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China denies report of plan to build 1,000- km long tunnel to divert Brahmaputra waters

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>China rejected as ‘false and untrue’ a media report that it was planning to build a 1,000- km long tunnel to divert water from the Brahmaputra river in Tibet close to Arunachal Pradesh to the parched Xinjiang region.Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post on Monday said that Chinese engineers were testing techniques that could be used to build the tunnel, the world’s longest.”This is untrue. This is a false report,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing when asked about the report.China will continue to attach great importance to cross- border river cooperation, she said.According to the report, the proposed tunnel, which would drop down from the world’s highest plateau in multiple sections connected by waterfalls, would provide water in China’s largest administrative division, comprising vast swathes of deserts and dry grasslands.The water would be diverted from the Yarlung Tsangpo River in southern Tibet, which turns into the river Brahmaputra once it enters India, to the Taklamakan desert in Xinjiang, the report had said.India as riparian state has already flagged its concerns to China about various dams being built by it on the Brahmaputra river, which is known in China as Yarlung Tsangpo.Beijing has been assuring India and Bangladesh that its dams were not designed to storing water.

Gujarat ro-ro ferry service: Is it really the ‘first of its kind project’ in India?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday visited poll-bound Gujarat for the third time this month and inaugurated the first phase of the Rs 615 crore ‘roll on – roll off’ (ro-ro) ferry service between Ghogha in Saurashtra and Dahej.”This is the first of its kind project not only in India but also in South-East Asia,” PM Modi said during the inauguration, also calling it his “dream project”.This prompted some chatter on Twitter about similar ro-ro ferry services in other parts of the country.What is a ro-ro ferry service?Roll on-roll off (Ro-Ro) ferry services facilitate movement of cargo and passengers across a water body, effectively acting as floating bridges. Vehicles can easily drive in and out of the vessels, helping in faster movement and reducing congestion at the entry and exit points. The service reduces the travel time between two locations that see continuous movement and regular business. Does it exist elsewhere in India?In March this year, the Inland Waterways Authority of India carried out successful berthing operation of a vessel at a Ro-Ro terminal built at a cost of Rs 46 crore on Brahmaputra river (National Waterway-2) in Assam’s Dhubri district. Built at a cost of around Rs 10 crore, the motor vehicle MV Gopinath Bordoloi has the capacity to transport eight trucks and 200 passengers at a time. Regular operations reportedly began in July. Earlier last year, two ro-ro ferry vessels were commissioned in Kerala and then built by Cochin Shipyard Limited to be used on the Fort Kochi-Vypin route. Each vessel costs Rs 3.80 crore and can carry four trucks weighing 10 tonnes, 12 cars or 50 passengers. However, the Kochi Municipal Corporation is yet to take delivery of the vessels and begin service because of a delay in the construction of landing terminals. How does the Gujarat ro-ro ferry service compare?The scale of the the project is definitely much larger than the others.According to Ajay Bhadoo, the chief executive officer of Gujarat Maritime Board which has executed the ro-ro project, the first phase of the service is meant for passengers. In the second phase, which will be ready in two months, cars can also be carried between the two towns. In the third phase, heavy vehicles such as trucks can also be taken in the ferry.To start with, two ships — M V Jay Sophia and Island Jed — can take 300 and 239 passengers, including crew members respectively, the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) said.The service reduces the distance between the two towns from 310 km by road to 30 km, which can be covered in one hour, Bhadoo said.Essar Projects, the EPC arm of Ruias-led Essar Group said it has constructed and designed the ro-ro terminals at both Dahej and Ghogha ports, as part of its Rs 225 crore contract from the Gujarat government.The ro-ro ferry service is expected to carry about 500 passengers and 100-150 vehicles on each trip across the Gulf of Khambhat (also called Gulf of Cambay) over a 30 km (17 nautical miles) navigational channel created on the sea. Once services commence, the ferry is expected to do four round trips every day.”The ferry can take more than 100 trucks at one time, and with such a huge number of vehicles going off the road, it will impact the road connecting Delhi and Mumbai. The number of vehicles on Gujarat’s industrialised zone will reduce, the speed of vehicles will increase and this will take the economic system in top gear,” PM Modi said.

Assam floods claim 11 more lives

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The floods in Assam claimed 11 more lives today even as the authorities said there were some “signs of improvement” in the overall situation. According to a report by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), three persons died in Dhubri, while two lives were lost in Morigaon in flood-related incidents. One person each died in Baksa, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, South Salmara, Kamrup and Kokrajhar districts due to the floods, it said. The third wave of flood has so far claimed 60 lives in the north-eastern state. With today’s casualties, the toll in flood-related incidents this year in Assam has gone up to 144, including eight in the state capital of Guwahati. The ASDMA said 25.93 lakh people were affected by the floods in the state. As per its report, Morigaon is the worst-hit district with 5.29 lakh affected people, followed by Dhubri where 4.76 lakh people are hit by the floods. As many as 2,210 villages were under water and 1.23 lakh hectares of crop area were inundated and damaged, it said. The authorities have set up 488 relief camps and distribution centres in 17 districts, where 90,566 people have taken shelter. Nearly 1,300 people had been evacuated to safer places by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and various district administrations, the ASDMA said. The floods had damaged embankments, roads, bridges etc. in several districts, it said, adding that heavy erosion had been reported from Biswanath district. The Brahmaputra river was flowing above the danger mark at Nimatighat in Jorhat, Goalpara and Dhubri towns, it said. Other rivers such as the Dhansiri at Numaligarh in Golaghat, Jia Bharali at NT Road Crossing in Sonitpur, Kopili at Dharamtul in Nagaon and Beki at Road Bridge in Barpeta were flowing above the danger mark, the ASDMA added. Vast forest areas in the Kaziranga National Park, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and Lawkhua Wildlife Sanctuary were under the flood waters, it said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bihar and Assam floods: Over 1.20 crore people marooned; Assam CM calls for dredging of Brahmaputra

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 36 more flood- related deaths have been reported from Bihar and Assam, even as over 1.20 crore people have been marooned in the two states.The figure of flood casualties mounted to 98 in Bihar, with 26 more people losing their lives. The deluge has affected nearly 93 lakh people in 15 districts, forced postponement of examination and cancellation of trains, officials said.The regional MeT office has forecast rain in southern Bihar for one more week.The Health Department has launched a toll-free number — 104 — officials said, adding hospitals have been directed to maintain a sufficient stock of anti-snake and anti-rabies injections.Araria district accounted for 20 deaths, followed by East Champaran (14), West Champaran (13), Madhepura (12), Sitamarhi (11), Kisanganj (8), Purnea (5), Madhubani (5), Darbhanga (4), Saharsa (3), Sheohar (2) and Supual (1), said Disaster Management Department Principal Secretary Pratyay Amrit.Amrit said 3.59 lakh people have been shifted to safer places. Of them, 2.13 lakh were put up in 504 relief camps.Food packets are being airdropped in inundated areas. Where flood waters have receded, they are being supplied through panchayats. Flood-affected people, sheltering along a road, wait for food in Motihari district of Bihar on Thursday – PTIAmrit said 114 boats of the National Disaster Response Force, 92 of the State Disaster Response Force and 70 of the Army have been deployed for relief and rescue works.Principal Secretary, Road Construction, Amrit Lal Meena said 124 roads, including national highways, have been damaged due to floods.Meanwhile, train services continued to be affected.An East Central Railways statement said 39 trains were cancelled as water overtopped tracks. The cancelled trains included 12235 Dibrugarh-New Delhi Rajdhani, 12424 New Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani till August 20.The floods in Assam claimed 10 more lives. Around 31 lakh people across 24 districts are bearing the brunt of the flooding.The toll in the third wave of floods in the state has risen to 49. 133 people have died so far this year in flood- related incidents.According to a report by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), three persons died in Dhubri, two in Morigaon and one each in Dhemaji, Sonitpur, Barpeta, South Salmara and Nagaon districts.The ASDMA said 31.55 lakh people are affected at present in Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Sonitpur, Udalguri, Darrang, Nalbari, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Chirang, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, South Salmara, Goalpara, Kamrup, Kamrup Metropolitan, Morigaon, Nagaon, Karbi Anglong, Golaghat, Jorhat, Majuli, Sivasagar and Dibrugarh districts.Dhubri is the worst affected with 8.13 lakh people hit. Around 5.30 lakh people have been affected in Morigaon.A man along with his kid uses a make-shift raft to commute in a flood-hit village in Morigaon district in Assam on Thursday – PTICurrently, 2,584 villages are under water. 1.67 lakh hectares of crop area has been damaged, the ASDMA said.Authorities are running 602 relief camps and distribution centres in 21 districts, where 1,01,035 people are taking shelter.The NDRF, SDRF and district administration personnel have evacuated nearly 3,500 people to safer places.The flood has damaged embankments, roads, bridges and other infrastructures in Udalguri, Barpeta, Chirang, Kokrajhar, Nagaon, Golaghat, Lakhimpur, Dhubri, Morigaon, Jorhat and Majuli.Currently, the Brahmaputra river is flowing above the danger mark at Guwahati, Nimatighat in Jorhat, Tezpur in Sonitpur, Goalpara and Dhubri.Meanwhile, Assam’s Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal chaired a high-level meeting where the talk of dredging of the Brahmaputra river was discussed. The officials said that the dredging of the river will start soon as a move to find a permanent solution to the perennial flood problem in Assam.”In course of the meeting, it has been decided to start the dredging of the Brahmaputra from Sadiya from September onwards and as many as five dredgers will be pressed into service for the mega project,” a state government statement said.The floods in Assam claimed 10 more lives. Around 31 lakh people across 24 districts are bearing the brunt of the flooding.The toll in the third wave of floods in the state has risen to 49. 133 people have died so far this year in flood- related incidents.Today’s meeting took up the construction of Brahmaputra Expressway threadbare and decided to rope in experts and manpower of Border Roads Organisation to build the expressway with the sand and silt dug-out through dredging.The Assam government will submit the detailed project report for Brahmaputra Expressway soon. Chief Minister Sonowal requested the Brahmaputra Board to set up a unit in Majuli and upscale its manpower to tackle flood in the island as well as in the state.In the meeting, the Director General of Brahmaputra Board informed that the Board decided to start three major projects upstream to protect the river island Majuli from the fury of flood.He also informed that a Rs 237-crore road-cum-embankment project would soon be started in the southern bank of Majuli which would help check flood-induced damages in the river island.The meeting was held as a sequel to the announcement of Prime Minister’s Rs 2,000 crore package for Assam and the Northeast for relief, rehabilitation, reconstruction and flood mitigation measures.The package includes Rs 400 crore for improving water carrying capacity of the Brahmaputra through dredging in its entire stretch from Sadiya to Dhubri.Sonowal said the proposed dredging besides enhancing the water holding capacity of the Brahmaputra would help in increasing navigation besides revamping the communication on the proposed Brahmaputra Express Highway.The chief minister also asked the central government to take up the repairing work of the National Highways in view of the deplorable road conditions.

Sonowal rushes to Delhi to discuss flood problem with PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Following the third spell of devastating flood hitting the state, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today rushed to the National Capital to discuss the problem with the Prime Minister. “Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who jetted off to New Delhi on Wednesday, would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and apprise him of preliminary damage of the third wave of flood that lashed the state affecting 24 districts,” an official statement said. Besides drawing the attention of the Prime Minister on the destruction caused by the flood affecting nearly 34 lakh people, Sonowal would also discuss the probable modus operandi for thrashing out a permanent solution to flood and erosion. The third wave of devastating flood has so far claimed the lives of 39 people across the state, taking the total number of persons losing their lives in this year’s flood related incidents in Assam to 123. While paying a day-long visit to Guwahati, Modi had announced a total package of Rs 2,350 crore for the North East. “Chief Minister Sonowal would also request Narendra Modi to constitute an inter-ministerial team headed by a Cabinet Minister to visit the flood ravaged Assam and assess the post flood impact and loss in terms of lives and properties,” the statement said. Sonowal would also request Modi to involve neighbouring states and Bhutan for hammering out a permanent solution to flood in Assam. Earlier, Modi called Sonowal twice in as many days and expressed his concern over the recurrence of floods and the widespread destruction it caused. Sonowal is likely to hold discussion with the line departments in New Delhi regarding studying the course of the Brahmaputra and carrying out dredging throughout the entire course of the river from Sadiya to Dhubri, it added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Assam flood situation serious, 11 more dead

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The flood situation in Assam continued to deteriorate with 11 more lives lost today. Around 33.45 lakh people in 24 districts of the state remained affected due to the flood. With the deaths reported today, the toll in the third wave of floods has gone up to 39 in the north-eastern state. The floods have claimed 123 lives so far this year in Assam, including eight in Guwahati. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal left for Delhi today to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and apprise him of the preliminary damage caused by the third wave of floods. According to a report by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), three persons died in Bongaigaon, two each in Dhubri, Nalbari and Morigaon in flood-related incidents. One person died in Dhemaji and Nagaon districts each due to the havoc. The ASDMA, in its report, said 33.45 lakh people in 24 districts were affected due to the floods. Dhubri, with 8.5 lakh affected people was the worst hit, followed by Morigaon where 5.1 lakh people were affected, said the ASDMA. As many as 2,970 villages were under water and 1.43 lakh hectares of crop area were damaged, the report said. The ASDMA said the authorities were running 304 relief camps and distribution centres in 21 districts, where 1,38,648 people had taken shelter. Over 4,600 people have been evacuated to safer places by State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel. The flood has damaged embankments, roads, bridges etc. in several districts. The ASDMA said heavy erosion was witnessed in Chirang and Biswanath districts. The Brahmaputra river was flowing above the danger mark at Guwahati, Nimatighat in Jorhat, Tezpur in Sonitpur, Goalpara and Dhubri towns, officials said. Other rivers such as the Dhansiri at Numaligarh in Golaghat, Jia Bharali at NT Road Crossing in Sonitpur, Kopili at Dharamtul in Nagaon, Beki at Road Bridge in Barpeta, Kushiyara at Karimganj town were flowing above the danger mark, they added. Most of the forest areas in the Kaziranga National Park, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and Lawkhua Wildlife Sanctuary were under the flood waters, they said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Flood situation in Assam deteriorates, toll reaches 28

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The flood situation in Assam deteriorated today as the second wave of deluge affected 25 of its 32 districts claiming 10 more lives, besides displacing 33 lakh people. The Army was assisting the civil administration in rescue and relief operations as the Brahmaputra river and its tributaries were flowing above their danger levels snapping surface communications in many parts of the state. Three persons died in Morigaon district, one each in Dhemaji, Darrang, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, Goalpara, Nagaon and Dibrugarh districts taking the toll to 28. According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) here, the toll in flood-related incidents this year now stands at 112. Thirty-three lakh people were affected in 25 districts, including Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Sonitpur, Darrang, Baksa, Nalbari, Barpeta and Bongaigaon. Dhemaji district in upper Assam is the worst-hit where nearly one lakh people were affected. Flood water is flowing over the roofs of houses in many areas, the ASDMA said. As flood waters were flowing over National Highway 37, communication between upper and lower Assam have snapped. Vehicles were stranded on the highway and being diverted via Nagaland, official sources said. According to a defence spokesperson, troops of Gajraj Corps were involved in relief and rescue operations in Nagaon and other districts of lower Assam. The Army’s flood relief columns are involved in relief and rescue operations in Purabheti and Jaklabandha. They have established liaison with the state administration and are coordinating relief operations with them, he said. Army vehicles are assisting the civil administration in ferrying rations and other provisions to the relief camps, the spokesperson said, adding the commanders of the relief force are interacting regularly with the deputy commissioners of the affected districts. District administration sources said the Army was assisting them in air dropping food packets and other relief items in the flood-hit areas. Around 1.83 lakh hectares of standing crops has been inundated with Morigaon being the worst-affected, followed by Kokrajhar, the ASDMA report said, adding the deluge has affected at least 1.8 lakh domestic animals. The district administrations have set up 315 relief camps where 1.68 lakh people are taking shelter. The SDRF and NDRF have deployed 232 boats so far and rescued more than 14,000 people, the ASDMA said. Waters of the Brahmaputra river were flowing above the danger mark at Guwahati, Nimatighat in Jorhat, Tezpur in Sonitpur, Goalpara and Dhubri towns. The Burhidehing river is flowing above the danger mark at Khowang in Dibrugarh district, the Dhansiri river at Numaligarh in Golaghat, the Jia Bharali river at N T Road Crossing in Sonitpur, and the Puthimari river at N H Road Crossing in Kamrup. The overflowing waters of the rivers have damaged embankments, roads, bridges and other infrastructures in a number of districts including, Dhemaji, Sonitpur, Darrang, Nalbari, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Morigaon, Nagaon, Golaghat, Biswanath and Chirang districts. With a majority areas under Kaziranga National Park, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and Lawkhua Wildlife Sanctuary inundated, a large number of animals, including rhinos, were taking shelter in the highlands or have moved to safer areas across the hills, the forest department said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Flood situation in Assam, Bihar grim; improvement in WB

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The flood situation in Assam and Bihar remained grim today with more deaths reported and lakhs remaining affected while it improved slightly in West Bengal. The national capital experienced a normal day, with the minimum temperature being recorded at 28.5 degrees Celsius and the maximum hovering around 35 degrees Celsius. Humidity level was recorded at 65 per cent in the morning, with skies remaining partly cloudy. Ten deaths were reported in Assam, taking the toll in the second wave of floods in the state to 28, officials said. The Brahmaputra river and its tributaries are flowing over the danger level snapping surface communications across Assam, even as flood waters submerged railway tracks at many places in Katihar and Alipurduar divisions of Northeast Frontier Railway, disrupting rail traffic in the region. The floods have affected 25 of Assam’s 32 districts, displacing 33 lakh people. Barring a few areas, there was no heavy rain in West Bengal during the day. Water levels of all major rivers in north Bengal which were flowing above danger marks came down to some extent. The overall situation in worst-hit Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar districts improved, authorities said. Bankura in the state received the maximum of 110 mm rainfall till this morning. Gojoldoba, in northern part of the state, received 90 mm rain, while Diana received 80 mm rain. The death toll rose to 56 in Bihar, where 69.81 lakh people have been hit by inundation in 13 districts, with Muzaffarpur being the latest addition. The flood situation was grim in north Bihar, where rivers are flowing above the danger level and have caused immense loss and damage. Patna recorded 19 mm rains from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm today, while Gaya and Bhagalpur registered 4 mm downpour. While Patna recorded a maximum temperature of 30.2 degrees Celsius, it was 32.4 degrees Celsius in Gaya and 35.2 degrees Celsius in Bhagalpur. In Punjab and Haryana, the maximum temperatures hovered around levels normal for this time of the season. Chandigarh recorded a maximum temperature of 34.5 degrees Celsius. Ludhiana in Punjab witnessed a rainfall of 27 mm.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Silt, sand carried by rivers causing Assam floods: CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Celebrating 71st Independence Day amid devastating flood across the state, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today said the main cause of the havoc created by Brahmaputra river is silt and sand carried by rivers from other states. “The root cause of Brahmaputra’s flood is large amount of silt and sand carried by the rivers from neighbouring states,” Sonowal said after hoisting the national flag at the official ceremony here. The river bed of Brahmaputra is rising gradually and reducing its water carrying capacity, he said. “The prime cause of increasing silt and sand carried by rain water is deforestation in the neighbouring states. We have apprised the prime minister of the matter during his recent Guwahati visit,” he said. Sonowal said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured him of his full support and cooperation towards finding a lasting solution to the problem by taking up the matter with the neighbouring states. The deluge has caused massive damage in different parts of the state and has claimed lives of many persons, besides affecting the wildlife, Sonowal said. The state government is extending all help in providing relief and rehabilitation to the sufferers and is committed to take up the restoration wok in a time-bound manner, he said. The chief minister said the revenue collection has increased 21.6 per cent to Rs 15,620 crore in the last fiscal from Rs 12,848 crore in 2015-16. “The plan expenditure has increased to 64.46 per cent in 2016-17 against only 37 per cent in 2015-16. Similarly, total fund released from the state exchequer in 2016-17 was Rs 53,562 crore against Rs 39,805 crore in 2015-16,” he said. Sonowal also said that his government has adopted a policy of zero-tolerance against any form of corruption in the state. The Assam government has taken a pledge to make the state free from corruption, illegal immigrants, terrorism and pollution, the chief minister said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Train services disrupted due to heavy rains in north Bengal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>North Bengal bound trains that originated from Sealdah and Howrah were terminated at various stations as heavy rains in sub-Himalayan districts of West Bengal led to a deluge. Due to flood situation in Northeast Frontier Railway jurisdiction, north Bengal bound trains originating from Sealdah and Howrah that were delaying en route had to be controlled, a statement issued by Eastern Railway said. The statement said that 12343 Up Darjeeling Mail & 12377 Up Padatik Express were detained at Murarai and Chatra stations respectively. These trains had left Sealdah yesterday. Similarly 12503 Up Bangalore Cantonment-Kamakhya Express via Howrah was detained at Bansloi Bridge station and 14056 Delhi-Dibrugarh Brahmaputra Mail was detained at Sahibganj station. 13147 Up Uttarbanga Express and 13149 Up Kanchankanya Express had been short terminated at Malda Town and returning from there to Sealdah as passenger special trains. These trains had left from Sealdah yesterday. Besides, 15659 Up Kanchanjungha Express scheduled to leave Sealdah station today has been cancelled. Teesta Torsa Express scheduled to leave from Sealdah station at 1.40 pm today was cancelled due to flood water running over the track in Katihar Division, a statement issued by CPRO Eastern Railway said. Instructions have been given to all DRMs to control the trains at relatively bigger stations and monitor the availability of adequate food, catering arrangement and drinking water in those stations for the convenience of the passengers, an Eastern Railway statement said. Instructions have also been issued to make proper security arrangements for passengers, the statement said. Very heavy to extremely heavy rains occurred at most places in Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar and Alipurduar districts, while heavy to very heavy rain occurred at many places over Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts yesterday.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

PM Modi announces package of Rs 2,350 crore for floods in North East

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a total package of Rs 2,350 crore for all north eastern states for mitigating the impact of floods in short and long term basis.Modi is on a day-long visit to Guwahati where he will meet the chief ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland and with respective Cabinets to take stock of the latest flood situation. “The prime minister today announced Rs 2,350 crore total flood package for the north eastern states,” Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told reporters here. Giving a breakup, Sarma said, “The prime minister has announced a special package of Rs 2,000 crore for all the north eastern states for relief and rehabilitation of flood damage.”The exact share of different states will be worked out in coming days and will be announced accordingly, he added. In addition to that, the Prime Minister has announced a Rs 100 crore corpus for setting up a research project to study the Brahmaputra and its role in creating devastating flood, Sarma said. “This project will have a high power committee comprising scientists, researchers, engineers. They will study the river and suggest remedies to tackle floods. This will be long term project,” he added.Regarding Assam, the state finance minister said the prime minister announced release of Rs 250 crore immediately to carry out relief and rehabilitation. “The prime minister had released Rs 300 crore in June. The Rs 250 crore announced today was in addition to the amount released in June,” Sarma said.

Assam flood damage ‘very profound, large-scale’: central team

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An inter-ministerial central team assessing the damages caused by floods in Assam today termed the destruction as “very profound and large-scale”. The seven-member team is in the state since July 25, on the directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to carry out an on-the-spot assessment of the damages caused by the flood. The team headed by Union Joint Secretary Home Affairs V Shashank Shekhar called on Chief Minister Sarbanada Sonowal today and apprised him about their findings after visiting the flood-affected districts, official sources said. Shekhar told the chief minister that they personally saw the damages, distress and migration of the flood-hit people and observed that the destruction was “very profound and large-scale”. As part of their on-the-spot-assessment, the teams interacted with the affected people and respective district administrations to find out the intensity of the damages caused by the flood, Shekhar told the chief minister. The teams, divided into two groups, visited the flood-hit Brahmaputra and Barak valley districts of Biswanath, Lakhimpur, Majuli, Barpeta, Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj. Sonowal appreciated the central team’s visit to the state in the midst of floods as it helped them to see the real damages casued by the flood, the sources said. Sonowal said that most of the embankments which were constructed as safeguard to rural habitations had outlived their utility. He also informed the team that a proposal was submitted to the Union government to take up ‘Prime Minister’s Special Programme for Flood and Erosion Control’ for developing embankments as road-cum-embankments stretching upto 5,000 km in the state. The chief minister said that once the 5,000 km stretch is converted into road-cum-embankment, it would help rural people in terms of connectivity and benefit rural economy as well as tourism. This initiative would also facilitate implementation of PMGSY to connect every village in the state, he added. Sonowal also cited the survey report of international organisations that Brahmaputra holds the highest threat perception to adjacent areas due to heavy undercurrent of its water. The chief minister suggested that the team incorporate this information in its report so that a holistic approach involving both the central and state governments could be taken up for intensifying flood protection measures. Referring to the issue of resettlement of people, who became homeless and landless due to flood, he urged the team to include this in their report for release of funds by the central government. Considering the gravity of the situation and the intensity of flood damage in Assam, Shekhar told the chief minister that the team would submit its report to the Centre “at the earliest” so that funds for tackling the flood could be released expeditiously. The team also met Chief Secretary V K Pipersenia in the presence of senior government officials and briefed him about their findings. The team also included chief engineer CWC Shillong P M Scott, director (states-NE) Niti Aayog Sanjay Kumar, assistant director Ministry of Finance B K Mishra, assistant executive engineer of Road, Transport and Highways Sachin Kumar Gautam, assistant director Rural Development of National Rural Road Development Agency (NRRDA) Rakesh Kumar and UP Director of Sugarcane Development A L Wagmare.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Centre sanctions Rs 600 crore for Assam’s road repair and river dredging

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre on Wednesday sanctioned Rs 200 crore for repair of national highways in Assam which was damaged by the recent floods.Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, promised more fund for repair of the north eastern state’s highway network after a central team completes an assessment of the exact damage.A statement from the ministry of Road Transport and Highways stated that the minister has also sanctioned Rs 400 crore for dredging work in Brahmaputra.Gadkari said the Brahmaputra Express Highway will be constructed in Assam as a highway-cum-embankment to check floods in future.A delegation from Assam, led by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, met Gadkari On Wednesday.The minister said the situation in Assam has been reviewed and Rs 200 crore was sanctioned for repairing damaged national highways, adding that additional funds of Rs 400 crore has been sanctioned for dredging in Brahmaputra river, also for the purpose of controlling floods.The minister said floods get worse in Brahmaputra as silt is not removed from the river bed.”Large scale work needs to be done and we have sanctioned Rs 400 crore for dredging in the 600-km length,” Gadkari said, adding that the work will start in September.He said it is for the first time that the Centre would construct seven bridges in Assam as against three bridges which were built after independence.”Work on two bridges are on and detailed project report (DPR) will be made for the others soon,” he said, adding that the government plans a multi-purpose express highway in Assam, for which the state government will prepare a DPR.”The dredging material will be used in the multipurpose express highway. It will also act as an embankment of Brahmaputra, for controlling floods,” he said.The proposal for the 5,000-km express highway was submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 18, and its cost would be assessed after the completion of its DPR.Aside Sonowal, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan also met Gadkari on Wednesday and discussed about Vizhinjam Port and expansion of highways in the southern state.A release stated Gadkari has assured the Kerala chief minister that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will soon be floating tenders for six laning of highways in the state.

Rijiju visits flood, landslide-hit Assam, Arunachal Pradesh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister Kiren Rijiju today visited flood-affected Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, where incessant rains have marooned more than 15 lakh people and deluge and landslides have claimed many lives. Rijiju, who was deputed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to assess the flood situation in the Northeast, first undertook an aerial survey of flood-hit districts in Assam, where the death toll due to the deluge has mounted to 45. Before the survey, he met district administration officials in Lakhimpur in Assam, which has been hit the hardest by floods, and visited deluge-ravaged Pasnoi Baolidan village. More than 3 lakh people have been marooned by flood waters in Lakhimpur district alone. Though rains have eluded the district in the past two days, the Brahmaputra river and its tributaries are flowing above the danger mark in several areas. Lakhimpur district officials briefed the minister on the relief operations being carried out in the district. Around 15 lakh people in 24 districts in the state have been hit by floods. Later, the minister reached Arunachal Pradesh where at least five persons were killed and nine missing due to landslides following incessant rains in Papum Pare district. Rijiju visited the areas where infrastructures have been badly hit. In Papum Pare, a major pipeline which supplied potable water, has burst, making the lives of nearly a lakh of people miserable. The pipeline supplied water to two towns — Naharlagun and Nirajali from Nyorach area in the district. When Rijiju asked how the people in these two towns are getting water, a senior district official said that tanks are being sent to the areas. The water supply is expected to be restored in 10 days. Several major roads in Arunachal Pradesh have been damaged due to landslides with district officials working round the clock to restore the roads. Floods and landslides triggered by incessant rain in the last a couple of days have completely cut off many district headquarters in the state from the rest of the country, officials said. The state capital was virtually cut off with its lifeline NH 415 getting totally eroded at the entry point, while the alternate road via Jullang remained blocked leaving only one road through Hollongi en route Lakhimpur district in Assam open, they said. Rijiju has asked the district authorities in Papum Pare to submit a detailed report of loss and damage so that further action can be initiated accordingly. The minister also visited people in the affected areas and assured them of all possible help. He visited Badapani bridge in Papum Pare district where traffic has been closed for heavy vehicles. The bridge has also been damaged due to incessant rains. Major rivers in the state are still flowing above the danger level while surface communication was disrupted at many places along the NH-415 that links Assam with Arunachal Pradesh, officials said. Modi had spoken to Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu over phone and assured all possible support from the Centre and said that the country is with the state during these trying times. Union minister of state for development of north eastern region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh said today in New Delhi that as many as 80 people have lost their lives in the floods that have hit 58 districts in the Northeast.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Rijiju undertakes aerial survey of flood-hit areas in Assam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister Kiren Rijiju today undertook an aerial survey of flood-hit districts in Assam, where the death toll due to the deluge has mounted to 45. The minister of state for home was accompanied by officials of the National Disaster Response Force, NITI Ayog and National Disaster Management Authority. Before the survey, Rijiju met district administration officials in Lakhimpur, which has been hit the hardest by floods, and visited deluge-ravaged Pasnoi Baolidan village. More than 3 lakh people have been marooned by flood waters in Lakhimpur district alone. Though rains eluded the district over the last two days, the Brahmaputra river and its tributaries are flowing above the danger mark in several areas. Lakhimpur district officials briefed the minister on the relief operation being conducted in the district. They told him that the water level has started receding. Heavy rainfall in upper catchment area of Arunachal Pradesh as well as Lakhimpur increased the water level of all the 14 rivers and their tributaries in the district. Ranganadi, Dikting and Singra rivers swelled up after a huge quantity of water was released from NEEPCO dam in Yazuli, the district officials told Rijiju. A total of 431 villages in seven revenue circles have been inundated by the deluge and as many as 3,27,729 people are bearing the brunt of floods in Lakhimpur. “Twenty relief camps and 205 health camps have been set up in the district,” an official said. Rijiju asked the district administration to expedite the relief operation as there has been no rain in the last two days. He went through an initial report of the flood situation in the district and assured them of all possible assistance from the Centre. During his visit to Pasnoi village, Rijiju met the affected local villagers and promised them succour. Around 15 lakh people in 24 districts in the state have been hit by floods.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Five more die in Assam floods, monsoon advances to Punjab

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It was another day of monsoon misery in the Northeast with five more people losing their lives in the deluge in Assam, while several places in neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh, including state capital Itanagar, were cut off by floods and landslides. With all the districts of Manipur too reeling under rains and floods, the Centre today dispatched a team led by Union minister Kiren Rijiju to oversee rescue and relief operations in affected areas in the entire region. The south-west monsoon, meanwhile, continued its advance, as it entered Punjab and parts of Haryana — a week later than its expected arrival — bringing moderate to heavy rains in the region. The maximum temperature dropped sharply after showers lashed the region. In Punjab, Amritsar recorded a high of 30.5 degrees Celsius, five notches below normal, after receiving a heavy downpour (153 mm). Ludhiana, too, was lashed by heavy showers (48 mm) and the maximum temperature in the industrial town settled at 30.3 degrees Celsius, four notches below normal. In Haryana, Karnal recorded a maximum of 28.2 deg C, down five notches, after being lashed by showers. Ambala, which received heavy rain, recorded a high of 27.6 deg C, down seven notches. Yamunanagar, Panipat, Jhajjar, Faridabad, Rewari, Rohtak, Panchkula, Bhiwani, Gurugram and Kurukshetra were among the other areas in Haryana that saw rains. Back in Assam, the mighty Brahmaputra and its tributaries submerged 2,500 villages, destroyed 1.06 lakh hectares of cropland, damaged infrastructure by breaching embankments and overrunning roads and bridges — disrupting surface communication, an Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) official said. With the fresh deaths, the toll in the state caused by the floods — a yearly recurrence — has gone up to 44. Nearly one lakh people have been forced to take shelter in 231 relief camps. Nearly 75 per cent of World Heritage site Kaziranga National Park has been inundated leading to the drowning of two female hog deer and one male swamp deer in its Northern Range. Manipur, meanwhile, has suffered a loss of around Rs 131 crore in the floods since cyclone Mora hit the state in late May, leading to floods and related incidents like landslides. More than 20 per cent of its total paddy fields in five districts of the Imphal valley have been hit by the deluge. In Arunachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Pema Khandu has directed the administration to issue orders for evacuation of people living in vulnerable areas of Itanagar to safer areas and appealed to people in such places to shift to relief camps. The state capital was virtually cut off with its lifeline NH 415 getting totally eroded at the entry point, while the alternate road via Jullang remained blocked, leaving only one road — through Hollongi enroute Lakhimpur district in Assam. Yesterday, five persons had been killed and nine went missing as a massive landslide triggered by incessant rains hit eight dwellings in Papum Pare district. Across Bihar, temperatures rose marginally as rains receded today but major towns of the state continued to face waterlogging due to previous downpours. Though the rains subsided in Uttar Pradesh, several areas in Allahabad were flooded after showers today. Heavy to very heavy rains continued to lash several parts of Himachal Pradesh as the monsoon remained active in the region. Water entered some low-lying residential areas in Una which received more than 140 mm of rains in past two days. The local Met office has predicted a wet spell in the region till July 17. It was a typically humid day in the national capital as the maximum and minimum temperatures settled at 33.2 degrees Celsius 26 degrees Celsius — both below the normal levels. While 24.7 mm rainfall was recorded till 8.30 AM, no rain was received in the city during the day. The local Met office has forecast overcast skies along with the possibility of light and moderate rains and thundershowers tomorrow. In Rajasthan, light to moderate rainfall occurred at a few isolated places in Udaipur, Jaipur, Bharatpur, Jodhpur and Bikaner divisions in last 24 hours.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

PM Modi has assured full assistance to flood-affected areas Assam CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday assured full assistance to the state of Assam, which is facing havoc due to the recent floods. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal informed that the Prime Minister has assured full support to the state. ?The Prime Minister has assured us full support and we are thankful to him for his great gesture and kind support,? Sonowal told ANI. Sonowal further said that the state government has been taking initiatives to help out the affected people. Instructions to release ex-gratia have also been given. ?Our MLAs, MP and ministers, along with the district administration are there out to help people. The district administration has been directed to extend their best possible support to all those affected. They have also been asked to release ex-gratia to those who have lost their relatives,? he said. Fourteen districts of Assam are in the grip of floods, nearly 39,753 people have been affected by it so far. The flood-affected districts are Lakhimpur, Jorhat, Golaghat, Sivasagar, Cachar, Dhemaji, Biswanath, Karimganj, Sonitpur, Hojai, Majuli, Barpeta, Chirang, Nagaon and Nalbari. Yesterday, three more minors lost their lives in the current wave of floods in Assam, taking the toll to 24. The situation has made the state government to open 128 relief camps, with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal taking stock of the situation. On July 5, nearly four lakh people reeled under the fury of flood in 13 districts, caused by incessant rains in Assam, according to official sources. The flood water has submerged the low lying areas of the Kaziranga national park. Meanwhile, several rivers were still continuously showing a mounting trend. Ferry services between Guwahati and North Guwahati has been suspended for the time being as the Brahmaputra is maintaining an increasing trend. State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) has already evacuated 400 students to safer places at Nalbari district. On July 3, flood claimed life of one in Lakhimpur district. Some of the worst affected districts were Karimganj, Lakhimpur, Golaghat. Nearly 24 thousand people are taking shelter at 108 relief camps. Relief materials like drinking water and rice are being distributed and the medical teams were also deployed in flood hit areas. Cattle stock, houses, infrastructures including roads and culverts and agriculture land are deluged due to floods.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

This river crusader’s death turned tide against ULFA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Twenty years ago to this day, at the riverine island of Majuli, a 38-year-old man set out to speak to village men at a goat farm. But what happened thereafter, changed the discourse of the state’s politics forever. Sanjay Ghose, a rural development activist, who was working in the island to help the local people deal with the onslaught of the Brahmaputra, set out to meet the villagers who stayed close to the river to discuss ways of dealing with the problem. Soon after, some men who said they were from the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) asked Ghose and his colleague Chandan Doley to cycle with them. That was the last that anyone ever heard of Ghose. Ghose’s wife, Sumita, who was at another end of the island, remembers the endless wait. “For the longest time, we did not know what had happened. The ULFA gave out contradictory statements, and there was a lot of running around. If a violation is caused by the state, you can go to the police, the court, an MP or an MLA to complain. But, who does one protest to about an outlawed organisation, which is faceless?” Sumita says. It was later revealed that Ghose was killed soon after the abduction, and his body, ironically, was thrown into the Brahmaputra, though it was never found. Ghose’s disappearance led to a huge uproar, especially in the national imagination. His disappearance, and eventual death, was also the moment when the tide turned against the ULFA in the popular imagination. When, in 2007, ULFA leader Mrinal Hazarika and some cadres surrendered, they apologised for Ghose’s murder. But Sumita says the apology was a shallow one. “It did not touch me at all. No leader apologised to me personally,” she says.

BJP Govt. sincere about preventing Bangladeshi infiltration Sonowal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union Government is sincere about preventing infiltration of Bangladeshis into Assam. “This particular issue (infiltration of Bangladeshi citizens into Assam) is handled by the Indian Home Ministry, and it is sincere. I have particularly visited both sectors ? Dakshi Salma Mancachar and Dhubri, that?s a Brahmaputra valley sharing this Bangladesh border and near Barak Valley Karinganj and Cachar – twice. I have visited personally and now we had an interactive session with all the agencies which are in-charge of the construction (of border fencing),? Sonowal said. The Chief Minister asserted that his government was not going to compromise with corruption and denied reports that showed a sting operation of reviving of illegal extortion from vehicles entering Assam in the name of entry pass which used to happen during the Congress Government?s tenure. Sonowal expressed that the random indents of road blockage in Manipur were a matter of worry as not only do they incur huge economic losses for the state, but also the public and the government are against it. The Assam Chief Minister also asserted that the North-East region has witnessed development after the BJP Government came to power at the Centre.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

PM Modi to inaugurate India’s longest bridge in Assam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Dhola-Sadiya Bridge on the Brahmaputra, the country’s longest bridge, in Assam on Friday. The bridge will connect Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and is 9.15 kilometers long. On the same day, Prime Minister Modi will also lay the foundation stone of the proposed Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) at Gogamukh in Dhemaji district and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Sarusajai in Guwahati. He will also address the nation from Guwahati on completion of three years of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA Government at the Centre and one year of the BJP-led Assam Government. On Wednesday, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, BJP?s Assam unit president Ranjit Kumar Das and Special Director General of Assam Police Kula Saikia reviewed the security at Khanapara in Guwahati, where the Prime Minister will address the nation from a public meeting. Sonowal told ANI, “It is a proud moment for the people of Assam, as Prime Minister Modi will address the nation from Assam as the BJP marks three years of the NDA Government.” Sonowal further said that all Cabinet ministers of the Union Government would participate in the public meeting to be held at Khanapara. Apart from the Union Ministers, several top BJP leaders and Chief Ministers of the BJP-ruled states would also take part in the programme.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

PM Modi to inaugurate India’s longest bridge in Assam tomorrow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Dhola-Sadiya Bridge on the Brahmaputra, the country’s longest bridge, in Assam on May 26. The bridge will connect Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and is 9.15 kilometres long. On the same day, Prime Minister Modi will also lay the foundation stone of the proposed Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) at Gogamukh in Dhemaji district and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Sarusajai in Guwahati. He will also address the nation from Guwahati on completion of three years of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA government at the Centre and one year of the BJP-led Assam government. On Wednesday, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, BJP?s Assam unit president Ranjit Kumar Das, and Special DG of Assam police Kula Saikia reviewed the security at Khanapara in Guwahati, where PM will address the nation from a public meeting. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal told ANI, “It is a proud moment for the people of Assam, as Prime Minister Modi will address the nation from Assam as the BJP marks three years of the NDA government.” Sonowal further said that all cabinet ministers of the Union Government would participate in the public meeting to be held at Khanapara tomorrow. Apart from the union ministers, several top BJP leaders and Chief Ministers of the BJP-ruled states would also take part in the programme.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cabinet okays transfer of Janpath hotel property

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave in-principle approval to transfer of Janpath Hotel property from the India Tourism Development Corporation Ltd (ITDC) to Ministry of Urban Development. The hotel rooms would be used as government offices thus saving the exchequer the amount on taking private properties on rent for official purposes.Janpath hotel, located in a prime central location of the city, stopped its operations from Wednesday.According to officials, details of implementation of the project and land usages would be taken subsequently by a Committee of Secretaries to be constituted under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary.The building of Janpath hotel has to undergo major rehabilitation work since the building structure of hotel has been found to be unserviceable, in distressed condition and deficit in the context of seismic requirements, according to the inspection report of IIT Roorkee.The Centre has incurred an expense of Rs 27 crore as rent on MPs stay in a five-star hotel during 2015-16. It has also initiated the process of disinvestment of hotels and properties of the ITDC. The decision on disinvestment has been made, keeping in view that running and managing hotels on professional lines is not the work of the Government or its entities.In the first stage of the disinvestment process, it was decided to disinvest three hotels like Hotel Lake View Ashok, Bhopal, Hotel Brahmaputra Ashok, Guwahati and Hotel Bharatpur Ashok. Hotel Janpath, New Delhi is next in the list.At present, most of the Lok Sabha members live in the MP flats in North Avenue and South Avenue, close to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, and also in Narmada and Kaveri Blocks.

Sonowal for fast execution of NLCPR projects in Assam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today reviewed the projects under Non Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) for the state at a meeting with the Secretary of DoNER Naveen Verma here. Sonowal held discussions on nine projects that have already been sanctioned and another three projects which are approved and are at the final stage of being sanctioned. Reiterating his commitment to expeditiously implement the projects for overall development of the state, Sonowal said “There must be renewed focus on implementing the projects and the rate of their completion must be impressive for fast development of the state.” The specifics of the execution of schemes under NLCPR fund administered by the Ministry of DoNER was also discussed. Stating that nine projects at a total cost of Rs 147.15 crore are under different stages of implementation, officials said they include construction of RCC bridge on Mancotta Khamtighat road in Dibrugarh district, indoor stadium at Dongkamokam under Hamren sub-division, road from NH 31 to Kashimpur Suplekuchi via Purbabharti, an alternative road to Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati from Pandu and others. Digheeripar Bordoulguri Borachuba road in Darrang district, road from Subhaijhar to Uttar Ballamguri at Bijni in Chirang district, construction of a multi-disciplinary sports complex at Khanikar in Dibrugarh district, construction of N L Daulagupu Sports Stadium and construction of a railway over-bridge at Jorhat town were also discussed. In the meeting the Chief Minister asked Inland Waterways Authority of India chairperson Nutan Guha Biswas to streamline the last minute preparations along with all line departments for carrying out dredging of the Brahmaputra so that the river can be used adequately and effectively as National Waterway-2 for trade and commerce with neighbouring countries. Chief Secretary V K Pipersenia, Additional Chief Secretary K V Eapen and Principal Secretary Sanjay Lohiya were present in the meeting.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SPG stops Tarun Gogoi from visiting Dhola-Sadiya bridge

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi was today prevented from visiting Dhola-Sadiya bridge in Tinsukia district to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday citing “security concerns”. The site of the bridge, construction of which was started in 2011 when Congress was in power both at the Centre and the state, has been taken over by the elite Special Protection Group (SPG) for the prime minister’s visit on May 26. “They did not allow me to go to the bridge saying that it is because of security concerns and law and order issues. “Am I a terrorist? Will I break the laws? Why are they not allowing me to visit the bridge?” questioned Gogoi, who himself enjoys ‘Z Plus’ security cover. The Congress government had laid the foundation, carried out the construction and completed the bridge on Brahmaputra river but now BJP was trying to take all the credit by inaugurating it with much fanfare, he said. “It is like we planted a tree, nurtured it, but now they are eating the fruits. Let them. But can’t I even come and see my tree?” asked the veteran Congress leader. Gogoi, who reached the spot this morning but was not allowed to go to the bridge by the security personnel, alleged that he was stopped due to “political conspiracy”. When contacted, Tinsukia district deputy commissioner Ranjan Chakravartty said “The bridge is closed because of the inauguration. SPG has sanitised it. SPG said no one would be allowed to go except the workers. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the bridge, which is expected to immensely benefit the people of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, to mark the BJP government’s third anniversary at the Centre and first year in Assam. The 9.16 km Dhola-Sadiya bridge is being touted as the longest in the country.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India’s longest bridge to be inaugurated near China border

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India’s longest river bridge, capable of withstanding the weight of a 60-tonne battle tank, will be inaugurated in Assam close to the border with China on May 26 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With the inauguration of the 9.15-km-long Dhola-Sadiya bridge over the Brahmaputra river, the prime minister will kick start the celebrations of the NDA government’s three years in office from this eastern-most part of Assam. The bridge is seen as an attempt by India to shore up its defence requirements along the Sino-Indian border particularly in the Northeast besides providing easy access to the people of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam with air and rail connectivity. It is 3.55 km longer than the Bandra-Worli sea link in Mumbai, making it the longest bridge in India. “The prime minister will dedicate the strategically important bridge to the nation on May 26. It will bolster the road connectivity in the Northeast as the bridge will be used by people of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh besides defence forces extensively,” Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BNP wants Teesta water sharing agreement during Hasina’s India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) wants the Teesta water sharing agreement to be signed between New Delhi and Dhaka during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ongoing four-day visit to India. Dhaka Tribune quoted BNP spokesperson Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir as saying that they would not accept any treaty or agreement with India except for the long-pending Teesta water sharing deal. He said the Teesta water sharing issue is at present the country?s main problem, adding the BNP has already clarified its stance about the Prime Minister?s India visit. The BNP had earlier said that they were not in favour of signing a deal or agreement on defence cooperation during the visit. India is likely to offer USD 500 million Line of Credit to Bangladesh for defence exports from the country during Hasina?s visit. Fakhrul said the people of Bangladesh will not accept a defence deal or agreement as the two countries have many unresolved issues including border killings and trade gap which cannot be left aside. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had during his visit to Bangladesh in 2015 expressed confidence of finding a “fair solution” to the long-pending Teesta and Feni river water sharing issue. The waters of the Teesta river is crucial for Bangladesh, especially during the lean period between December and March, when the water flow temporarily comes down to less than 1,000 cusecs from 5,000 cusecs. The Teesta River originates from the Pahunri Glacier and flows southwards through gorges and rapids in the Sikkim Himalayas. The river flows through Sikkim, West Bengal and Bangladesh where after coursing through about 45km of irrigable land, it merges with the Brahmaputra River. In 1983, an ad-hoc water sharing agreement was reached between India and Bangladesh, whereby both countries were allocated 39 percent and 36 percent of the water flow respectively. However, the deal fell through when the then newly elected Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, refused to approve the treaty, fearing that the loss of higher volume of water to the lower riparian would cause problems in the northern region of state, especially during drier months.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Supriyo, Sonowal discuss steps to revive Hindustan Paper

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Babul Supriyo and Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today discussed steps to revive Hindustan Paper Corpration’s mills in the state on a priority basis. An official release here said Supriyo decided to adopt all pragmatic steps in line with the emotions, sentiments and requirements of the local people to revive the paper mills expeditiously. The two leaders also decided to take a holistic approach for the revival of the eco-friendly industry to grow and help the rural and bamboo based economy in Assam, it said here. Hindustan Paper Corporation has mills at Nagaon, Panchgram and the Ashok Ppaer Mill at Jogighopa in the state. The Union Minister was here to attend the Namami Brahmaputra River Festival.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

FIR registered after JNU authorities allege CCTV camera

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The JNU administration filed a complaint alleging that JNUSU office-bearers removed a CCTV camera installed in the university campus and manhandled workers, following which an FIR was registered. Acting on a court order, the JNU administration had started the process of installing CCTV cameras across the campus. The security officer of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) complained that as soon as some workers reached the corridor outside Brahmaputra hostel to install CCTV cameras, several students reached the spot and started sloganeering. Later, JNUSU President Mohit Pandey, general secretary Satrupa Chakravarty and union members Amal Pullarkkat, Dileep Yadav and Abhay reached there and started arguing with the workers. The argument turned in to a minor scuffle, as the workers claimed that they were pushed around by the students and one of them got hurt. The students also pulled down the ladder used for installation work and Mohit went outside the main gate and dismantled a CCTV camera, which the workers claimed was worth Rs 32,000. The CCTV installation team left the spot after which the University administration was informed about the incident. On the basis of the complaint, an FIR has been registered on the charges of wrongful restraint and mischief causing damage at Vasant Kunj (North) police station.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Dalai Lama meets man who escorted him to India 58 yrs ago

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama today had an emotional reunion with one of the five Assam Rifles guards who escorted him to India during his escape from Tibet in March 1959. The Dalai Lama embraced retired jawan Naren Chandra Das at an interactive session organised at the ‘Namami Brahmaputra’ River festival by the Assam government here. “Thank you very much…. I am very very happy to meet such an old member of the Assam Rifles who guarded and escorted me to India 58 years ago,” a visibly emotional Dalai Lama said on the occasion. “Looking at your face, I now realise I must be very old too,” he said to Das in jest. Dressed in his Assam Rifles uniform, 76-year-old Das, later told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

JNU administration files FIR against students for uninstalling CCTV camera in hostel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration has registered a FIR against student union members for pulling off a CCTV camera installed in one of its hostels.The JNU Students Union (JNUSU) members had uninstalled the CCTV camera at Brahmaputra hostel on Friday in protest of the “surveillance rule”. “A FIR has been registered against JNUSU president Mohit Pandey and four other union members under sections 341 (wrongful restraint) and 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees) of the IPC in Vasant Kunj police station, on the basis of a complaint lodged by the varsity administration,” police said.While JNU administration said that they have been following the directions of the High Court, students claimed they have not followed the required procedure for installing the “surveillance” equipment at the campus.”JNUSU administration’s only hobby is to criminalise every act of resistance. They have bypassed every democratic body in bulldozing CCTVs. They have gone to the high court and talk about dialogue, but, when it comes to deciding about policies, they want to push everything authoritatively,” Pandey said.
ALSO READ Najeeb Ahmed case: JNU students’ plea against lie detector test dismissed CCTV cameras have already been installed at Varsity’s gates and the administrative building (where students hold protests). “We won’t allow them to install the surveillance equipments in our hostels. And, by resisting this undemocratic surveillance we are not doing anything wrong, but reclaiming our spaces,” Pandey added. In missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed’s case, the Delhi High Court had recently questioned the Varsity administration for not having CCTV cameras installed in open spaces at the campus.

However, he added that it was now time for Assam to emerge

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>as a business hub and take centre stage in the socio-economic scenario of the country. “It is time for this state to establish its enduring mark in the international economic domain as the link between the North Eastern part of the country and the ASEAN nations,” he remarked. He said the Brahmaputra river is the “lifeline” of Assam and the region and is intertwined into the economy, culture and day-to-day life of the people of the areas it flows through. He also complimented the state government for having started ‘Namami Brahmaputra’ as an annual festival to showcase Assam’s culture as well as potential. “Starting of ‘Namami Brahmaputra’ as an annual festival will popularise the natural beauty and holy character of this river,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Decision on Teesta Treaty after considering West Bengal’s interest: Mamata

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today accused the Centre of not taking her into confidence over sharing Teesta river water with Bangladesh and said she would not let the state’s interests be sacrificed.Banerjee said she had come across reports that the Teesta Treaty would be signed on May 25, but was yet to receive an invitation from the Centre for discussion during Bangaldesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s upcoming visit to India.”I will not say anything regarding Teesta. I will do whatever I have to after considering the interests of my state,” she said in an interview to a Bengali TV news channel.”I have no knowledge on Teesta discussion. The Centre has not discussed anything with me. I have not received any invitation. I have heard that the Teesta Treaty will be signed on May 25. I have no knowledge. I share good relation with Bangladesh, but I can’t sacrifice the interests of my state,” Banerjee said.Asked if she has received any invitation from the central government during the Bangladesh PM’s visit, Banerjeee said, “I have no such information.”India and Bangladesh were set to ink the Teesta deal during former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s 2011 Dhaka visit, but Banerjee had declined to endorse the deal citing scarcity of water in her state.The Teesta river, which has its origin in Sikkim, flows through the northern part of West Bengal before entering Bangladesh and joining the Brahmaputra river.While talking about Centre-state relations, Banerjee said she had extended her cooperation to the central government on GST and exchange of enclaves with Bangladesh but there had been no reciprocity on the part of the Modi government.”There has been no reciprocity on the part of the Centre, rather they have tried to interfere with the federal structure,” Banerjee claimed.She alleged that the Centre was directly issuing diktats to officers of the state cadre and was interfering with the functioning of the state.”I will not tolerate such interference in the federal structure. There is a clear demarcation about jurisdiction between the state and the Centre in the Constitution of India, nobody should try to cross that demarcation,” Banerjee said.She also alleged that the central government had slashed funds for various developmental projects in the state.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

DCs asked to expedite implementation of schemes for minority

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today directed the Deputy Commissioners to expedite implementation of schemes meant for the minority community. Reviewing performance of the schemes under Multi Sector Development Plan (MSDP) through video conference, Sonowal expressed dissatisfaction on their poor performance and asked DCs to accord top priority to the schemes. Sonowal also directed the DCs to immediately submit utilisation certificate for the works executed so that additional funds can be released for the MSDP schemes implemented in 19 districts in Assam. He stated that slow execution of the schemes deprives the minority people from the fruits of development. “People targeted under MSDP schemes live in difficult condition. When schemes meant for them will be implemented properly, more funds will flow resulting in better condition of life for them,” Sonowal added. Reviewing the preparations for the upcoming Namami Brahmaputra festival, he said through this festival Assam Government is putting an effort to promote the civilisation and potential of mighty Brahmaputra river in the global arena. The proposed five-day festival from March 31 will create an environment for reconnecting people with their roots and rejuvenate the Brahmaputra civilisation. The festival will be held simultaneously at various locations on both the banks of Brahmaputra to focus on Assam’s culture, trade and tourism potentials.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ex-Chinese diplomat proposes land exchange deal with India to solve border dispute

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> China?s former diplomat and border negotiator has suggested that India must willingly cede the Tawang region in Arunachal Pradesh and China will reciprocate by giving up its claim over Aksai Chin to solve the border dispute between both countries. The solution to the border dispute between Indian and China was put forward by Dai Bingguo, who has represented China in 15 rounds of talks until his retirement in 2013, in an interview to the Beijing-based China-India Dialogue magazine. Justifying China?s claim on Tawang, Dai asserted that the disputed territory in the eastern sector of the China-India boundary, including the Tawang region is an integral part of the Southern Tibet region and is alienable from China’s Tibet in terms of cultural background and administrative jurisdiction. He said that China?s claim over the disputed region along the eastern sector of the China-India boundary was even recognized by the British colonizers, who drew the McMahon Line. Dai said China will respond and address India’s concerns elsewhere if New Delhi addresses Beijing’s concerns in the eastern sector. The disputed Aksai Chin is located in China’s Xinjiang province, which is apparently China’s only Muslim dominated province. Both Asian giants even fought a war in 1962 over the Aksai Chin region, over which China took complete control after claiming victory in the war. Dai noted that India holds the key in solving this issue as the two countries stand in front of the gate towards a final settlement. The Aksai Chin, is claimed by India as part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and region of Ladakh but is controlled and administered as part of the Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang. The other large disputed territory, the easternmost, lies south of the McMahon Line. It was formerly referred to as the North East Frontier Agency, and is now called Arunachal Pradesh. The McMahon Line, extends for 550 miles (890 km) from Bhutan in the west to 160 miles (260 km) east of the great bend of the Brahmaputra River in the east, largely along the crest of the Himalayas. It was part of the 1914 Simla Convention between British India and Tibet, an agreement rejected by China.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sanskrit to be compulsory in Assam government schools

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Assam state cabinet on Tuesday took a slew of decisions, of which one has ruffled a few feathers the wrong way. In a tweet, posted by Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal late on Tuesday night, the state will introduce compulsory Sanskrit in the state-run schools.”Also the Cabinet has decided that all the schools will teach Sanskrit as a compulsory language up to 8th standard (sic),” read the CM’s tweet.The move has been met with mixed responses. To be implemented in over 42,300 state-run schools in Assam, most of which have been battling a shortage of teachers and a long-winding migration to private schools, the government directive is partly seen as an imposition of the Sanskrit language in the state where 32 per cent of the population are from the Muslim community. The state education department recently made education free for children up to the age of 14 years.Professor Jyotiprakash Tamuli, head of the Linguistics department at the Gauhati University, said while he is happy that there is a renewed interest in Sanskrit, he is wary of the imposition of the language on all and sundry.”There is a need to see Sanskrit away from the purview of religion to understand its importance. A study by Brown University, carried out by Sanskrit scholar Professor Peter Scharf, found that Sanskrit language has more resources than Latin and Greek combined. In this knowledge economy, the language’s revival can help school-students reconnect with their own mother tongue, Assamese,” he said. He added that the state needs to ensure better access to resources like text books and trained professionals.Language has had a contentious history in the state. In the 1960s, when the Congress sought to introduce Assamese as the sole official language in the State Assembly, it was followed by the Bhasha Movement during which over 50,000 of the state’s Bengali Hindus staying in the Brahmaputra Valley had to flee their homes to the Barak Valley and to neighbouring West Bengal. On May 19, 1960, more than nine people were killed in a police firing in Silchar after the then CM Bimala Prasad Chaliha passed a bill in the state Assembly to recognise Assamese as the only official language.The state has over 25 tribes, with most tribes using the Roman script. No language is compulsory in schools in Assam.Litterateur Homen Borgohain said the move belies rationality. “Since it is going to be imposed in government schools, private schools will not suffer. The move is another nail in the declining condition in the state’s government schools. Only a few RSS approved appointments will enjoy the benefits,” said Borgohain.

Assam govt to organise ‘Namami Brahmapurta’ prog from March 31

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking a cue from ‘Namami Devi Narmade’ programme of Madhya Pradesh government, Assam will now launch ‘Namami Brahmapurta’ campaign in the north-eastern state from March 31 to April 4, a senior official said. “To pay fitting tribute to the river’s life-giving prosperity and countless blessings, a five-day long event, ‘Namami Brahmaputra’ is being organised under the state Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal,” Assam’s Joint Secretary and campaign in-charge, S Vishwanathan told reporters last evening. “Assam’s life and culture are deeply influenced by the rejuvenating splashes of Brahmaputra,” he said. Vishwanathan said the campaign will be launched across 21 districts along the Brahmaputra in its entire stretch from Sadiya to Dhubri. It will serve as an ideal platform to showcase Assam’s tremendous potential as a state brimming with trade, tourism and culture opportunities, he added. The event will start with a spectacular opening ceremony on March 31 at the riverfront of Bharalumukh, Guwahati – land of Kamakhya Temple, one of the popular ‘Shakti-peethas’ in the country, the official said. It will include a soulful veneration of river Brahmaputra along with other attractions like indigenous sports, local food, exhibition of organic tea, display of handloom and handicrafts, cultural evenings, film festival, business meetings and symposium among others, he added. A grand closing ceremony will be held on April 4, in which Sonowal has invited his Madhya Pradesh counterpart Shirvaj Singh Chouhan, he said. “This five day event, epic in scale and grand in reality, shall bring along business, fun and festivities for all. Brahmaputra is not called ‘lifeline of Assam’ for nothing as this perennial river presents incredible business opportunities,” said the official. He said the National Waterways, especially NW 2 and NW 16 shall be the drivers of economic development and prosperity.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Shocking: Two IIT-Guwahati students detained for molesting three girls after spiking their drinks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police have detained two IIT-Guwahati students for reportedly molesting three girls from Gauhati university during their college festival. The incident happened on February 3, but the university students filed a complaint last Tuesday, reported Hindustan Times. A police officer was quoted as saying: ““In their complaint, the girls alleged that the two accused IIT-Guwahati students had spiked their drinks before committing the crime. We picked up the duo from the IIT campus on Tuesday night.”The girls claim that the duo offered them drinks which made them dizzy and they tried to resist but lost their consciousness. The girls have undergone tests. One of the girls said: ““We were trying to get accommodation on the IIT campus to spend the night as guests because it was too late to return to the university across the (Brahmaputra) river. The duo offered help and gave us drinks that made us dizzy. I tried to resist when they got into the act but lost my consciousness soon.”

Govt may enquire into alleged irregularities in subsidised

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Assam government today said it will consider holding an enquiry over alleged irregularities in distribution of subsidised rice to around 10 lakh ghost tea garden beneficiaries across the state over the past many years. The issue of stopping of subsidised rice to tea garden workers was raised by BJP MLA Terash Gowalla during the Zero Hour and sought an explanation from Tea Tribes Welfare Minister Pallab Lochan Das. During the discussion, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) member Ramendra Narayan Kalita alleged that a large-scale corruption took place during the Congress regime in distribution of the rice. “As per records, there are nine lakh tea garden workers in Assam. But rice was distributed among 19 lakh beneficiaries,” he claimed, adding “how could this happen? I demand that an enquiry by a retired judge or CBI be conducted in this matter”. Accepting the demand in-principle, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said he will discuss the issue with the Chief Minister and will inform the House accordingly. On this, Assam Assembly Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami said, “This is a very serious matter. I request the Minister to do something. I reserve my ruling today and will announce it later.” Earlier, Das informed the House that subsidised rice, meant for APL categories, was diverted to the owners of the tea gardens for distribution among the workers for an amount of Rs 0.50 per kg. “After the National Food Security Act was implemented, this APL rice was stopped by the Central government. It was not done by the BJP, but was done during the Congress tenure. “However, propaganda is being carried out that BJP has stopped the rice distribution to poor labourers,” he added. Das alleged the owners of the tea gardens are trying to create a law and order situation and if anything like this takes place, strict action should be initiated against them. “Tea gardens are violating various provisions of the Plantation Labour Act. It is very sad that not a single tea garden is giving the minimum wage to the workers. Also, the wages in Brahmaputra and Barak valleys are different. There are many such anomalies,” the Minister said. He informed the House that the government will take action against the errant tea gardens if they do not provide basic amenities as per the Act.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Govt improving connectivity of ‘Ashtalakshmi’ North-East: Prez

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dubbing north-eastern states as ‘Ashtalakshmi’ that can take India to new heights, President Pranab Mukherjee today said the government is focussing on reducing isolation of the eastern region and the North-East by improving connectivity. Addressing the joint sitting of Parliament, Mukherjee said India is opening up road and rail routes to neighbouring countries in South-East Asia to boost economic development of the region. “My government sees the north-eastern states as Ashtalakshmi that can take India to new heights. The North-East is the gateway to South-East Asia. We are opening up road and rail routes to our neighbouring countries to boost the economic development of the region,” the President said. Reiterating that balanced and equitable development of all the regions is vital to India’s progress, he said: “Under its proactive ‘Act East’ policy, my government is focussing on reducing the isolation of the eastern region and the North-East by improving connectivity through road, rail, air, telecom, power and waterways.” Spelling out steps taken by the government to “ensure unhindered support and development of the states” of the region, Mukherjee said: “My government is continuing with the special dispensation in the assistance pattern to the north-eastern states and is providing assistance in the ratio of 90:10 for core central schemes and 80:20 for the non-core schemes to these states.” He further said that by the end of the year, all the metre gauge rail tracks of the region will be converted into broad guage and the Railways has undertaken a major expansion in the region at a cost of Rs 10,000 crore. “Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya have been put on the rail map, Agartala in Tripura has been connected with broad-guage line,” he added. Paying special attention to the region’s natural landscape, Mukherjee said: “The beauty and diversity of the North-East makes it a natural hub for tourism. The Ministry of Tourism has identified a thematic circuit for the North-East.” Highlighting various steps taken by the government to uplift the region, he said the North-East BPO promotion scheme in the Digital India programme for creation of employment opportunities has already been approved. Additionally, he said: “The Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Limited and Numaligarh Refinery Limited wax unit are big projects that will create huge employment opportunities in the North-East.” Mukherjee also said the government has provided special financial assistance to mitigate the damage caused by the unprecedented floods in the hilly and other areas of the country. On the security situation in north-eastern states, he said it has “also shown significant improvement” while overall in India, “there has been considerable success in containing Left wing extremism over the last three years, with the surrender of over 2,600 extremists”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Former air vice-chief dismisses fears of India-China war

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Vice-Chief of the Air Staff Air Marshal (retd) Pranab Kumar Barbora does not foresee a full-fledged military war between India and China, but only a ‘war’ for economic supremacy. “As a military person I studied the situation. I don’t think we will have a full-fledged war as we are powers with nuclear capability,” Barbora said today speaking at a seminar here on “Chinese Expansionism, Brahmaputra and Future of Assam” organised by the Hindu Yuva Chatra Parishad. “Our aircraft have nuclear missile carrying capability. They are deterrents,” asserted the former Vice Air Chief who was also Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of both Eastern and Western Air Commands. Barbora insisted that his views expressed in the seminar were his “personal views” only. “India and China have not exchanged a single bullet though it is done on a daily basis with Pakistan. There are only a few pin-pricks here and there along the Indo-China border,” he argued. “India and China both want to become super powers to take our rightful place in the world order. This can be achieved by whosoever has a strong economy and army,” he felt. “People and Parliament have not been told by the government on the 1962 debacle (Chinese Aggression) as it has international ramifications. The next war of India with China may be an economic war. China already economically supports Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Pakistan,” Borbara asserted. Both Indian and Chinese are the oldest civilisations with cultural and trade relations which started between the two several centuries ago when there were no borders,” he said. “Last century there were changes in the world order and realignment of power. Western powers came and took over powers in India and started demarcating borders leading to disputes,” the former Airforce Vice Chief said. “Brits made the MacMahon boundary line between India and China with a vague broad brush,” Barbora said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Full sealing of Indo-Bangla border challenging task: Assam Guv

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Assam Governor Banwarilal Purohit today said that complete sealing of the Indo-Bangladesh border is a “challenging task”, although the government is working on to finish it within a definite time frame. “Complete sealing of the Indo-Bangladesh border is a challenging task, given the vast expanses of riverine terrain in many sectors,” Purohit said in his address to Assam Assembly on the inaugural day of the Budget Session. His speech, which was stopped after disruption by the opposition and was later considered to be read, talked about the government’s attempt in sealing the international border. “It would be our endeavour to accomplish this task with the help of suitable technology within a definite timeframe. The Indo-Bangladesh border roads and bridges construction work is almost completed,” Purohit said. However, there are some existing gaps and damage caused by erosions at certain places, which are being attended on priority, he added. “Also, the remaining border fencing works are targeted to be completed soon. The flood-lighting works have been completed, their electricity service connection works are likely to be completed within the next few months,” he said. Talking about flood control measures, the Governor said the government has formulated a comprehensive plan for raising and strengthening of the Brahmaputra river embankment and it is currently under observation of the Central Water Commission. “To facilitate the communication system in Majuli, a proposal for conversion of the existing earthen embankment to road-cum-embankment is under active consideration,” he said, adding the government has made a Rs 337-crore plan for this. On the process of updating the National Register of Citizens, Purohit said some forged documents have been found to be submitted by some applicants and 166 FIRS have been registered across the state regarding this. “My government has also constituted a Special Investigation Team headed by the Additional DGP (CID) for focussed investigation into the matter of use of forged documents for entering into NRC,” he added. (MORE)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cong, AIUDF disrupt Governor’s speech

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Creating noisy scenes, opposition Congress and AIUDF today disrupted the speech of Assam Governor Banwarilal Purohit in the state Assembly and forced him to end the address within seven minutes. First, AIUDF member Aminul Islam objected to Purohit’s statement on ideals of great people of the state in his address to Assam Assembly on the first day of the Budget Session. “My government has dedicated itself to bringing about qualitative change in governance guided by the ideals of Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardev, Mahapurush Madhavdev and Ajan Pir,” Purohit said. Islam immediately rose on his feet and said the government failed to implement ideas of these great personalities and it should be rectified. Without paying heed to the opposition member’s objection, the Governor continued his speech. “Tapping into this reservoir in the right perspective, my government has embarked upon balanced development of all the regions of the state–Barak valley, Brahmaputra valley, hills areas and plains,” Purohit said. On this, both Congress and AIUDF started shouting. “There is no good governance. The government has totally failed to give impartial governance,” the opposition members said. The Governor tried to pacify the members and requested them to sit till completion of the speech but in vain. Seeing no let up in opposition’s resistance, he jumped to the last paragraph of the 88-page speech and concluded his address to the House within seven minutes. Purohit’s speech was tabled in the House and considered to be read.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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