officers revealed the students had been protesting for the last three days. “When they tried to march towards the PM’s residence eight boys were detained and later let off and another girl, who was along with them, was released then and there as it was getting dark. We have not told any students to return to Banaras,” said BK Singh, DCP, New DelhiWANT TO MEET PMThe students, who are the members of recently-constituted Joint Action Committee (JAC) at BHU, sought to make an appointment with the PM. The students have been protesting at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, along with alumni from the university.

India gives befitting reply to Pakistan Army’s intrusion attempt in Kupwara at Line of Control

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indian Army on Tuesday effectively thwarted an attempt by Pakistan’s Border Action Team to intrude in the Keran Sector in Jammu and and Kashmir’s Kupwara at the Line of Control.According to the army sources, 7-8 armed intruders of Pakistan Army’s Border Action Team attempted an intrusion at around 1 pm in Kupwara’s Keran Sector.Armed intruders came near Indian posts and were supported by nearby Pakistan posts by mortar and small arms fire.The Border Action Team aim to cause damage to Indian post was effectively thwarted.There were no own casualty on Indian side.The Border Action Teams or BAT are a group of terrorists and Pakistan Army regulars. In the Tuesday’s attempt they had to retreat.Army spokesman at 15 corps headquarters also confirmed “close firing attempted by enemy” and said it was “suitably responded”.

Minor’s rape: Security lapses found in school

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Sub-Divisional Majistrate (SDM) of Vivek Vihar has identified “major lapses” in the functioning of a private school, recognised by the civic body, in Gandhi Nagar, where a five-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a peon on September 9.According to the SDM’s report, “unhindered access” was given to the accused to all parts of the school. The Delhi government had ordered a magisterial probe into the incident.The report, which was submitted to Revenue Minister Kailash Gahlot, has now been forwarded to Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia for further action.”The accused was working for the school, though a formal appointment letter was not issued to him. His movement and of other such non-teaching employees was required to be restricted, so that they did not have any contact with the school children,” the government said in a statement, quoting the report.It also stated that the nursery classroom, where the incident allegedly took place, should have been locked after the class was over, adding that the unlocked pitch-dark room facilitated the accused.”Non-coverage of the entire school building under CCTV cameras reduced the deterrence effect. The accused had been working in the school for almost two-and-a-half years without any kind of verification and background check by the school authorities or police,” the statement read.Last week, the case was transferred to the Crime Branch of Delhi Police after Health Minister Satyendar Jain requested Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal for the same. The accused has already been arrested.NO ACTION TAKENGovernment says the magisterial probe report stated the East Delhi Municipal Corporation has not taken action against the school for undertaking classes in “unrecognised areas” of the building.

H-1B visa programme under ‘review’ but there is no restrictions in place: US assures India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A senior US official today sought to allay India’s concerns on the H-1B visa programme, which is being “reviewed” by the Trump administration, saying there are no “restrictions” in place.The official said around 70 per cent of the visas issued under the H-1B category over the past nine months have gone to Indians and that a record 1.2 million visas of Indians were adjudicated by the US last year.The year-over-year increase in terms of issuance of H-1B visas and L1 visas (work permit) to Indians is six per cent each, the official said. “The President (Donald Trump) spoke about review. There are no restrictions but it (H-1B) is under review,” he said, adding the issue was not on the agenda for the upcoming Indo- US bilateral dialogue on consular relations, but it may come up in the course of the talks.The issue of the repealing of the Deferred Action for Children Arrival (DACA) programme, which has hit more than 7,000 Indian-Americans, may also figure in the talks scheduled to be held on September 27 in Washington.Trump had signed an executive order in April for tightening the rules of the H-1B visa programme to stop “visa abuses”. The DACA amnesty programme granted work permits to immigrants who arrived in the country illegally as children.The official also said the US processed around 88,000 student visa applications last year, which is an increase of 15 per cent over 2015. Currently, there are around 1.6 lakh Indian students in the US, which is the second highest number of international students, after China. Indian citizens made up six per cent of worldwide immigrant visa applicants, making them the fifth largest group of new immigrants after those from China, Philippines, Dominican Republic and Mexico.The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialised fields. Indian technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year for their US operations.

Ryan school student death: Principal suspended; school authority assures cooperation in probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The principal of Gurugram-based Ryan International School has been suspended following the alleged murder of seven-year-old student, said lawyer of the victim.The body of the class II student, with his throat slit, was found inside the toilet of the school on Friday.”Action against school management is sure. The principal of the school has been suspended,” the lawyer of the victim told media.The seven-year-old was allegedly killed by the school bus conductor, who was arrested on Friday late evening.Hours after the incident, the Gurugram Police confirmed that the accused bus conductor tried to sexually assault the child before killing him.Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Simardeep Singh told that accused killed the boy when he tried to resist.The Ryan International School expressed grief and assured co-operation in the investigation of murder case.A statement released by the school authority stated that, “The police are investigating this matter and we have assured our full support and co-operation towards the investigation of the same. The perpetrators of this heinous crime must be dealt with appropriate action. Our hearts and prayers are with the family.”

Niti Aayog favours simultaneous Lok Sabha, assembly elections from 2024

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Niti Aayog has favoured conducting synchronised two-phase Lok Sabha and assembly elections from 2024 in “national interest”.All elections in India should happen in a free, fair and synchronised manner to ensure minimum “campaign mode” disruption to governance, the government think tank said in its report released recently.”We may begin work towards switching to a synchronised two-phase election from the 2024 election to the Lok Sabha.This would require a maximum one-time curtailment or extension of some state assemblies,” it said.To implement this in the national interest, a focused group of stakeholders comprising constitutional and subject matter experts, think tanks, government officials and representatives of various political parties should be formed to work out appropriate implementation related details, the report said.”This may include drafting appropriate Constitution and statutory amendments, agreeing on a workable framework to facilitate transition to simultaneous elections, developing a stakeholder communication plan and various operational details,” it said in its “Three Year Action Agenda, 2017-18 to 2019-20”.It has made the Election Commission the nodal agency to look into the suggestion and set a “timeline” of March 2018 for this purpose.The recommendation of the Aayog assumes significance as former president Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have pitched for simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly polls.Mukherjee in his speech on the eve of this year’s Republic Day had favoured holding Lok Sabha and assembly elections together.”The time is also ripe for a constructive debate on electoral reforms and a return to the practice of the early decades after Independence when elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies were held simultaneously.”It is for the Election Commission to take this exercise forward in consultation with political parties,” the former president had said.Modi had in February said simultaneous elections would “cause some loss to all, including us” but political parties should not look at the idea through the narrow prism of politics.”One party or a government cannot do it. We will have to find a way together,” the PM had said.Elections are held all the time and continuous polls lead to a lot of expenditure, he had said replying to the debate in the Lok Sabha on the Motion of Thanks to the former president’s address.Modi had said that more than Rs 1,100 crore was spent on the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and the expenditure had shot up to Rs 4,000 crore in 2014.Over a crore government employees, including a large number of teachers, are involved in the electoral process.Thus, the continuous exercise causes maximum harm to the education sector, he had said.Security forces also have to be diverted for the electoral work even as the country’s enemy keeps plotting against the nation and terrorism remains a strong threat, Modi had said.

Police to geotag all Ganesh pandals in Hyderabad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Hyderabad police have decided to geotag all Ganesh pandals in the city to monitor them and prevent any untoward incident during the upcoming Ganesh Chaturthi festival. Security would also be stepped up with the deployment of over 24,000 police personnel, an official said, adding that elaborate arrangements were being made for the smooth conduct of Ganesh idols’ immersion slated on September 5. “Over 24,000 police personnel will be deployed as part of security measures. The personnel from Rapid Action Force and Central Reserve Police Force will also be on duty during the festival,” Hyderabad Police Commissioner M Mahendar Reddy said. All Ganesh pandals will be geotagged in the city and this system will help in monitoring on how the police officials are supervising the arrangements during the festival period, he said. This will also enable to know about the visits of police officials to the pandals and also about the organisers, Reddy said. “QR codes will also be provided to the pandals to verify their arrangements,” he said A review meeting was held on Friday with officials of different departments, representatives of Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samiti and other organisations here to take stock of the arrangements made for an “incident free” Ganesh visarjan, he said. “Lakhs of people participate in Ganesh visarjan. In order to ensure that Ganesh visarjan is done in a peaceful atmosphere, all security arrangements are being done,” Reddy said, adding that measures have also been taken up to cover all procession routes with CCTV cameras. At the meeting, it was also decided to ensure that the grand immersion procession completes on a single day, he said. Reddy also sought cooperation from the public for the smooth conduct of the festival.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Will take over private schools if extra fee not returned: Delhi Govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Clearing its stance on ‘taking over’ 449 private schools, which were served show cause notices for charging extra fee from students, the Delhi government on Friday said that the step will be taken as the ‘last resort’, only if they fail to return the amount.”Private schools are the integral part of our education system. The Delhi government has no intention to interfere in their functioning but we, as a responsible government, will surely ensure discipline in these schools,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said.The 449 schools, including some of the top private schools, were identified by a committee appointed by the Delhi High Court and headed by Justice Anil Dev Singh for ‘overcharging’ parents on the pretext of implementing the sixth pay commission after some parents had approached the court in 2009. The committee had recommended that the hiked fee be refunded to parents along with a 9 per cent interest.”Some of these schools are doing good work. But if they don’t implement the recommendations of the Justice Anil Dev’s committee and return the fees, then we will take them over as a last resort,” Kejriwal said.The schools have been served with show cause notices with a deadline to respond within two weeks on why they should not be taken over by the government. “I hope we don’t have to take over. The managements of these schools should immediately implement the Justice Anil Dev Singh’s recommendation,” he said.The private schools, on the other hand, said that there are several ‘lapses’ in the calculation of ‘extra’ money by the committee. “Several schools have grievances with the committees recommendation. We have received complaints from 25-30 schools saying the calculations done by justice Dev committee are incorrect,” said SK Bhattacharya, president of Action Committee Unaided Recognised Private School.According to officials at Bal Bharti School, Rohini, they have been asked to return 60 lakh rupees, which is around Rs 40 lakh more than the actual amount. “Schools should refund the extra money, but the Delhi government and the court should consider their grievances,” Bhattacharya said.On Wednesday, the Delhi government had apprised the Delhi HC that out of the 544 schools, identified by Justice Anil Dev committee to refund the excess fees, these 449 schools had not given money back to the parents.According to Delhi government the schools have to have to refund over Rs 300 crore to the parents.

Security tightened in Mathura ahead of Janmastami, I-Day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Security has been beefed up in the temple town to ensure peaceful celebration of Janmastami and Independence Day tomorrow, authorities said today. Nearly, 2,500 ‘Police Mitras’, including tea vendors, hawkers and vegetable sellers, have been selected to work with the police, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Swapnil Mamgai said. Civilians engaged in community policing will be given identity cards from the administration, he said, adding the system would continue after Janmastami. The Rapid Action Force (RAF) would strengthen security around important shrines. Nine teams would be sent by the Police Headquarters of which six would be engaged in advance security checks and three would be bomb disposal squads, the officer said. Two squads will have sniffer dogs and would be deputed at the Srikrishna Janmasthan, and the third at Vrindavan, Mamgai said. Police personnel will also be deployed to regulate traffic, the SSP said. Four additional SPs, 18 circle officers, 32 inspectors, 11 SHOs, 243 sub-inspectors, 240 HCP, 1,300 constables, 18 women sub-inspectors, 97 women constables, 59 traffic sub- inspectors, 24 traffic arakshi, 400 homeguards and six companies of RAF, PAC and additional force would be deployed, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Dwijendra-Tripathi+Meem-Afzal on Gorakhpur Incident @ 8/12/2017 12:48:34 PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Lashing out at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over the Gorakhpur tragedy, in which over 30 children died due to alleged lack of oxygen, the Congress on Saturday stated that the former needs to pull his socks and ask his officials to take strict action on the irregularities in the treatment of the patients. Speaking to ANI, Congress leader Meem Afzal said ?Gorakhpur is Adityanath?s constituency; he should always keep a keen eye on all the issues that happens in the city. 30 children dying in 24 hours came as a shock to us but till now no action or measures have been taken up by the state government. Adityanath has always given hopes to his people but now is the time he needs to prove it. He should ask his officials to take strict action on the irregularity in the treatment of the patients?. Echoing similar views, another grand old party leader Dwijendra Tripathi stated that action should be taken on it as it is a serious issue. ?This is a shocking incident that took place. Action should be taken on it as it is a serious issue. Parents losing their kids what worst can happen to them-this grief will never leave them. This is the time the state government should stand up for its citizen and prove them that we all are one,? he said. Yesterday, the BRD medical college recorded more than 30 children death due to encephalitis in a span of 48 hours. Meanwhile, District Magistrate Rajeev Rautela confirmed the death of 30 children in the last two days and seven deaths in the last 24 hours. He said that 17 children had died in the neo-natal ward, five in the ward meant for patients suffering from acute encephalitis syndrome and eight in the general ward. Rautela further added that, an inquiry committee has been set up to ascertain the exact causes of the deaths and it has been asked to submit its report by tomorrow evening. Action will be taken against those responsible. He also said that alternative arrangements had been made from neighbouring Sant Kabir Nagar district to ensure availability of liquid oxygen for the hospital. At present, there are 50 oxygen cylinders and 100 to 150 more will be reaching soon. Yesterday, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday expressed deep shock at the tragic death of 30 ailing children in the last 48 hours of Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Uttar Pradesh?s Gorakhpur due to alleged shortage of oxygen. Pained beyond words by this humongous tragedy, Sonia Gandhi said, ?My heart goes out to the families of the innocent children who fell prey to gross negligence and incorrigible misconduct on the part of the authorities.” She urged the Uttar Pradesh government to take immediate cognisance of the crime and bring the culprits to book. She also called upon the state Congress workers to provide relief to the families of victims. Meanwhile, Rahul took to his Twitter page and said ?Deeply pained. My thoughts are with the families of the victims. BJP govt is responsible and should punish the negligent, who caused this tragedy (sic).”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

People in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir living in ‘slavery’, says activist

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Political activist Taifoor Akbar has said that the people in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) are living in slavery as there are no roads and factories in the region.Mentioning about the degraded condition in PoK, Akbar said Pakistan Government has put restrictions on books under the National Action Plan and abducted people and put them behind the bars on sedition charges.The Pakistan Government had established the National Action Plan in January 2015 to crack down on terrorism and to supplement the ongoing anti-terrorist offensive in North-Western parts of the country.”Prime Minister of Pakistan occupied Kashmir Farooq Haider and his cabinet should talk to leaders sitting in Islamabad. Pakistani politicians are not allowing the Prime Minister of Pakistan occupied Kashmir to speak and even abuse him during a TV debate. Now, they are calling the Prime Minister of Pakistan occupied Kashmir a ‘traitor’ “, he said.”We have a Parliament and a Supreme Court in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, but we have no right to express our views”, he added.Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is a resource-rich region, but due to Islamabad’s discriminatory policies, the locals are living a miserable life.The region remains underdeveloped as people have no jobs and facilities like healthcare and education.

Dwijendra-Tripathi+Meem-Afzal on Gorakhpur Incident @ 8/12/2017 10:38:17 AM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Lashing out at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over the Gorakhpur tragedy, in which over 30 children died due to alleged lack of oxygen, the Congress on Saturday stated that the former needs to pull his socks and ask his officials to take strict action on the irregularities in the treatment of the patients. Speaking to ANI, Congress leader Meem Afzal said ?Gorakhpur is Adityanath?s constituency; he should always keep a keen eye on all the issues that happens in the city. 30 children dying in 24 hours came as a shock to us but till now no action or measures have been taken up by the state government. Adityanath has always given hopes to his people but now is the time he needs to prove it. He should ask his officials to take strict action on the irregularity in the treatment of the patients?. Echoing similar views, another grand old party leader Dwijendra Tripathi stated that action should be taken on it as it is a serious issue. ?This is a shocking incident that took place. Action should be taken on it as it is a serious issue. Parents losing their kids what worst can happen to them-this grief will never leave them. This is the time the state government should stand up for its citizen and prove them that we all are one,? he said. Yesterday, the BRD medical college recorded more than 30 children death due to encephalitis in a span of 48 hours. Meanwhile, District Magistrate Rajeev Rautela confirmed the death of 30 children in the last two days and seven deaths in the last 24 hours. He said that 17 children had died in the neo-natal ward, five in the ward meant for patients suffering from acute encephalitis syndrome and eight in the general ward. Rautela further added that, an inquiry committee has been set up to ascertain the exact causes of the deaths and it has been asked to submit its report by tomorrow evening. Action will be taken against those responsible. He also said that alternative arrangements had been made from neighbouring Sant Kabir Nagar district to ensure availability of liquid oxygen for the hospital. At present, there are 50 oxygen cylinders and 100 to 150 more will be reaching soon. Yesterday, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday expressed deep shock at the tragic death of 30 ailing children in the last 48 hours of Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Uttar Pradesh?s Gorakhpur due to alleged shortage of oxygen. Pained beyond words by this humongous tragedy, Sonia Gandhi said, ?My heart goes out to the families of the innocent children who fell prey to gross negligence and incorrigible misconduct on the part of the authorities.” She urged the Uttar Pradesh government to take immediate cognisance of the crime and bring the culprits to book. She also called upon the state Congress workers to provide relief to the families of victims. Meanwhile, Rahul took to his Twitter page and said ?Deeply pained. My thoughts are with the families of the victims. BJP govt is responsible and should punish the negligent, who caused this tragedy (sic).”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Woman delivers baby outside labour room in hospital

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A woman delivered a baby outside the labour room of MKCG Medical College and Hospital here as she was allegedly denied entry into the room, prompting the authorities to order an inquiry into the matter. The woman was allegedly denied entry into the labour room by the officials of gynaecology department yesterday. “The matter will be inquired by a committee in the department, headed by its head of department. I have already asked the HoD of the gynaecology department for inquiry”, said superintendent of the medical college and hospital Khetrabasi Subudhi. The woman had come for delivery and went to the labour room. But the doctor allegedly did not take her seriously and refused to admit her at that time. She, however, delivered a baby in the hospital premises in open space, said her mother Rubina Lima. The women s wing of BJP demanded action against the concerned officials. Action will be taken against the errant officials, if they are found guilty in the incident, Subudhi assured the delegation of the BJP s women wing. “We are very much concerned over the woman giving birth outside of the indoor hall for not getting a bed in the labour room. It shows the condition of the health services in the state” said Babita Patra, general secretary, BJP s women wing in the state. Ganjam district unit of the BJP, led by its president Kanhu Charan Pati also staged a dharna in front of the superintendent s office demanding action against the officials, who denied taking her inside the labour room. After delivery, she was taken inside the labour room and given treatment. Medical officials, however, rubbished the allegation of denial of entry into the labour room.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Minister pays surprise visit to Food and Civil Supplies HQ

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In order to check its functioning Delhi Food and Civil Supplies Minister, Imran Hussain, paid a surprise visit to headquarters of Food and Civil Supplies Department at Vikas Bhawan, IP Estate, on Thursday.During the visit, the minister took a round of the various branches of the department located at the Headquarters. The Minister had an interaction with Commissioner, Food & Civil Supplies (FCS) and Special Commissioner (FCS) besides other senior officials of the Department to enquire about their roles and responsibilities.Hussain emphasised about the need for proper record management for efficient performance of Food & Civil Supplies Department.In recent weeks, Hussain has conducted surprise visits in various areas like Gandhi Nagar, Burari, Mangolpuri and Dwarka to check the functioning of Fair Price Shops for distribution of Specified Food Articles. The Minister has even directed Commissioner, F&CS to forward Action Taken Report duly indicating details of action taken against the erring FPS owners as per law, including suspension or sealing of FPS, if any. Department has also been asked to apprise the Minister about disciplinary action initiated against Department officials found responsible for failure to check malfunctioning of the FPS inspected by the Minister.

9 soldiers, 2 civilians killed in July in Indo-Pak LoC fights

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nine soldiers among 11 people were killed while 16 others injured in border skirmishes this month between India and Pakistan along the Line of Control in in Jammu and Kashmir. Amid one of the worst fatalities in recent times, the month also saw over 110 livestock falling prey to shellings and firings by Pakistani army in which nearly 35 structures, including over two dozen houses were damaged along the LoC in Rajouri district alone. The repeated skirmishes saw over 4,000 villagers from near borders to government camps at safer places in the district. “The month has seen greater ceasefire violations along LoC in the state. The aim was to engineer infiltrations and push in more and more militants in J&K,” said a senior Army officer adding that Indian forces too aptly retaliated to the shellings by Pakistani army. The security agencies attribute the increased shelling and firing by Pakistani army to their support to the Pak-based terror group Jamaat-ud-Dawa’s “Year of Kashmir” campaign to make the LoC “more active to highlight the Kashmir issue.” Known as Lashkar-e-Taiba earlier, JuD has now named itself Tehreek Azadi Jammu and Kashmir (TAJK). On July 21, 28-year-old rifleman Jayadrath Singh was killed when Pakistan army resorted to firing at Indian Army posts in Sunderbandi sector of Rajouri district. Singh belonged to village Bhagwanpur of Saharanpur district in Uttar Pradesh. He is survived by his wife Mamta Devi. A juniour commissioned officer, Subedar Shashi Kumar, who was grievously injured in an unprovoked ceasefire breach by Pakistan in Naushera on July 18, died at Udhampur Command Hospital on July 19. Subedar Kumar was a native of Galon village of Hamirpur district in Himachal Pradesh. He is survived by his wife Santosh Sharma and children. The July 18 ceasefire violations by Pakistan also saw two Army jawans, Sepoy Jaspreet Singh, 24 and Rifleman Bimal Sinjali, 21 killed in Naushera and Nowgam sectors of Rajouri and Kupwara districts respectively. Eight people including 5 jawans had suffered injuries that day. “More than 110 livestock were reported dead and two dozen houses damaged. A total of 35 structures including private houses, government buildings including schools, were damaged in recent mortar shelling in Nowshera,” said Rajouri Deputy Commissioner Shahid Iqbal Choudhary. On July 18, Pakistani troops also targeted school children, shelling their schools and trapping 217 of them in in 3 schools in Kadali and Seha areas of Rajouri near the LoC for 6 hours. The Army and state police, however, rescued and evacuated them to safer places in bullet-proof vehicles along with other people totalling 261. Earlier on July 17, one Army jawan and a girl were killed when the Pakistan army violated ceasefire twice in two sectors and resorted to firing at Indian Army posts and civilian areas in Rajouri and Poonch districts. The victims were identified as 37-year-old Naik Muddasar Ahmed of militancy-infested Tral belt of South Kashmir and 9- year-old girl Sajada. On July 15, another jawan, Lance Naik Mohmmad Naseer, 35 was killed and yet another injured in Pak shelling along the LoC in Rajouri district. Two other jawans, Lance Naik Ranjit Singh and Rifleman Satesh Bhagat, both of Jammu, were killed along LoC on July 12, in Pakistani firing in Keran sector of North Kashmir sector. Four days earlier on July 8, jawan Mohmmad Showkat, who was on leave, was killed along with his wife, when his house was hit by a Pakistani army’s mortar shell in Poonch sector. Four people were injured. The officials said there have been 23 incidents of ceasefire violations, one attack by Pakistan’s notorious Border Action Team and two infiltration bids by Pakistan- backed militants in June in which 4 people, including 3 jawans were killed and 12 injured. On June 29, two Indian Army jawans were injured when Pakistani troops fired from small arms and shelled mortars on forward posts and civilian areas along the LoC in Poonch district. Even on the occasion of Eid-ul Fitr on June 26, the Pakistani army had fired small arms and automatic weapons and shelled mortars along the LoC in Bhimbher Gali sector of Rajouri. On June 22, in the third such attack this year, a team of Pakistani special forces sneaked 600 metres across the LoC into the Poonch sector and killed two Indian jawans, but lost one Border Action Team (BAT) member in retaliatory action. It had carried out the attack at around 2 PM on an Army patrol party in the Gulpur belt of Poonch on 22 June under heavy cover fire by Pakistani troops. In the firefight, two Indian soldiers, Naik Jadhav Sandip, 34, of Aurangabad and Sepoy Mane Savan Balku, 24, of Kolhapur were martyred.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

RTI reveals Chennai’s largest estuary Ennore Creek missing in the latest CRZ map

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two widely conflicting maps of the Chennai’s largest estuary Ennore Creek, both of which were presented as Government of India-approved Coastal Regulatory Zone maps in two separate RTIs, have exposed serious irregularities and possible fraud in the functioning of the State Department of Environment.A 1996 CRZ map obtained by Jesu Rathinam of Coastal Action Network under RTI in 2009 from the Department of Environment shows 6,469 acres of Ennore Creek to be a tidal water body protected as ‘No Development Zone’ under CRZ 1. However, the entire Ennore Creek has disappeared in the latest map received in response to a RTI petition in 2017 after controversy erupted over diversion of Ennore wetlands.”Since both maps have been obtained under RTI, the Department of Environment has falsified information in one of the two cases. That is a punishable offence under the RTI Act,” said Jesu Rathinam, Convenor of the Coastal Action Network.”Two separate complaints have been filed with the Tamil Nadu Information Commission seeking a probe into the matter. The organisations have also approached the State Disaster Management Authority and the Chief Secretary to intervene to avert a disaster,” said environmentalist Nityanand Jayaraman.The map obtained by CAN covers a stretch of 16 km, and is consistent with the Coastal Zone Management Plan that identifies Thiruvallur District as covering a coastal stretch of 16 km. The latest map given in response to the 2017 RTI, however, covers only 13 km and makes it seem as if there is no Creek in the map area.Releasing the documents at a press conference, Coastal Action Network, Coastal Resource Centre, Save Ennore Creek Campaign and Ennore fisherfolk demanded an independent probe into the functioning of the State Coastal Zone Management Authority and the State Environment and Forest Department that heads the authority. The destruction of the Ennore Creek poses a serious threat to life and property of the people living in the North Chennai as the Creek helps drain the flood waters to the sea.The MOEF, GOI, in a letter in 1997, allowed the Tamil Nadu government to re-draw the backwater limits contained in the 1996 approved map based on the survey by the Chief Hydrographer to the Union government. However, the Ministry denied the state’s demand to remove salt pans in Ennore from the purview of CRZ and insisted that salt pans influenced by the tidal action would invoke the protection of the CRZ notification. The letter does not mention any request made or approval granted to alter the boundaries of the CRZ map. “We believe the 1996 map – declaring the entire Creek as CRZ 1 — is the correct one as it is consistent with law and reality,” said K. Saravanan of Coastal Resource Centre.

Farmers to intensify stir against proposed Mumbai-Nagpur E-way

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The farmers from 49 villages of Sinnar and Igatpuri tehsils have decided not to give an inch of land for the Maharashtra government’s Mumbai-Nagpur Samrudhhi Expressway, a member of Farmers’ Action Committee said today. “We have decided not to give an inch of land for the proposed Expressway,” said Raju Desale, Working President of Kisan Sabha and a member of Farmers’ Action Committee. According to Desale, 26 villages in Sinnar and 23 villages in Igatpuri will come under the expressway.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Normal life affected in Puducherry bandh called against Centre, Kiran Bedi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Normal life came to a standstill in Puducherry following a dawn-to-dusk bandh backed by the ruling Congress party against Governor Kiran Bedi’s decision to nominate three BJP members as MLAs and also her “undemocratic” style of functioning on Saturday. All shops and establishments remained closed, while most of the local and inter-state buses and autorickshaws stayed off the roads.The day-long strike was called by various political parties including DMK and the Left in protest against the disrespect shown by the Centre to the people of the union territory. Political parties condemned the arbitrary manner in which the Centre had finalised the names of three nominated legislators and the undemocratic style of functioning of Lt Governor Kiran Bedi, and her induction of the three members secretly in Raj Nivas on July 4. All India NR Congress and AIADMK did not support the bandh.Chief Minister V Narayanasamy told reporters here that the induction of three members by Bedi “is a shame on the Constitution and the democratic norms and conventions.” He claimed that only the speaker was the constitutional authority to induct any member as legislator of the House.However, Bedi dismissed the charges of the political parties by saying that she has only done her job. She questioned the rationale behind the agitation and said if the government had any issue they should raise it with the Centre. She said that the bandh affects business and leads to losses.When asked whether his government has extended support to the bandh, Narayanasamy said that the Congress party has extended support to the protest, not the government.”Action will be taken against those protesting and causing damages to properties as per the law,” he said.

Maha State Biodiversity Board wants your views

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Would you want to help protect a lake, a sacred grove of trees, or a wetland in your area? It could even be a lesser known one, but a biodiversity hotspot nonetheless. The good news is that Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board (MSBB) wants your views and information on not just such bio-rich areas needing protection, but also on threats to them as well as information about local and endangered species needing urgent conservation.This exercise, which environmentalists are calling a wonderful opportunity to help save degrading ecosystems and protect lesser-known biodiversity hotspots, is part of the state biodiversity strategy and action plan (2018-28) to conserve Maharashtra’s biodiversity.”National parks cannot be created everywhere, but there are several spots, though small, that could play a major role ecologically. To ensure that we can map them to protect them, we are urging locals, environmentalists, naturalists, NGOs and other groups to fill us in on information about such places on a special page created on our website (http://msbsap.bvieer.edu.in/Input.php),” said Dr Erach Bharucha, Director Bharati Vidyapeeth Institute of Environment Education and Research (BVIEER), Pune, which is the nodal agency appointed by MSBB to come up with the action plan.Dr Bharucha shared that they were not just limiting the plan to regular flora and fauna, but also indigenous varieties of crops and livestock as well. “There are so many varieties of rice, jowar and bajra that were sown by farmers, but have now disappeared along with breeds of livestock. We are sending our students to various rural areas across the state and they are sending back valuable inputs,” said Bharucha, adding that they were compiling the data region wise, including the Western ghats, coastal areas, the Deccan plateau and the Northern forest belt.VK Sinha, Member Secretary of MSBB said that there were several factors that were threatening the wide range of plants and animals unique to the state, and the 10-year strategy and action plan will help create a framework for protecting the biodiversity. “Everyone has a role to play and hence, this has to be a participatory process. This is why it we decided upon inviting the views of the public. The action plan, once ready, will not only focus on protection, but will also cover all aspects of strengthening the resources to protect the biodiversity,” he said.”It will be interesting to see how the plan will be developed by the Board and what kind of recommendations and conditions will be put forward. It is important that this exercise does not simply remain a documentation, but that is used for the protection of biodiversity,” said Conservationist Kedar Gore.ACTION PLAN 2018-28A special page has been created on MSBB’s website (http://msbsap.bvieer.edu.in/Input.php) to gather information on biodiversity hotspots, as part of the state biodiversity strategy and action plan (2018-28) to conserve Maharashtra’s biodiversity.

Haryana asks insurance cos to complete field survey on time

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Haryana government has directed the insurance companies to complete the field survey on time under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) in the state. Principal Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department, Abhilaksh Likhi today said the government has already notified the PMFBY for year 2017-18. “The officers of the agriculture department as well as insurance companies have been directed for strict compliance of various provisions of the scheme,” he said. Likhi said the Deputy Director, Agriculture has been directed to take immediate action on the water-logging complaints. All the cluster heads have also been asked to monitor the situation, he added. All farmers have been advised to register water-logging complaints within 48 hours in the offices of deputy director, agriculture in the districts, Likhi said. So far, 195 complaints about water-logging has been registered from Kurukshetra, Kaithal and Karnal, he said. Action is being taken on these complaints, he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

70% traffic control devices faulty: Survey

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As many as 70 per cent of the road signs, traffic signals, and road markings in the national Capital are faulty, according to a report released by the Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE). The survey also pointed out that the failure of traffic engineering led to 1,622 deaths in 2015, and that this figure was higher than 122 other countries under the United Nations (UN), including Portugal, Australia, and Spain.In fact, in 2015, more than 88 lakh vehicles met with accidents in Delhi due to improper traffic infrastructure. Some drivers even had to pay fines or face imprisonment without them being at fault.The survey, titled ‘Crisis of Traffic Management in Delhi’, was conducted by the IRTE along with the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), and IRTE President Rohit Baluja released the survey report. Sewa Ram, Professor of Transport Planning, SPA and K K Kapila, Chairman of the International Road Federation (IRF) were also present on the occasion.The two bodies had organised a seminar to highlight various issues ailing the traffic system in Delhi on Wednesday.Seeking support from the government for better traffic management, Baluja said, ” The Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill, 2016, which is the revision of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, has been passed by the Lok Sabha and should be tabled in the Upper House during the next session. In order to make the legislation successfully implementable, it is important that these deficiencies in traffic control devices are removed.”Various recommendations were made to the authorities concerned. The delegates were of the opinion that the government must ensure that traffic control devices follow the UN standards and are uniform across the country.They also pointed out the need to train the police and other people involved in traffic engineering and management of road traffic.”India accounts for the highest number of road deaths in the world and India is signatory to the UN Decade of Action for Reducing Road Accident Deaths by 50 per cent by the year 2020. In India, drivers take road signs for granted but at most places in Delhi, they are hidden, bungled, missing, or just plain wrong. Simple road engineering measures such as provision of appropriate road markings and traffic signs and minor layout changes on the road junctions are proven measures that significantly reduce the number of road accidents,” IRF’s Kapila said.Uniform codeVarious recommendations were made to the authorities concerned. The delegates were of the opinion that the government must ensure that traffic control devices follow the UN standards and are uniform across the country. They also pointed out the need to train the police and other people involved in traffic engineering and management of road traffic.

Eid passes off peacefully on LoC, IB; forces exchange sweets

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Guns fell silent along the LoC on Eid today after a spate of ceasefire violations, Army officials said. Border guarding forces from either side exchanged sweets on the International Border in Jammu. “The guns are silent today. There is no report of any firing and shelling by the Pakistani Army along the LoC,” a senior army officer said. “The border guarding forces exchanged sweets in a cordial atmosphere all along the IB in the Jammu frontier area,” a BSF officer said. There have been 20 ceasefire violations along the LoC and the International Border in Jammu region so far in June. Three jawans and one civilian were killed in firing. A jawan was injured in back-to-back ceasefire violations by the Pakistani Army yesterday. The Pakistani Army breached the truce thrice yesterday by firing small arms and shelling mortars on army posts along the LoC in the Rajouri and Poonch sectors. The Indian side fired back in retaliation, army sources said. Pakistani troops on Saturday fired on Indian Army posts along the LoC in Poonch sector. These violations came just days after an attack by a Pakistan special forces team that sneaked across the LoC into Poonch under cover of heavy fire and killed two jawans. One Paksitani soldier was also killed. Pakistan’s Border Action Team comprises its army’s special forces personnel and terrorists.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Lakhs of people attend Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath at Puri

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With overnight rains stopping, an estimated nine lakh devotees witnessed the world famous ‘Rath Yatra’ of Lord Jagannath here today with religious fervour, enthusiasm and a spirit of camaraderie amid tight security. Devotees from across the country and abroad descended on this seaside town to witness the nine-day journey of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra to the Gundicha Temple and back to their abode. People from all walks of life made a beeline to have a glimpse of the presiding deities of the 12th century shrine of Lord Jagannath as the trinity mingled with the sea of humanity during the annual festival of chariots. There were rains overnight, but the weather cleared in the morning. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, BJP president Amit Shah, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and other dignitaries greeted the people on Lord Jagannath’s annual car festival. Enthusiasm and excitement ran high among devotees as the deities remained indoors since ‘Snana Purnima’ on June 9. ‘Naba Jaubana Darshan’ of the deities was performed yesterday as they remained confined to “Anasara Pindi” (recovery chamber) after the grand bath on ‘Snana Purnima’. The rath-yatra was also celebrated at Ahmedabad in Gujarat amid tight security as lakhs of devotees flocked the 15-km journey route to catch a glimpse of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and their sister Devi Subhadra. Rains failed to dampen the spirit of the devotees pulling the rope of decked-up chariots of Lord Jagannath in the annual ‘Rath Yatra’ hosted by the ISKCON in Kolkata. In the absence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is on a tour to The Hague on UN invitation, state panchayat and PHE minister Subrata Mukherjee, Kolkata mayor Sovan Chatterjee and Trinamool Congress MP Subrato Bakshi flagged off the procession. Gujarat Chief minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Chief minister Nitin Patel performed ‘Pahind Vidhi’- a symbolic ritual of cleaning the way for the chariots. The chariots of Lord Jagannath, his brother Balbhadra and sister Subhadra, then started the journey from the 400-year- old Jagannath Temple in Jamalpur area this morning. Before the rath yatra commenced, BJP president Amit Shah performed ‘mangla aarti’ of the deities in the temple during the early hours. Rath yatra was also celebrated at other places in Odisha like Balasore, Paralakhemundi and Bolangir. With lakhs of people thronging the holy town of Puri, the police made elaborate security arrangements by deploying around 4,000 personnel, besides extending air and coastal surveillance. A multi-layer security net was built to ensure smooth conduct of the festival while CCTVs were installed at various locations, Odisha Director General of Police K B Singh said. Besides the newly raised Odisha Swift Action Force (OSAF), personnel of Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS), Rapid Action Force (RAF) and sharp shooters were deployed at vital points while the Coast Guard kept a vigil along the coast. Devotees poured into the seaside town to watch the grand ceremony and pull the three majestic and colourful chariots on the ‘bada danda’, the grand avenue. Before the presiding deities – Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Lord Balabhadra and their sister Devi Subhadra – set out from the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, a number of special rituals like ‘Mangla Arati’ and ‘Mailam’ were performed. Descending from the ‘Ratna Sinhasana’, the bejewelled throne, the three deities were taken out of the temple down the 22 steps known as “Baisi Pahacha” through the Lion’s gate in an elaborate ritual called “Pahandi” as devotees and sevayats jostled to have a glimpse and touch them. In a rhythmic style, the deities moved forward step by step to the accompaniment of beating of ‘ghantas’ and ‘kahalis’ and blowing of conch shells. The trinity proceeded majestically in rhythmic movement in their journey to the world outside during ‘Pahandi’. At first, Sudarshana, the celestial wheel of Vishnu, was taken out and placed in the chariot of Devi Subhadra followed by Lord Balabhadra and finally Lord Jagannath. The 45-feet high ‘Nandighosh’, the chariot of Lord Jagannath stood with 16 huge wooden wheels, while the 44-feet high ‘Taladhawaja’ with 14 wheels was for Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra’s ‘Darpadalan’ was 43-feet high with 12 wheels. The Shankaracharya of Puri Govardhana peeth Swami Nischalananda Saraswati had a darshan of the deities on the chariots along with his disciples. Thereafter, the Gajapati King of Puri Divyasingh Dev proceeded to the chariots to perform the ‘Chhera Panhara’ ritual by sweeping the platform with golden broom. As the chariots rolled down the grand avenue, the proceedings were watched by millions including a host of VVIPs and dignitaries, while buildings on both sides of the road were occupied by thousands of people vying for a proper view.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Youth-woman-thrashed-Satna-MP @ 6/23/2017 9:22:17 AM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> In a shocking incident, a youth and his alleged lover were thrashed by villagers in Satna?s Rampur area of Madhya Pradesh. According to villagers, the youth was allegedly having an affair with a married woman. The villagers have also accused the youth, identified as Sadiq Khan, of carrying a weapon with which he used to threaten the villagers. However, Sadiq denied having any arm or weapon with him. The woman?s husband, with the help of the villagers, yesterday got hold of the alleged couple when they were inside the house and tied them to a tree, following which the youth was beaten up by them. However, the situation came under control when the police arrived and freed the tied couple. The Rampur Police have filed a case against the villagers, involved in beating the youth, under Sections 294, 323, 506 b and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). According to Assistant Superintendent of Police Satna Rameshwar Yadav, ?He (Sadiq) came to meet a female acquaintance. Action will be taken against those involved and also against him we if we receive any complaint about him troubling any woman or any other person.?(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Pak attack in J&K: 2 Indian soldiers martyred, one attacker dead

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Pakistani troops today carried out an attack 600 metres inside the Indian territory in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir, killing two jawans and losing one of their men in the retaliatory action.One of the attacker was injured in the Indian retaliatory action and his body was extricated under the cover of heavy firing by the Pakistani troops from their posts across the LoC, an Army official said. The Border Action Team (BAT), which generally comprises special forces of the Pakistan Army and some terrorists, carried out the attack at around 2 pm with the aid of cover fire by the Pakistani troops from their posts, he said.This was the third BAT action in Poonch this year. The official said the Indian Army’s ‘Area Domination Patrol’ was “targeted by the armed intruders and exchange of fire occurred.” “Pakistan s BAT team was 600 metres within the Indian side of the LoC and 200 metres from the Indian posts,” the official said. The Indian troops retaliated and in the firefight, two Indian jawans were killed, the official said.The Indian troops killed one armed intruder, whose body “is within visual reach”, he said. While the firefight was going on, the Pakistani posts resorted to heavy firing, the official said. “The operations are in progress and heavy exchange of fire is going on,” he added.

Adulteration of milk: Samples sent to Pune, Mysore labs: Min

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil Nadu Minister K T Rajenthra Bhalaji, who has claimed adulteration of milk by some private producers, today said samples have been sent to labs in Mysore and Pune for quality analysis and assured action based on the test results. He stated this in the state assembly responding to questions from Leader of Opposition M K Stalin who referred to Bhalaji’s charge of milk adulteration and sought to know steps taken by the government on the matter. Bhalaji, the Dairy Development Minister, had told reporters in Sivakasi last month that addition of formaldehyde in milk to extend the shelf life was ‘confirmed’, in respect of milk produced by a section of dairy firms. After his remarks triggered protests by dairy firms, he had offered to resign if his claim was disproved. Replying to Stalin, Bhalaji said following information about adulteration, testing of milk samples was ordered on May 26 and the results confirmed “chemical mixture,” thus not safe for consumption. “The samples have been sent to Central government labs in Mysore and Pune for detailed quality analysis. Based on the test reports, appropriate action will be taken on those firms (dairies),” he said. “Action will be taken according to law against erring firms,” the Minister said. He also spelt out statistics on fine amount collected for violating milk standards and safety after court orders. The fine was collected for violations of parameters including low standards, safety and wrong markings. A total fine of Rs 16,26,800 has been collected in over 100 cases between 2011-2017 under Food Safety law, he said. He also said that based on a court order, the State and District level Monitoring Committees (for milk safety) has been restructured.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Spl care for pregnant women, children during disasters: Naveen

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said his government has adopted a zero casualty approach during disasters and stressed on special care for pregnant women, children, elderly persons and physically and mentally challenged during calamities. “Special attention should be paid to the vulnerable population like pregnant women, physically and mentally challenged, children, widows and the elderly population during rescue and relief operation,” Patnaik said while addressing a meeting of the state level committee on natural calamity here. The chief minister claimed Odisha will be the first state in the country to make Early Warning System (EWS) operational soon. “A large number of disaster risk reduction and capacity building initiatives have been undertaken to reduce the vulnerability of people to different disasters. We have adopted a zero casualty approach for all disasters,” he said. Stating that the people will be issued disaster warnings through siren alert towers in six coastal districts, Patnaik said this will help in saving lives and properties in during cyclones. “The period from June to October is the crucial period and adequate measures in respect to early warning system, rescue and relief operations, supply of drinking water, health and veterinary service must be put in place,” he said. Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and fire service should also remain alert for immediate response, the chief minister said adding, sufficient food materials should be stored in vulnerable and inaccessible areas. Patnaik said control rooms at districts and departments should be functional round-the-clock and prompt response should be there for search, rescue, first aid, clearance of relief lines, immediate repair and restoration of lifeline infrastructure, immediate repair and restoration of lost livelihoods must be ensured in the aftermath of any disaster.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mizoram: Blockade on NH 54 lifted after four days

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Joint Action Committee of Kolasib district in Mizoram has lifted the road blockade from National Highway 54 after four days.Kolasib superintendent of police C Lalzahngova said the blockade was lifted from the lifeline of Mizoram late last night.Hundreds of vehicles, carrying essential goods and other commodities from neighbouring Assam, entered Kolasib district last night, after the blockade was lifted.The JAC had called the ‘indefinite’ blockade as the people of Kolasib district were protesting the transfer of a surgeon from the district hospital without posting of a replacement.The blockade was lifted after the state government withdrew the transfer order of the doctor.The road block on the 850 km long National Highway, connecting Assam and Mizoram, had caused hardship to the people as large number of vehicles were stranded on NH 54 leading to shortage of essential commodities.

Militant killed as Army foils infiltration bid in J-K’s Gurez

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A militant was killed as the Army thwarted an infiltration attempt along the Line of Control (LoC) in Gurez sector of Bandipora district in north Kashmir. An Army official said the troops guarding the LoC observed movement of ultras trying to sneak into the valley from across the border and challenged them. During the exchange of fire, a militant was killed, the official said. With the latest operation, the number of militants killed in encounters along the LoC in north Kashmir in the past four days has gone up to 14. An Army jawan also lost his life in one of the encounters. A defence spokesman on Thursday said multiple attempts made by Pakistan army to push armed infiltrators across the LoC were foiled by the troops at Machhil and Naugam sectors in Kupwara district, Gurez in Bandipora district and Uri in Baramulla, resulting in the killing of seven militants. All the four infiltration bids were aided by the Pakistani forces who provided active support, including cover fire using heavy calibre artillery, the Army’s Northern Command had said in a statement. With the killing of six militants in Uri sector yesterday and one in Gurez today, the Army has foiled eight infiltration attempts in less than a fortnight in north Kashmir. Three of the attempts were scuttled in Uri sector alone. On May 26, the Army killed two Pakistani Border Action Team (BAT) members who tried to infiltrate into Uri sector in Baramulla district to carry out an attack on the soldiers. Six more militants were killed in the same sector the next day when they attempted to sneak into the valley from across the border. This year, Army foiled 24 infiltration attempts killing 41 armed intruders along the LoC.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Militant killed as Army foils infiltration bid in Gurez sector of Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian Army on Saturday foiled an infiltration bid and killed a militant in Gurez sector of Jammu and Kashmir.The security forces also recovered a weapon from the slain terrorist.On Friday, the Army killed six militants near the Line of Control (LoC). The six militants were killed in Uri sector during a counter-infiltration operation.On May 26, Army killed two Pakistani Border Action Team (BAT) members who tried to infiltrate into Uri sector in Baramulla district to carry out an attack on the soldiers.

Six militants killed as Army foils 5th infiltration bid in 3

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Army today killed six militants near the Line of Control (LoC) as it foiled fifth infiltration bid from Pakistan into Kashmir in three days, raising to 12 the total number of infiltrators gunned down during this period. The six militants were killed in Uri sector during a counter-infiltration operation launched yesterday after the troops detected movement of ultras trying to sneak into the valley, an Army official said. With this operation, the total number of infiltrating militants killed over the last three days in various sectors has gone up to 12. A defence spokesman had yesterday said that multiple attempts made by Pakistan Army to push armed infiltrators across the LoC were foiled by the troops at Machhil and Naugam sectors in Kupwara district, Gurez in Bandipora district and Uri in Baramulla, resulting in the killing of seven militants. All the four infiltration bids were aided by the Pakistani forces who provided active support, including cover fire using heavy calibre artillery, the Army’s Northern Command had said in a statement yesterday. According to the Army, it has successfully foiled seven infiltration attempts in less than a fortnight in north Kashmir. Three of the attempts were scuttled in Uri sector alone. On May 26, Army killed two Pakistani Border Action Team (BAT) members who tried to infiltrate into Uri sector in Baramulla district to carry out an attack on the soldiers. Six more militants were killed in the same sector next day when they attempted to sneak into the valley from across the border. In the current year, Army foiled 23 infiltration attempts killing 39 armed intruders along the LoC.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

MP continues to be on the boil, CM offers talks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The farmers’ protest in Madhya Pradesh has turned into a political slugfest on Thursday after the death of five people during the agitation, with violence hitting Shajapur district, where mobs torched several vehicles and pelted stones at police and the Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM).In a bid to douse farmers’ anger, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan made a fervent appeal for peace and ordered the transfer of the district commissioners of the three violence-hit districts of Mandsaur, Ratlam and Neemuch.”The government is always ready for talks with farmers. Please remain calm. Only a dialogue can end differences,” said Chouhan.He warned “anti-social elements” for wanting to push the state into deep trouble.Thousands of farmers in drought-hit western Madhya Pradesh have been protesting for over a week, since June 1, demanding that authorities increase the minimum price for their crops and waive their bank loans.The large-scale violence, especially in Pipaliamandi of Mandsaur district, on June 5 and June 6 led to the death of five farmers in police firing, spreading the violence to seven other districts.Extending an olive branch to the farmers, Chouhan said the state government has taken a slew of measures in their interest like procuring onions for Rs 8 per kg.”We (state government) are going to start buying Tur and Urad pulses from farmers at MSP from June 10,” he said.In a bid to calm down tempers, the MP government has already announced a slew of measures, including a loan settlement scheme for cultivators who had defaulted on repayment of farm loans. The scheme will cover around six lakh farmers with accumulated dues of Rs 6,000 crore.The relative calm in Pipaliamandi allowed the administration to relax curfew for two hours.”If no untoward incident takes place in the district, a decision can be taken on granting further relaxations,” said District Commissioner OP Srivastava.Internet services are also expected to be restored soon, the administration said.Rapid Action Force (RAF) contingents have been deployed in Mandsaur.Eleven companies of CRPF have been deployed across eight districts, including two companies (200 men) of Rapid Action Force (RAF) in Pipliamandi in Mandsaur where the farmers were killed in police firing.Taking precautionary measures, the administration prevented Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi from visiting Mandsaur and detained him in a makeshift jail in Neemuch for a few hours on Thursday.Gandhi was later allowed to meet the family of those killed in the police firing.Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to say, “I’m here to meet them & will not be deterred from voicing their concerns.”Accusing Rahul for trying to exploit the protests for political gains, MP Home Minister Bhupendra Singh said, “”He (Gandhi) behaved like a college student. He was riding a bike without wearing a helmet. He was smiling and did not look concerned over farmers’ problems.”Dubbing Gandhi’s planned visit to the state as “another photo opportunity”, Union minister Venkaiah Naidu recalled an incident in the state’s Betul district on January 12, 1998, where 24 farmers died allegedly in police firing ordered by former chief minister and Congress leader Digvijay Singh.”Did they seek Singh’s resignation when those farmers were killed? Did the Congress VP visit the farmers then?” Naidu questioned.On a visit to Mumbai, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the farmers are being instigated to create unrest. He refused to comment on the death of the farmers, saying an investigation is underway, but accepted that security forces should not have been used against the protesting farmers.

MP govt admits 5 farmers were killed in ‘police firing’; 62 people detained, seven cases lodged

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh on Thursday said that the five casualties during farmers’ agitation in Mandsaur occurred during police firing.”Five persons were killed in police firing,” Singh said.The minister’s remarks assume significance as the authorities had been claiming that the police had not fired during protests at Pipliamandi in Mandsaur district in which five farmers were killed two days ago.Minutes after the incident, the then Mandsaur Collector S K Singh had told PTI that the police told him categorically that “neither did they fire nor did they have any orders to fire”.Asked what provoked the police to fire, the home minister said it is being probe in the magisterial inquiry.However, he said the situation was now peaceful in western Madhya Pradesh.Seven cases were also lodged and 62 persons detained in connection with the farmers’ agitation in the violence-hit district, police said.Superintendent of Police Om Prakash Tripathi, who has been transferred in the wake of the firing in the district that left five farmers dead, said the cases have been filed in connection with various incidents of violence.Meanwhile, contingents of Rapid Action Force (RAF) were also deployed in Mandsaur which has been on the boil since the violence two days ago.

Army foils infiltration bid, two militants, jawan killed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two militants and a jawan were killed as the Army foiled an infiltration bid along the Line of Control (LoC) in Naugam sector in north Kashmir s Kupwara district today. This is the second successful anti-infiltration operation by the Army in the last 24 hours and the fourth such along the LoC in less than a fortnight in north Kashmir. Alert troops foil another infiltration bid in Naugam sector. Two terrorists have been killed, while one soldier has been martyred,” an Army official said. He said the operation was on and further details are awaited. Yesterday, three heavily-armed militants were killed in a gunbattle in the district as Army foiled a major infiltration bid along the LoC. On May 26, the Army killed two Pakistani Border Action Team (BAT) members who tried to infiltrate into Uri sector in Baramulla district to carry out an attack on the soldiers. Six more militants were killed in the same sector next day when they attempted to sneak into the Valley from across the border.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Army foils infiltration bid in Kashmir, one terrorist killed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>One militant was gunned down when the Army foiled an infiltration bid in Machil sector of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, an official said today.The incident took place late night yesterday when troops guarding the Line of Control (LoC) noticed a group of militants trying to infiltrate into the valley from across the border in Machil sector under the cover of darkness, the Army official said.Troops engaged the heavily-armed militants who tried to escape taking advantage of the thick forest cover. One militant, who is still to be unidentified, was killed. Search operations to track down other members of the group were going on, the official said.This is the third infiltration bid foiled by the Army in north Kashmir in the past fortnight.On May 26, two Pakistani Border Action Team (BAT) members who tried to infiltrate into Uri sector to carry out an attack on the soldiers were killed.Six more militants were killed in the same sector next day when they attempted to sneak into the valley from across the border.

Army foils infiltration bid in Machil sector of J&K, 4 terrorists killed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four terrorists were gunned down when the Army foiled an infiltration bid in Machil sector of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, as per latest information from ANI. The incident took place late last night when troops guarding the Line of Control (LoC) noticed a group of terrorists trying to infiltrate into the valley from across the border in Machil sector under the cover of darkness, the Army official said. Troops engaged the heavily-armed terrorists who tried to escape taking advantage of the thick forest cover. As per latest reports 4 terrorists have been killed by the Indian army. The operation is currently on. This is the third infiltration bid foiled by the Army in north Kashmir in the past fortnight.On May 26, two Pakistani Border Action Team (BAT) members who tried to infiltrate into Uri sector to carry out an attack on the soldiers were killed. Six more militants were killed in the same sector next day when they attempted to sneak into the valley from across the border.With PTI and ANI inputs

1,100 anti-riots police personnel sent to Mandsaur in MP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre has rushed 1,100 anti- riots police personnel to Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur to help restore peace in the district where five persons were killed in violence during a protest by farmers demanding debt relief and better crop prices. It has also sought a detailed report over yesterday’s violence and steps taken by the state government to bring back normalcy in the violence-hit area. Around 600 personnel of the Rapid Action Force, a specialised anti-riots force, have already reached Mandsaur to assist the local administration, a Home Ministry official said. Altogether 500 more RAF personnel are being sent to Mandsaur by the Home Ministry on the request of the state government. Farmers in western Madhya Pradesh are protesting since June 1 demanding higher minimum support prices (MSP) for their produce, among others. Five persons were yesterday killed as the farmers’ agitation turned violent, prompting the authorities to clamp curfew in the trouble-hit area. According to eyewitnesses, the protesting farmers had torched vehicles and indulged in stone pelting in Parshvanath area under Pipaliya Mandi police station limits. Curfew remained in force in Pipalya Mandi police station area of the district and Mandsaur town today, while prohibitory orders restricting movement under section 144 of CrPC are also imposed in the rest of the district.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Days after ex-judge’s peacock comment, Raj min says birds do

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rajasthan’s Forest Minister Gajendra Singh Khimsar today said mating leads to reproduction in birds and animals, days after former high court judge Mahesh Chand Sharma contended that peacocks do not indulge in sex and reproduce through tears. The minister, however, said everyone can express his views in a democracy. “In a democracy, anyone can express his views but as per nature and wildlife references, reproduction in birds and animal occurs due to mating,” the minister told reporters when asked about the former judge’s comments. On his last day in the office on Wednesday, justice (retired) Sharma had said peacocks do not indulge in sex with peahens who give birth after it gets impregnated with the tears of the peacocks. On justice (retired) Sharma’s suggestion that the state government coordinate with the Centre and take steps to declare cow as a national animal, the minister said it was his views. Addressing a press conference, the minister also informed that forest cover in the state has increased in recent years. “There is an increase of close to 80 sq km in forest area in the state,” he said. “We have taken steps for environment protection. Officers have been directed to maintain high sustainability rate of plants. Action will be taken against officers if the survival rate of plants is less than 80 per cent. Necessary steps will also be taken to monitor forest cover through satellite to check deforestation and illegal cutting of trees,” he said. The minister informed that a 10-feet high wall will be constructed around Jhalana forest area in Jaipur to prevent wild animals from entering into the urban areas. He said a run will be held in the city on June 5 to mark the World Environment Day.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Energy cooperation in focus,India and Russia vow to widen scope of bilateral ties

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> India and Russia on Thursday reiterated their commitment to take their strategic partnership forward and to continue to widen the scope of bilateral cooperation by launching large-scale initiatives in different spheres. Sharing their vision for the 21st century through a joint declaration signed here this evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin both said that the two countries would look for ways to ?enhance and enrich our bilateral agenda so as to make it more result-oriented.? Focusing on enhancing cooperation in the energy sector, the St. Petersburg Declaration said, ?The economies of India and Russia complement each other in the energy sector. We will strive to build an ?Energy Bridge? between our states and expand bilateral relations in all areas of energy cooperation, including nuclear, hydrocarbon, hydel and renewable energy sources and in improving energy efficiency.? The declaration added,?India and Russia note that wider use of natural gas, an economically efficient and environmentally friendly fuel, which has become an integral part of the global energy market, is highly significant for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and will assist in fulfilling the provisions of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, as well as achieving sustainable economic growth.? ?Cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy has emerged as one of the hallmarks of the strategic partnership between the two countries, contributing to India?s energy security and energizing broader scientific and technological cooperation. With concerted efforts on both sides, there has been a series of steady and demonstrable achievements in our civil nuclear partnership, including advancing nuclear power projects at the Kudankulam site and transforming it into one of India?s largest energy hubs.? ?We welcome the conclusion of the General Framework Agreement and Credit Protocol for Units 5 and 6 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant. We will work towards the implementation of the strategic vision for strengthening cooperation in peaceful uses of atomic energy signed between the two countries on December 11, 2014. The future of Indian-Russian cooperation holds great promise across a wide spectrum covering nuclear power, nuclear fuel cycle and nuclear science and technology.? ?The growing partnership in the nuclear power sector between India and Russia has opened opportunities for developing advanced nuclear manufacturing capabilities in India in line with Government of India?s ?Make in India? initiative. India and Russia commit themselves to earnestly implement the ?Programme of Action for Localization in India? signed on 24 December 2015, and to encourage their nuclear industries to engage closely and foster concrete collaborations.? The declaration further stated, ?We are interested in launching joint projects on exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the Arctic shelf of the Russian Federation. We will develop joint strategies to harness the potential for mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of deep sea exploration and development of hydrocarbon resources, poly-metallic nodules, and other marine resources utilizing strengths in the field of maritime research and training to develop mutually beneficial cooperation.? It added, ?We welcome cooperation among energy companies of both states in modernizing the existing power stations and building new ones in the territory of India. We will endeavour to develop joint projects in each other?s countries through sharing of technologies, experience of working in different terrains and climatic conditions, and use of energy efficient technologies for creation and propagation of cleaner, climate friendly and affordable energy resources.?(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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