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Western Railway set to run city’s first air-conditioned train

In all likelihood, the Western Railways (WR) will run the much-awaited air-conditioned (AC) local train from December 25, as promised by Union Railway minister Piyush Goyal. On December 19, the WR received permission from the Railway Board to run the 12-car AC local between Churchgate and Dahanu Road.”The dates have not come from the Railway Board, but we are ready to run on any day,” said AK Gupta, General Manager, Western Railway.The Railway Board, in a letter submitted to the WR, have set out a few directives that need to be followed while operating the AC local trains, which are expected to run at maximum speed of 100kmph. Sources said that as the coaches are different from a regular Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) or local trains, the Board has asked the WR to ensure that height of platforms from rail level should not exceed 900mm, Provide CCTVs in every coach of the AC train within a year, install fire alarms, smoke detection system and at least two fire extinguishers in each coach”Technicians have been asked to educate the commuters, apart from standing inside the coaches; to open the doors at the time of emergency,” said a WR official.

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Watch: Discussions on to provide CCTV on all trains across India, says Piyush Goyal

On Saturday, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said that the Railway is considering installing CCTVs and providing internet connectivity on all trains across India.He said: “We will take 2018 as a year where we collectively fight against atrocities against women and children, especially human trafficking. We will do this across all the railways.”He added: “As far as security is concerned, we are all thoughtful about it. We are thinking of providing internet connectivity and CCTV on trains. Discussions are on to provide CCTV on all trains across India.”Earlier, he had said the Railways Ministry will float a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to manage the entire electrification work of railways network and arrange funding for it, an official said today.Also readTicket prices for trains like Shatabdi, Rajdhani may go down, says Railway minister Piyush Goyal”As far as funding for electrification is concerned, we are looking at funding through an SPV and getting that SPV to run the entire electrification of Railways,” a top official in the Railways Ministry said today.The SPV will be tasked to look after the whole electrification project of the Railways. It will be own and manage those assets, the official said.Also readIndian Railways to use GPS-enabled devices to fight fog this season”The ministry is still working to float this SPV,” the official said.Earlier in September, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal had said that his ministry is exploring ways to speed up the electrification process so as to cut down about Rs 16,000 crore expense on diesel.Also readBMC, Central Railway seek IIT aid to check track-flooding”We are giving a relook to the ways of speeding up the electrification process” of rail lines across the country. The ministry is consulting all the people who are involved in the electrification process,” Goyal had said.With inputs from PTI and ANI

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UPA ministers ignored PM, reported to Rahul Gandhi: Piyush Goyal

Union Minister Piyush Goyal accused Rahul Gandhi of having scuttled developmental projects in Gujarat when Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister and the UPA was in power at the Centre.E-mails show that during the Congress-led UPA rule for a decade, then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was not the first whip of the Cabinet, but it was Rahul, now president-elect of the Congress, who called the shots.In a second presser, within hours of the first on Wednesday, Goyal showed a series of e-mail correspondence between then Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan and Rahul’s political secretary, wherein the minister was found seeking and taking orders from the Gandhi scion.The e-mails also reveal that Natarajan was going behind Manmohan Singh’s back and was not just divulging privileged conversation with the PM to Rahul regarding developments in the ministry and the government, but was also seeking “guidance” from Rahul and his then Congress president mother Sonia Gandhi.Natarajan is also seen seeking time to meet Rahul’s aides.(Email exchange between Rahul Gandhi & Jayanthi Natarajan)Incidentally, Rahul was just a party functionary with no formal role in the government, but he is seen directing a minister on issues of national importance.It goes on to show that the first family of the Congress was in power rather than Manmohan Singh.In an e-mail, Natarajan tells Rahul how she was opposed to the introduction of GM Crops. She also informs in a complaining tone: “However, I have just received a call from the Prime Minister, where although I tried to convince him, he has specifically overruled me…” Also, she briefed Sonia Gandhi on this issue and claims to have sent a note by hand.Goyal cited another e-mail in which “Rahul Gandhi opposed Nirma project and instructed Natarajan to not give environmental clearance. He was willing to kill jobs in Gujarat to undermine and to hurt development agenda of Narendra Modi,” he said.In an e-mail, Rahul instructs Natarajan to not “dilute Nirma” as “Nirma is high priority, especially for Gujarat – no dilution must be allowed”.”A Home grown company was being killed by the petty politics of Rahul Gandhi,” Goyal said. Natarajan presents clarification on this issue, promising to “work tirelessly” to “justify confidence which CP and Rahul have placed” in her.Later, in yet another mail, Kanishka Singh, Rahul’s aide, “reminds” Natarajan that the case was coming up before the SC on December 9 and that “MoEF can move towards closure report”. Natarajan replies that she had already denied clearance to reject the Nirma project and that she had informed Rahul of this by e-mail.Similarly, the then minister admits to briefing Rahul on confidential instructions between her and then PM Manmohan Singh, seeking once more “urgent guidance” on Lavasa from Rahul. She discusses options and asks the Congress leader to be told about this and guidance be given to “proceed further”.In an e-mail, Rahul is seen inquiring about road projects in Amethi and Raebareli when none existed. “Knowledge of Rahul Gandhi was such that he did not know that there was no proposal on Amethi- Rae Bareilly Highway, but he was instructing Jayanthi Natarajan to clear it.”Nevertheless, Natarajan gives a detailed picture on the said file in less than two hours of receiving the e-mail. Also, she promises to immediately clear any proposal when received.In addition, she makes a promise regarding a file pertaining to “a Lucknow to Sultanpur road, which goes via Barabanki and Amethi/National Highway 56”: “I will see that the file is cleared before the end of the month.”

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BJP accuses Gandhi family of meddling in UPA govt decisions, says Rahul instructed minister to stall project in Gujarat

Hours ahead of voting for the second phase of Gujarat Assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday accused the first family of Congress of interfering in governmental decisions during the UPA tenure and stalling development projects in the poll-bound state. Citing e-mail exchanges between former Environment Minister Jayanti Natarajan and Rahul Gandhi, Union Minister Piyush Goyal accused the Congress president-elect of meddling in government decisions. Goyal said Rahul Gandhi stalled the Nirma project in Gujarat by instructing Natarajan to not give environmental clearance to it.”We have accessed e-mail in which Jayanti Natarajan when UPA minister was even willing to go home to meet personal secretary of Rahul Gandhi. This was how people not a part of government interfered in governance during the UPA?” asked Goyal.”In UPA, how projects were stalled and environment ministry was used is evident in the email. Rahul Gandhi opposed Nirma project and instructed Jayanti Natarajan to not give environmental clearance. He was willing to kill jobs in Gujarat to undermine and to hurt development agenda of Narendra Modi,” Goyal added.The minister also attacked former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, calling him a “mere titular head” who was controlled by the mother-son duo of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.”Email exchanges between Rahul Gandhi and Jayanthi Natarajan show that all decisions were directly taken by the family and PM Manmohan Singh was just a titular head. Knowledge of Rahul Gandhi was such that he did not know that there was no proposal on Amethi-Rae Bareilly Highway, but he was instructing Jayanthi Natarajan to clear it,” he said. The charges by the BJP, which is trying to retain power in Gujarat, comes on the eve of the final phase of Gujarat Assembly elections. While the voting for 89 seats of Saurashtra and South Gujarat regions took place on Saturday, tomorrow’s polling will take place on 93 seats spread across 14 districts in north and central Gujarat. The counting of votes for all 182 seats will be taken up on December 18. (With inputs from ANI) Watch: Congress official emails: “Non-state players” ran the government and overruled Manmohan Singh

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Election Commission to ‘examine’ Rahul Gandhi’s interviews with Gujarati channels after BJP complaint

The Election Commission on Wednesday said it it is looking into the complaints regarding the alleged violation of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 by Congress President-elect Rahul Gandhi whose interview with Gujarati TV channels was telecast after the campaigning for the Gujarat Assembly elections closed on Tuesday evening. BB Swain,Chief Electoral Officer of Gujarat, said the poll body has collected the DVDs of the interviews and is looking into the matter. “We have got a complaint regarding telecast of an interview. We have collected the DVDs. We will be doing due examination and look into whether it has violated Rules 126 RP Act or not,” Swain said. Earlier, Union Minister Piyush Goyal alleged said it is not permitted to give an interview after the campaigning has ended. “It was not permitted to give an interview in the last 48 hours of campaigning in Gujarat. I am sure the Election Commission will take cognizance of this and take an action,” Goyal said. The campaigning for the Gujarat Assembly elections drew close on Tuesday evening. Reacting to the BJP charge, Congress said the ruling party is using the “EC as a tool for its political gains.” Also readGujarat polls: Rahul hopes for ‘zabardast result’; give a fitting reply to opposition’s lies, says Modi“When Congress President-elect Rahul Gandhi gave interviews to a few Gujarati news channels, BJP, in the name of Election Commission, threatened to jail the journalists of those channels for broadcasting it. We condemn this arrogant behavior of BJP,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.Rahul’s interview with two regional channels, including Zee Kalak, was telecast on Wednesday. Speaking to Zee Kalak, Zee media group’s Gujarati channel, Rahul said this Gujarat election is about truth.”This election will be fought on truth – the truth of note ban, ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’ (in reference to GST) etc. You go to Surat, Ahmedabad or any other place in Gujarat, all the small businessmen are saying the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has destroyed them,” he said.Gandhi, who will formally take over as party president later this week, said he believes in the truth and speaks the truth.Voting for 93 seats of 182-member Gujarat Assembly will take place tomorrow and the results for elections will be announced on December 18.

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Got assurance on resolution of tax notice issue: Nasscom

IT industry association Nasscom today said it has got an assurance from the government that the service tax notices served to several IT companies has been “corrected” and the issue has been resolved.However, it could not be confirmed from the tax department whether the government is withdrawing or amending the reported Rs 10,000 crore demand notices served to some 200 companies.”The kind of tax notices which had been issued recently to a few companies that actually do not recognise IT services as exports because of some interpretation… We were happy to note that the Government has clarified in today’s meeting that that situation has been corrected,” Nasscom President R Chandrashekhar said.Chandrashekhar was speaking to reporters after a meeting between IT industry and the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today on pre-budget consultations.During the meeting, the apex software body also discussed issues related to Place of Effective Management (POEM) and refund of service tax, amongst others.On the tax notice issue, Chandrashekhar pointed out that the government has clarified that suitable advisories have been issued and that the “problem has been resolved”.”We have been informed that the clarification has already been issued and the matter stands resolved. We are waiting to get clarification,” he added.While Chandrashekhar did not divulge further details about the tax notices, reports suggest that many IT and IT enabled services companies had been sent notices by the tax department.These companies were reportedly asked to return export benefits claimed in the last five years on software provided to clients outside India, and also asked to cough up service tax along with penalty.Telecom Equipments Manufacturers Association Chairman Emeritus NK Goyal thanked the government for resolving the tax issue that had confronted the IT companies.”We appreciate the Government for withdrawing tax notices …That was served to IT companies,” said Goyal who was also part of the meeting.

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CR clears FOB landing at Currey Rd

After DNA reported on November 29 how railway officials were left red-faced during an inspection by Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal at Currey Road station when they realised that a quadrangular seating arrangement barely three to four feet away from the landing of a new footoverbridge (FOB) obstructs the free movement of commuters, the Central Railway (CR) authorities demolished it on Wednesday. This is the same FOB that the Bombay Engineers Group of the Indian Army is constructing at the station.On November 28, Goyal visited the Elphinstone Road, Currey Road and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) railway stations for inspection.This FOB has been in the news as the Indian Railways, Army and BMC are struggling to acquire 180 sq metres of land for its construction at Currey Road station. The government authorities are ready to pay the cost of the land which is Rs 5 crore.At present, the FOB is almost a century old. The second FOB, towards the station’s southern end, is partially built by the railway authorities and the rest would be completed by the Army. Over the past few months, the CR authorities began constructing the second FOB at Currey Road station. In the past few weeks they built the staircases on both sides of the platform.The work on the elevated portion of the FOB that extends on the east till the platform too has been started. They painted this structure in silver, but put granite tiles on the stairs just a couple of days before Goyal was to visit the station. There are two landings — one towards Dadar and the other towards CSMT — where the seating arrangement existed.FOB AT CURREY RDIt is the one that the Bombay Engineers Group of the Indian Army is constructing. It has been in the news as the authorities are struggling to acquire land for it.
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Yogi Adityanath

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Come Jan, more rakes to chug on city’s local lines

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Newer trains can be expected by Mumbaikars starting January next year. Orders have been placed for getting more trains that would ply both on Central and Western Railways. This was one of the subjects which were discussed at the meeting between Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and railway officers when he visited Mumbai on November 27.To begin with, the Central Railway (CR) will get 20 new Bombardier rakes in phases, which is already being manufactured. “Orders have already been placed and we shall start getting them from January 2018. Once they arrive, they will be available for plying and would replace the existing old lot of rakes that are part of our fleet,” said a senior CR official. They are getting the new rakes for the purpose of operating on the Rs 1,700 crore Seawoods-Uran rail line.The CR has 14 old rakes of BHEL make which are always a cause of concern for the authorities as these incur technical failures frequently.

Modi govt will continue on path of good governance: Piyush Goyal after Moody’s rating upgrade

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Buoyed by India’s rating upgrade by Moody’s, Railway and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal today said the government will stay on the path of good governance and focus on effective delivery to people.He said the rating upgrade, and improvement in ease of doing business ranking, culminate into bringing confidence into India growth story.The US-based Moody’s has upgraded India’s sovereign rating after a gap of 13 years to Baa2 with a stable outlook.The rating action implies India is investment grade with moderate credit risk, which is two notches above the junk grade.”Our dharma is to stay on path of good governance and effective delivery to people of India. Endorsements, rating upgrade, certification, surveys, election results are incidental. We are working for people of India and people have endorsed us,” Goyal said.He said the number of BJP-supported government went up from six in 2014, to 18 today. “By next month they will be 19.and we are fast transitioning to a corruption free and Congress free India in the years to come,” he said.Goyal said the election results in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat will be phenomenal.”In Himachal Pradesh, there are some people who are predicting as high as 58-60 seats for BJP. In Gujarat, people have seen the delivery of good governance for 22 years and I wouldn’t be at all hesitant to predict a 150 plus tally for BJP in Gujarat,” he said.Assembly elections in Gujarat are due next month.

Diabetic women at higher risk of abortion, miscarriage

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Diabetes is a particularly dangerous condition for pregnant women, warn doctors in the city. They aren’t talking about gestational diabetes (a condition where you develop the disease during pregnancy) but about diabetic women who get pregnant.According to them the risk of abortion and foetal abnormalities goes up considerably if the mother has pre existing diabetes. “These days out of 100 pregnant women at least 5% to 7% have diabetes and we are not talking of gestational diabetes. Women with diabetes who get pregnant have a higher risk of foetal malformation and abortion compared to others including those with gestational diabetes,” said Dr Ramesh Goyal, consultant diabetologist at Apollo Hospital.Dr Hiren Patt, endocrinologist with Narayana Multispecialty hospital said such women also have high chances of miscarriage in the first and second trimester. “Earlier type 2 diabetes was found mostly among those above 40 years of age but now people in their 20s and 30s are also inflicted by the condition. This is also the child bearing age and that is why we are seeing more cases of pregnant women with a diabetic condition,” said Dr Patt.He said diabetes also increases the chances of a cesarean delivery apart from impacting the development of heart and brain of the foetus.Dr Goyal said it is a double whammy for such women as on the one hand diabetes forces them to control their calorie intake while being pregnant means they have to ensure adequate calorie intake to help nourish the growing foetus.”There is also the social practice in India were pregnant women are fed calorie rich food. This is particularly dangerous for diabetic pregnant women as she needs to ensure a balanced diet that will not spike her sugar levels nor lead to foetal malnourishment,” said Dr Goyal.

Piyush Goyal fires back at ex-PM over bullet train remark

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday hit back at ex-prime minister Manmohan Singh for his remarks that the Ahmedabad-Mumbai Bullet Train project was a vain exercise.“The bullet train project was in the making for six-seven years. It should have been developed much earlier but the government of the time was busy with corruption and scams, and did not get time for development,” Goyal who was in city to take part in BJP’s election campaigning, said at a press conference.During his visit to Ahmedabad on Tuesday, Manmohan Singh had said that the bullet train project was an exercise in vanity, and would not benefit either Gujarat or the country. The Congress leader said that the government should have rather focused on improving safety and speed of the existing passenger rail network.The railway minister claimed that the government was focusing on technology upgradation, improving railway infrastructure, and providing better passenger amenities. Goyal said that high speed rail corridors will boost connectivity and economic activity, and his aim was to have rail network of 10,000 km in the country.DEMO ANNIVERSARY ‘A HISTORIC DAY’“Demonetisation was the most important decision of the Modi government to tackle corruption and black money,” Goyal said.
On charges that demonetisation has failed, Goyal said that Rs 3.68 lakh crore deposited in 17.73 lakh bank accounts are under scrutiny.
Banks have lowered interest rates as they are flush with funds owing to demonetisation, he said.

Gang supplying drugs online in exchange of bitcoin busted

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi Police have stumbled upon an internet network supplying contraband drugs to youths and parties in the Capital and NCR. Senior officer said the entire syndicate works online and the payments are done in the form of Bitcoins. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has been asked by the police to ensure such transactions are stopped.Police have arrested two men with drugs purchased online. They were circulating drugs including LSD, MDMA, MDA, Ketamine, Methamphetamine, and amphetamine, largely to rave parties.The syndicate came under the police radar after information was received by the Crime Branch’s Narcotics cell that such a gang was involved in supply of party drugs. On October 29, following a tip-off about a person named Kamal Kalra, a resident of Rohini, a raid was conducted and he was arrested with 100 pills of Ecstasy (MDMA), a psychotropic substance. The entire operation was conducted under the supervision of Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime, Alok Kumar.During interrogation, Kalra disclosed that he had procured the contraband from a person he contacted through phone. “Kalra said the man used to call him using different identity each time. The suspect’s mobile phone call details were then analysed and the police team zeroed in on one Mahesh Goyal, a resident of Dwarka. He was identified as the supplier of drugs and on Kalra’s instance, Goyal was arrested with 20 gm of raw MDMA,” said Rajesh Deo, DCP, Crime, adding that the commercial quantity of Ecstasy/MDMA is 10 g, as per the NDPS Act.Goyal disclosed that it was during a party in Chennai that he found out that such drugs could be obtained online. “Interrogation revealed there are sites on Deep Net where these drugs are available. Further, the payments are being received in the form of ‘Bitcoins’ – a worldwide currency system. One Bitcoin equals more than Rs 4.7 lakh. On payment of Indian rupees, the equivalent amount of ‘Bitcoin’ is provided to the Deep Net market places. The matter has been taken up with the Narcotics Control Bureau and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to ensure that such transactions are stopped,” Deo said.HOW THE SYNDICATE WORKS:On ‘Deep Net’ or hidden web, there are sites where drugs are available.
In order to access these websites, one needs a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
VPN can be used through software on a computer or mobile phone to encrypt all of the internet traffic.
It will also hide the information if one is using a ‘Tor browser’ to access the dark web.
To access the Deep Web, an encrypted network that exists between Tor servers and their clients, one needs a Tor browser.
A Tor or The Onion Router is a software that enables one to browse the internet anonymously.
Most VPNs are simple to install and use, and can be downloaded in just 2 or 3 clicks. They can then be connected to a server using ‘OpenVPN’ protocol.

After Elphinstone stampede, 3 Railways foot-over-bridges to be built by Army by Jan 31

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over a month after Elphinstone stampede, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday said that three railways foot-over-bridges will be constructed by 31st January with Army’s help.On September 29, 23 people were killed in the rush hour stampede on a narrow overbridge linking Elphinstone Road and Parel suburban stations during heavy rain.Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited the stampede site along with Railways Minister Piyush Goyal and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.Speaking to media, Fadnavis said, “After Elphinstone Stampede, we had asked for help from armed forces to which Defence Minister agreed and three bridges will be constructed by 31 January.””Bridges to be built in with cooperation with Army at Elphinstone Road, Currey Road and Ambivali by 31st Jan 2018,” said Piyush Goyal.
ALSO READ Elphinstone Stampede | A disaster waiting to happen, yet govt springs into action only after 22 crushed to deathNirmala Sitharaman said that the Army visited the areas and assessed where the bridge is going to be built and they will be there at every stage of the work.”A call was taken to cooperate seeing the urgency of the matter as Army has its role at the borders. Probably first time Army has been asked to come in to build what could otherwise be called civil work. But Elphinstone tragedy was so big, a call was taken to cooperate seeing the urgency of the matter,” she said.
ALSO READ Elphinstone Stampede: Western Railway inquiry report blames heavy rain, rumoursAn inquiry report has blamed the heavy rain for the tragedy. The panel, headed by the Western Railway chief security officer, submitted its report to WR General Manager Anil Kumar today after recording statements of 30 commuters who were injured.The report said people with heavy luggage lost their balance because of which the stampede may have occurred.

Jamdoli continues to ill-treat kids

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nothing has changed in Jamdoli mental asylum. The horrifying episode of 12 kids who had died in a short span of 13 days after consuming contaminated water is fresh in memory, but the same apathy and callousness still prevail. The care home set up for treatment and improvement of mentally challenged kids is itself crippled because of official negligence. It is in dire straits. DNA has accessed some proof to show sick mentality of the care home staff.Children are sleeping on floor while their beds have been taken by the staff members. There are hundreds of beds, but they are not given to the children. The kids have no clothes to wear. It is not that the government doesn’t take care of the needs of children here but the greedy and insensitive staff is holding on to these facilities meant for the children. Since media entry is banned, it is being used by the care home staff to cover up its shenanigans.When district collector saw pictures of this horrifying truth, he asked SDM to visit mental asylum and submit a report. Subsequently, the SDM Ashish Kumar and Deepali visited the care home in Jamdoli.The matter had been raised by Hemant Kumar Goyal and advocate Sunita Satyarthi through a PIL. The HC had conducted regular hearing of this case and issued some directions. Legal service committee has been doing inspections on the instruction of the HC. Yet, things remained as they were.According to the petitioner Hemant Kumar Goyal said that these children should be connected with the society. There are many people who want to offer their service free but the department doesn’t even allow them to enter.UNDER SCANNERThe matter had been raised by Hemant Kumar Goyal and advocate Sunita Satyarthi through a PIL. The High Court had conducted regular hearing of this case and issued some directions. Legal service committee has been doing inspections on the instruction of the HC. Yet, things remained as they were.
According to the petitioner Hemant Kumar Goyal these children should be connected with the society. There are many people who want to offer their service free but the department doesn’t even allow them to enter.

Rohini woman chases chain-snatcher, gets shot at

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 35-year old woman showed exemplary courage as she tried to nab chain snatchers but was instead shot at by one of them, while she tried to chase them in Outer Delhi’s Rohini area on Friday evening. Priyanka Goyal was at the local market when two persons snatched her chain. Wasting no time, the woman started running behind them. The accused men first fired a round in the air to scare her but when she continued running they shot at her. Goyal, who works at a private firm and lives with her doctor husband at Avantika Apartments in Rohini, said that she gone to purchase vegetables at the weekly local market when one person on foot snatched her chain and fled. Goyal ran after the man screaming “Pakdo Pakdo chor (Catch the thief)” but none came forward to help her.The accused, whose accomplice was waiting for him ahead towards the end of the road with his motorcycle, whipped out his pistol and fired in the air thinking that the woman would stop chasing him. When this did not deter Goyal and managed to catch hold of him, he fired another round at her leaving her with injuries on her thigh.Despite her injury, she kept chasing them. There were many people on the road but no one came forward to help her. “Later on, when the accused fired no one came forward at all fearing for their lives. Her dupatta also fell on the road as she tried to catch him,” said an eyewitness, who runs a shop close to the crime scene.Goyal was rushed to Saroj Hospital in Rohini, where her condition is stated to be stable. The police have registered a case under appropriate sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and are investigating. No arrests have been made so far.INCIDENTPriyanka Goyal had gone to purchase vegetables at the weekly local market when one person on foot snatched her chain and fled When she started running after the man, he with his accomplice took out the pistol and fired

Mumbai to get its first local AC train by New Year

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The wait for air-conditioned train will finally end for passengers of Mumbai’s suburban railway service, with Railway Minister Piyush Goyal today saying that the first such train will be introduced on January one.The local train network, considered Mumbai’s lifeline, is heavily congested and carries over 65 lakh passengers very day, with the Western Line alone accounting for 35 lakh passengers. Officials said the plan to introduce AC trains has been on the anvil for over a year.For starters, one AC train with around seven services daily will run on the Western Line.”The AC trains have been tried and tested and will be introduced on January 1,” Goyal told reporters here.Officials said that the fares on the AC train will be like the Delhi Metro or around 1.5 times the cost of first class tickets in the existing local trains.The railways has procured nine more electrical multiple unit (EMU) AC rakes for Mumbai so that such services can be operated both on the Western railway (WR) and Central railway (CR) lines, officials said.The first such train was scheduled to run this month but there were some operational issues which delayed it. However, senior officials of the railway board said that the issues have been sorted out.”This will be the first commercial run. It is just the beginning and eventually the idea is to keep adding to the number of such trains,” Member Traffic Md Jamshed told PTI.The Western line of the Mumbai Suburban Railway consists of 37 stations from Dahanu Road to Churchgate railway station.It is operated by Western Railways (WR) and runs the most services each day 1,201.Goyal also mooted passenger augmentation on the suburban line by beginning elevated train services in the city area.”I have already requested teams in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore to do a preliminary assessment of its technical feasibility then we can get down to preparing its financial feasibility.”Similarly, in Mumbai there were two elevated tracks already planned in Western and Central lines but we are having a re-look at that because some of the costs were extremely high,” he said.They were trying to use only the traditional rail “in an elevated fashion so that cost becomes reasonable” and it can implemented in a fast-track mode, said Goyal.The minister also said that he has already approved 370 escalators for Mumbai, and CCTVs are to be installed in all the trains and stations in Mumbai for better security.

Elphinstone Tragedy: High-powered committee formed to probe 18-month delay in issuing tender for foot overbridge

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Railway Minister Piyush Goyal formed a high-powered committee today to look into the 18- month delay in issuing tender for a foot overbridge (FOB) at the Elphinstone Road station in Mumbai, where 23 people were killed in a stampede last month.The two-member committee would inquire why it had taken 18 months after the project was cleared to issue the tender, railway spokesperson Anil Saxena told PTI.The tender was incidentally floated on September 29 — the day 23 people were killed in the stampede on the existing decades-old foot overbridge.The panel will be headed by former Central Vigilance Commissioner Pratyush Sinha and Vinayak Chatterjee of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) will be its member.”The committee has been given three months to submit its report,” Saxena said.According to officials, the committee has also been asked to recommend ways to ensure that such delays do not occur again.The 40-foot-wide overbridge was announced in the 2016 Railway Budget and was part of the Rs 45 crore fund earmarked towards escalators, foot overbridges and automatic ticket vending machines for the Mumbai suburban section.Today, an inquiry into the stampede blamed heavy rain for the tragedy, the officials said.Goyal, while speaking at an event in Delhi, said that he was pained that despite the new foot overbridge being already approved, the tender was not floated in time.”It pained me in Mumbai when I saw the file where a foot overbridge which was approved but it took months to finalise the design and prepare the documentation to tender it. It is a wake up call for all my colleagues in the railways. They will have to bring speed and efficiency into our system,” he said.Inquiry blames rain, confusion and panic for tragedyAn inquiry report on the September 29 Elphinstone bridge stampede in Mumbai that killed 23 people has blamed heavy rain, confusion and the resulting panic for the tragedy, officials said today.The panel, headed by the Western Railway chief security officer, submitted its report to WR General Manager Anil Kumar today after recording statements of 30 commuters who were injured.It has also examined video footage of the incident, officials said.According to the report, the stampede was caused by heavy rains which forced people outside the ticket counters to rush to the already jammed staircase for cover.Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said here that he was “pained” that the tender for the new bridge was not floated on time despite being approved.”It pained me when I saw the file where a foot-overbridge which was approved but it took months to finalise the design and prepare the documentation to tender it. It is a wake up call for all my colleagues in the railways. They will have to bring speed and efficiency into our system,” said Goyal, refusing to comment later on the probe report.According to the report, the constant flow of passengers arriving at the station compounded the problem.The report said people with heavy luggage lost their balance because of which the stampede may have occurred.The probe also said none of the witnesses supported the claim of a short circuit on the bridge leading to the chaos.The inquiry panel has recommended that passengers be prevented from carrying heavy luggage during peak hours.

Amit Shah’s son Jay files defamation suit against ‘The Wire’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jay Shah, son of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah, on Monday filed a defamation suit against the author, editor, and owner of the news website ‘The Wire’ in an Ahmedabad court, for alleging huge growth in his firm’s turnover in a year, reports ANI. The hearing of the matter is scheduled for October 11.Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate S K Gadhvi ordered a court inquiry into the matter under CrPC section 302, reports PTIIn his application, Shah prayed for, “criminal action against the respondents for defaming and tarnishing the reputation of the complainant through an article, which is scandalous, frivolous, misleading, derogatory, libelous and consisting of several defamatory statements.” The seven respondents in the case are the author of the article Rohini Singh, founding editors of the news portal Siddarth Varadarajan, Sidharth Bhatia and M K Venu, managing editor Monobina Gupta, public editor Pamela Philipose and the Foundation for Independent Journalism, the non-profit company that publishes ‘The Wire’.The case has been filed under IPC sections 500 (defamation), 109 (abetment), 39 (voluntarily cause grievous hurt) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy).A report, written by Rohini Singh on the news website ‘The Wire’, details the growth of Jay Shah’s company, Temple Enterprise Private Ltd, from revenues of Rs. 50,000 in 2014-’15 to Rs. 80.5 crore in 2015-16.The report also reveals a number of loans received by companies connected to the BJP president?s son, based on documents filed with the Registrar of Companies.Prior to the suit filed by Jay Shah, Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday rejected any allegation sought to be made against Jay Shah or any of his party leaders.Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Goyal informed that a criminal defamation suit of Rs. 100 crores will be filed against the news website. Goyal said that the article is written to damage the reputation of the party president Amit Shah. (With inputs from agencies)

Godhra train carnage verdict, Delhi Metro fare tussle, Gripen deal and Indian Army: DNA morning must reads

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gujarat High Court to pronounce verdict in 2002 Godhra train carnage case todayThe Gujarat High Court will pronounce its judgment on the 2002 Godhra train carnage today. In the horrific incident, 59 passengers were charred to death at the Godhra railway station on February 27, 2002. The trial of the sensitive case was conducted in-camera at the Sabarmati Jail by the special designated court. dnai.in/f6txAfter outrage over martyrs’ remains in make-shift boxes, Indian Army calls it an ‘aberration’On Sunday, a tweet posted by Retd Lieutenant General HS Panag sparked outrage which showed the mortal remains of defence personnel who were killed in a chopper crash. The photographs showed their bodies being carried in make-shift cardboard boxes, tied up with ropes. It was even more ironic that the incident occurred on Air Force Day. dnai.in/f6rvAmit Shah’s son Jay Shah to file Rs 100-crore lawsuit against ‘false’ reportRejecting allegations levelled by a news website against BJP president Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah, Union minister Piyush Goyal said, “Jay Shah will file a criminal defamation suit of Rs 100 crore against the author, editor and owner of the news website.” Goyal was addressing a press conference after Opposition parties trained guns on the government latching on to the news report. Goyal also presented a statement from Jay Shah. dnai.in/f6syAAP govt’s efforts to prevent Metro fare hike go in vain; DMRC all set to roll out revised fareNo amount of muscle flexing by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government against the Metro fare hike has borne any fruit as the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is all set to roll out the revised fare from October 10. With the Centre, too, putting its weight behind the DMRC, it is unlikely that commuters will get any respite from a more expensive Metro ride. Hoping that the corporation will cave in, the Delhi government had even threatened to remove DMRC Chief Dr Mangu Singh from the post, if the new fares were implemented. dnai.in/f6szDone deal for Swedish firm Saab? IAF planes flying Gripen formation sparks speculationThere were a few red faces in the Indian Air Force today as the Surya Kiran aerobatics team which performed several heart-stopping mid-air manoeuvres during the Air Force Day celebrations at the Hindon Air Base also, among other air formations, flew what was called the “Gripen formation”. The Swedish aerospace firm Saab, which manufactures the Gripen fighter planes, is in the running to bag a major contract to provide 100 single-engine fighters to the Indian Air Force and is locked in a direct contest with US defence firm Lockheed Martin, which is currently offering its latest F16 figher jet to IAF. dnai.in/f6qNLord Shiva’s blessings have given strength to digest poison to serve country: PM Modi in VadnagarPrime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday paid his first visit to his hometown Vadnagar as PM and delivered a strong message to his critics, saying Lord Shiva’s blessings have given him the strength to digest poison and serve the motherland. “Bholenath’s blessings have given me the strength to digest all the poison that’s come my way since 2001. I have had the strength to serve the motherland, no matter who spews venom,” he said. dnai.in/f6st

Railway ministry lays down the law to end VIP culture

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The railway ministry has asked its senior staff to slug it out – at home and at work – as part of steps to end the VIP culture in India’s national transporter.In an unprecedented move, the ministry has brought to an end a 36-year-old protocol where it was mandatory for general managers to present themselves on arrival and departure of the Railway Board chairman and other board members during zonal visits.As part of a massive overhaul of the culture of privilege prevalent in the ministry, the Railway Board has decided to do away with the instructions of a 1981 circular that mandated such protocol.In an order on September 28, the ministry said that the instructions and guidelines issued to the railways regarding the protocol to be observed at airports and railway stations during the visit of the Railway Board chairman and other board members stand withdrawn with immediate effect.Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani said no official will entertain bouquets and gifts at any time.However, it’s not just in the office that senior officials of the national carrier have to exercise restraint, but also at home. All senior officials have to relieve all the railway staff who have been engaged as domestic help in their homes.Officials say that around 30,000 trackmen work at the homes of senior officials. They have been asked to resume duties. Sources in the ministry say that in the past one month around 6,000-7,000 personnel have reported back to work.”No one will be exempt from the directive to rejoin work except under very special circumstances. We are hoping that all the staff will join work shortly,” a senior official of the ministry said.Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has also asked senior officials to give up travelling in cosy saloons and executive class travel privileges and start travelling in Sleeper and AC Three-tier classes, mingling with other passengers.These include members of the Railway Board, general managers of railway zones and divisional railway managers in each of the 50 divisions.”I believe that when these protocols were in place, people drafting them would have seen some reasoning behind them. It is difficult for me to say what they were though.However, now, these have no logic.”Also, there is a tendency in public organisations to not review protocols which have become archaic, but remain part of the dos and don’ts for officials. They should be reviewed on a regular basis,” said a former railway board member who didn’t want to be quoted

Mumbai’s lifeline turns fatal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In April 1853, Mumbai’s first train made its humble beginning as it chugged between Boribundar and Tanna. Over the century, Mumbai’s suburban railway system evolved into a lifeline for commuters in the metropolitan city. However, the Railway’s apathy in carrying out much needed upgrades and maintenance has led to a crumbling infrastructure that deteriorates with each passing decade, snuffing out lives of Mumbaikars. The over 76 lakh daily commuters on the suburban system have a battle on their hands each day, as the Railways struggles to expand its network in Mumbai and the city’s extended metropolitan region.An emergency meeting on September 30, a day after the tragic stampede at Elphinstone Road station that claimed 23 lives, called by Union Rail Minister Piyush Goyal focused on the dire need for extensive input into the city’s suburban rail system. In the mishap’s wake, authorities have now been forced to swing into action in an effort to clean up the mess.DNA does a deep dive into analysing the possible reasons that are leading to the systematic collapse of this critical mode of transport in the nation’s financial capital.Trains that can’t keep up with commutersAs if to reiterate the fact that Mumbai’s suburban rail system is the city’s lifeline, in the last 10 years, the number of daily train services operated by Central (CR) and Western Railways (WR) has increased by 125 per cent.It has proven to be a major challenge for the Railways to ferry daily commuters whose numbers have gone up by 112 per cent during the same period. This leaves little space inside trains as people travel to and from work cramped like cattle.In 2007-08 there were 67.82 lakh people travelling everyday which went up to 76.22 lakh daily commuters until September this year.Despite the railways augmenting from 9-car to 12-car on Main and Harbour lines, it hasn’t come as respite from the overcrowding inside coaches. The WR authorities, with little capacity to augment on existing lines, have been struggling more than the CR.Inside a general compartment, the railway authorities claim that the space has been augmented to 21 persons per sq meter from the earlier 16 persons per sq meter. Ideally this means that the capacity of each compartment of a 12-car train has risen from 450 per coach to 593 per coach. At the start of the decade, in 2009-10 the WR were operating 1,210 services which has increased to 1,355 services until September this year. In the same period, the CR’s daily services have increased from 1,412 to 1,660.”In the new timetable, we have used the fifth line between Andheri and Virar so that more services can be put into service. There is little scope of curtailing the headway that stands at four minutes,” said a senior WR official.Surprisingly both CR and WR have seen a fall in daily commuters after 2014-15 that stood at 75.58 lakh to 74.14 lakh in 2015-16.It took nine years for both CR and WR authorities to augment by 500 services. Such is the case despite more and better rakes being bought under phase 1 and 2 of Mumbai Urban Transport Projects. Both the railways together are operating five 15-car trains – of which four are operated by WR – in a bid to supplement capacity by 33 per cent. Even the Railway minister Piyush Goyal had demanded more 15-car trains though certain sections of his own department believe that such a move would kill the rail schedule.Passing the buck between agenciesThe coordination between various agencies like Central and Western Railways, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, Government Railway Police, Urban Development Department and other departments of the state government form the cogs of a wheel that never runs smoothly as each of these agencies have their own unresolved issues.The latest example was in the aftermath of the stampede at Elphinstone Road station. The WR is unable to get BMC land for construction of a new FOB. This, despite the fact that it has been a year since the erstwhile Railway minister Suresh Prabhu gave his clearance for a new bridge.The bureaucrats heading these agencies rarely accommodate projects implemented by other organisations. This is one of the most significant reasons behind inordinate delays of multi-crore projects which lead to loss of public money. In 2014-15, a joint fortnightly meeting was to be held between various agencies. However, within a few weeks, inter-agency issues persisted.On September 30, railway minister Piyush Goyal highlighted this shortcoming and its repercussions. According to sources, at the meeting Goyal questioned the heads of BMC and Railways for a solution to waterlogging on rail tracks. Both agencies brought forward flaws like narrow uncleaned culverts and garbage thrown on tracks. Railway officials said that Goyal directed both organisations to resolve the situation before next year’s monsoon. The organisations have now started working on identifying problematic spots.Vacating illegal homes, rehabilitating people and acquiring land for rail projects is the toughest task for state agencies as they are busy identifying the owners of these lands which are encroached upon. For instance, after the land slide on Parsik Hill in 2015, which tumbled down on rail lines, the next few days passed in deciding whether the Thane Municipal Corporation or Forest Department owned the land. In another case, an entire slum pocket of Behrampada in Bandra east belongs to the Railways but due to inter-agency apathy and lack of political will, demolition proves futile.Railway tracks that killOvercrowded coaches, poor infrastructure at stations and red tapeism is the concoction that leads to deaths on the railway tracks. On one hand we call the suburban railway system the city’s lifeline but unfortunately at least 8 to 10 people die on the rail tracks of Mumbai everyday. One of the biggest reasons is trespassing which contributes over 65 per cent of the deaths.”The teams that are scrutinising the railway stations over various safety parameters are also checking points where trespassing is heavy,” said a railway official. Most of these happen near slum pockets that are close to the railway lines. On the Western Railway, these are areas like Mahim, Bandra, Santacruz, Jogeshwari, Malad, and Virar while on Central Railway, Kurla, Govandi, Mankhurd, Diva and Wadala have slums and buildings close to the rail lines.The solution to this problem requires multiple agencies. In such cases, the BMC is expected to demolish illegal slums, MMRDA is expected to rehabilitate the people and then hand over the land to the railways. Political parties are equally responsible for disallowing government machinery from doing their work as many of these slums are also vote banks.Then is the overcrowding inside trains which usually happens during morning and evening peak hours. In the past, there have been cases in which people have fallen off running trains while hanging dangerously on crowded foot-boards and at times even hitting the pole. Railway officials claim that the number of deaths due to overcrowding has reduced after upgrading the trains to 12-car.In 2012, there were 3,543 deaths; in 2016, 3,208 people died on the tracks; and the number of deaths on rail premises up to September this year stands at 2,221. The year-on-year figures show that the number of deaths on tracks are falling however the number of people injured remains more or less stagnant. In 2012, at least 3,707 people were injured, which came down to 3,451 in 2016 and until now 2,519 commuters have been injured.In 2017, the GRP station at Kalyan station has registered the maximum deaths with 286 cases followed by Kurla (248), Thane (240), Dombivli (124), Wadala (116), CST (100), Panvel (55) on the CR while on the WR, Borivli saw 222 registered cases of death followed by Vasai (169), Mumbai Central (112), Dadar (87), Andheri (84), Bandra (79) and Churchgate (33).Crumbling infrastructureMany stations in Mumbai’s suburban areas have been constructed during the British era and feature old stone and metal framed foot (FOBs) and road-overbridges. The stone-walled barracks (turned into offices now), arched roofs, pillars, benches and clocks still have GIPR (Great Indian Peninsular Railway) inscribed all over them. The tragic incident at Elphinstone Road station was a cruel reminder of the crumbling infrastructure that shouts for urgent repairs.Staircases of these old FOBs are barely two meters wide while the pathways are supported by rusty railings, most of which lead to commercial offices and skyscrapers. People are forced to push and nudge fellow commuters while climbing the staircases on FOBs on their way to narrow and crowded platforms and pathways. And during the annual monsoon, the situation only worsens.”We have constructed 20 FOBs and nearly 15 escalators in last three years,” said an official from Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation, the planning agency for the metropolis. These are apart from those built by WR and CR authorities. The new ones are up to 12 meters wide but their staircases continue to be narrow.Although the condition of a few stations in the city has improved in recent years with better inter-connectivity, FOBs and waste bins; spitting and garbage thrown on railway premises continues to be a problem. Other components like leaky and incomplete roofs, broken tiles on platforms and staircases make stations wholly inconvenient to daily commuters.The quality of rakes, its speeds and seats have improved after the Railways procured newer ones under MUTP-1 and 2. However, the maintenance of rakes, tracks, overhead wires and signals continues to be an issue resulting in constant failures, frequent derailments, rail fractures, unit failures and OHE cables snapping.Over the past few months there have been several derailments across Indian Railways which proves the apathy runs across the national system. The slow pace of improvement works namely addition of tracks and rail lines worsens the situation. Even passenger amenities like ATVMs have become a joke with many not functioning and cash-coin-vending machines more or less out of operation which forces people to wait in serpentine queues for their tickets. In the meantime, the MUTP phases have witnessed escalation of crores of rupees of public money since 2006.NO SOLUTION IN SIGHTDespite the railways augmenting from 9-car to 12-car on Main and Harbour lines, which increased the capacity of each compartment in a 12-car train from 450 per coach to 593 per coach, it hasn’t come as a respite from the overcrowding inside coaches as the number of daily commuters has steadily risen over the yearsOLD AND OVERLOADEDSeveral stations in suburban areas have been constructed during the British era and feature old stone and metal framed FOBs and road-overbridges. The stone-walled barracks, arched roofs, pillars, benches and clocks still have Great Indian Peninsular Railway inscribed on them. Staircases of most these old FOBs are barely two meters wide, forcing commuters to push each other during peak hours, while the pathways are supported by rusty railings.WHO IS TAKING OWNERSHIP?After the land slide on Parsik Hill in 2015, which tumbled down on rail lines, the next few days passed in deciding whether the Thane Municipal Corporation or Forest Department owned the land. In another case, an entire slum pocket of Behrampada in Bandra east belongs to the Railways but due to inter-agency apathy and lack of political will, demolition proves futile.

Railways mulls single food stall at all stns

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a significant change of policy change to create more space on platforms, the Railways will soon start removing extra food stalls from platforms. Instead, it will have a single stall, creating more space for commuters.The other part, the hungry passengers would have to do away with buying their favourites such as samosa, vada pav, ragda, cold drinks and other eatables from the platforms. The railway authorities also claimed that during recent inspections, they have analysed the condition of the food stalls that have been leased on a contract basis.This will include length and breadth of the food stalls on platforms and its concourse area, its total number at every station, number of daily commuters using a station, et cetera.The officials said that the stalls attract a large number of buyers, thereby creating a congestion during peak hours.Railway minister Piyush Goyal, on Saturday, had spoken about decongesting railway stations and make it easy for the mobility of passengers.”The stations in the suburban section is mainly used by office-goers. We need to cater to faster dispersal and passenger movement rather than providing food,” said a senior railway official.”A concept, Multi-Purpose Stall (MPS), has already been approved by the Railway Board,” said a senior railway official “This is to ensure availability of space and decongesting at stations”.The single-stall would keep packed food, medicines, newspapers, books and magazines, milk and cold drinks. The Divisional Railway Manager of each division (the Central and Western Railways has each DRM for Mumbai) will decide the number of MPS and forward it to the Chief Commercial Manager for approval and calling tenders. Once the safety studies are complete, this mechanism would be put into force.

Two days after Elphinstone Road tragedy, Karjat-bound local derails at CST

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mumbai’s surburban railway network had another major glitch on Sunday afternoon after a local train derailed between Chhattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and Masjid station.The incident took place at 1.45 pm when two wheels of the first coach of a Karjat-bound local slipped from the main track.The derailment resulted in several services getting cancelled.The habour line services were also halted, thanks to the weekly mega-block that takes place every Sunday.A DNA reporter said that she had been standing in Vidyavihar station – the station after Kurla – for the past 30 minutes and the announcement of cancellations had been made.The incident comes two days after a stampede on Elphinstone Road Foot Over Bridge resulted in the deaths of 23 people. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had on Saturday announced that there would be no compromise when it came to passenger safety and announced several projects, including constructing bridges at several stations on the Western and Central lines over the next one year.

Live: At least 3 killed, 25 injured in stampede at Elphinstone railway station in Mumbai

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least three people were killed and 25 others injured in a stampede at Elphinstone railway station in Mumbai on Friday.The incident took place at around 10:30 am due to a heavy crowd at the foot over bridge. The incident comes on the day when Railway Minister Piyush Goyal is in Mumbai. He was scheduled to board a local train at 1:00 pm at Vile Parle station.The injured have been rushed to KEM hospital.(More details are awaited)

A dialogue with JC: Was Udaipur Ram Rahim’s full-fledged Dera in making?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>What was Ram Rahim’s Udaipur Connection?Baba Ram Rahim’s Udaipur connection is quite interesting. Baba wanted to develop Udaipur as second Sirsa. Therefore, Baba bought huge tracts of land in Udaipur. Dera’s offices were opened. He managed to impress tribals. Baba also wanted to open a five-star hotel in Udaipur. In all, Baba’s Udaipur connection remained a dream unfulfilled.Did Ram Rahim have personal relations with Udaipur Maharana Arvind Singh?I have seen Maharana’s photographs with Baba on social media. Baba had paid a courtesy visit. He had gone there to watch shooting of a film. Apart from that there is no news of royal family’s connection with Baba.Did honeypreet accompany Ram Rahim to Udaipur?People claim Baba had visited Udaipur 4-5 days before his arrest. Honeypreet was with him and both stayed in the same room in Hotel Leela Palace. Honeypreet was basically friend, philosopher and guide to Baba. So, she used to be with him. Honeypreet was main advisor in expansion of his empire in Udaipur.What was Pradeep Goyal’s relationship with Ram Rahim?As far as Pradeep Goyal is concerned, his relationship with Baba is very old. He met Honeypreet in Hotel Leela Palace on Baba’s birthday. Goyal was given some money as they had apprehension that court verdict would be against Baba. Goyal was played a major part in triggering riots in Sirsa. He was given money by them to arrrange crowd from Udaipur and Banswara. Total 22 buses full of people were sent to Sirsa. Each person was paid Rs 25,000. Did Goyal help Honeypreet to escape to Nepal?It is generally believed that Goyal helped Honeypreet to escape to Nepal but it is yet not confirmed whether she reached Nepal or not. She was suspected to be in Sriganganagar but the police didn’t find her there as well. However, if she were to be found in Nepal, Goyal must be having a hand in it.What is Rajasthan police’s role in this matter?Initially, Rajasthan police played a good role but seems to be lacking the same intensity perhaps due to some kind of political pressure. It didn’t do anything when Honeypreet was spotted in Barmer. She went for shoppingin a mall in Udaipur but the police couldn’t reach her. So, either the police was casual or its system is weak system because It facilitated Goyal’s arrest but not honeypreet, which is why she is believed to be in Nepal.Was there any connection between Ram Rahim and Khalistani leaders ?I don’t think Baba had direct links with terrorists. It is coincidence that a Khalistani leader was childhood friend of Baba. He had murdered his uncle and went to jail. By the time he came out of jail, he had turned into a big bully and a terrorist. It is being said that Gurjan Singh played a key role in Baba’s accession to ‘gaddi’. So indirectly, it can be said that Gurjan Singh or Khalistani leader helped Baba. Will he be convicted in two murder cases?There is fair chance of it as the CBI is working hard to make the case strong.Will Rakhi Sawant’s film on Ram Rahim and Honeypreet’s love story be successful?This is interesting aspect of the film industry. The shooting of this film has started only the time will tell how well it is made and its performance at the box office.Do you think after Ram Rahim’s incident craze for baba’s is on wane?Its most surprising that even after this episode Baba’s craze has not declined. Bhaskar’s survey tells us that only 23% have had a change of heart whereas 95% people said that assets of these babas should be probed while 82% believe religious reasons behind this. So, decline in craze is just 23-24%.Why do people visit these babas.According to a survey 49% people go for employment or business related problems. Only 6% are impressed by magic or future predictions. So, it would be interesting to know why people visit them.Should babas give account of donation received?It is a basic question whether their income or trust should be accounted or not. The government needs to take initiative.Is it a new career to become baba and start a temple?It is very easy to become a baba these days. It is a good business now. People who set up a small temple on the national highway a couple of years ago are now raking in big mullahs. It has become a kind of career – without any investment or risk.What bothers women for which they go to these babas ?It is unfortunate that in this modern age women go to these deras. This is a social embarrassment in Punjab and Haryana. Don’t know why women are going to these babas.Has any baba raped a woman in her home?There is a lobby of babas. Most rape incidents took place at their places when women go there. Such babas cannot be defended but one should avoid going to their place.Should political parties give up tempetation of vote bank or deras and temples?The rise of babas is due to political support. Political parties look for their votes. This tendency has to be given up. Election commission should take affidavit from political parties that they would not seek support of babas.Is fate playing a factor in the hard times faced by babas?Baba is unfortunate to be in jail. Apart from misdeeds bad luck is also a factor.Is Ram Rahim is sad because of stories in media about dera?a line has to be drawn between TRP and media ethics. Some channels have been running fantacy stories about his illicit relationships. Some control must be applied. There should be a code of conduct.Will the government perform its duty in putting a check on babas?It is a social issue. Superstition has to be abandoned. Law & order is necessary. Physical verification of deras is must. What local police station does? All type of stories circulating be it or human skeletons. There should be a record of donations, it should come under RTI and no one should be allowed to misuse people’s faith.

BJP fields 3 ministers to brief media on exec meet

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While Finance Minister Arjun Jaitley acknowledged the dip in the country’s growth rate, promising to undertake measures to change the “environment”, two other ministers, Nitin Gadkari and Piyush Goyal, listed social and economic programmes of the government that is leading the country on the path of progress and development. The three ministers were fielded separately by the BJP to brief about its closed-door meeting of its extended National Executive in the Talkatora Stadium here.Jaitley blamed the low GDP growth in the first quarter of 2017-18 to the decline in the manufacturing sector after the GST regime was implemented. He also took a swipe at the UPA, saying eliminating black money and corruption from the country was never in the previous government’s agenda. “So it is obvious that our efforts to do so will not have the support of UPA leaders,” Jaitley said. “Those on the receiving end of our government’s anti-corruption stance are uneasy.” He further said the BJP was certain of victory in 2019, “and we are certain of building a New India by 2022.”Gadkari and Goyal asserted that programmes launched by the government have started showing results and cited instances after instances. Though the executive was convened to prepare for the 2019 polls, the repeated focus of leaders was putting a timeline of achieving goals of ‘New India’ by 2022.Gadkari said it was Modi government which took India from 2.4% GDP growth to 8.7%. He also asserted that a not a single charge of corruption has been levelled in the last three years on the Modi government. “We want friendship with Pakistan and hence the PM broke protocols and went to meet Pakistan Sharif,” he said, adding that Pakistan continues to promote terrorism while the present government has a “zero tolerance” against terrorism.Gadkari quoted the PM’s Independence Day speech that “Na gaali se samasya sulajhne wali hai, na goli se…samasya suljhegi har Kashmiri ko gale lagane se (Neither abuses, nor bullets will bring a change. The change will take place when we embrace every Kashmiri).” He also showered praise on PM Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for implementing, one tax regime of GST and listed out the BJP government’s steps to curb corruption.

Amit Shah slams Rahul Gandhi for defending dynastic politics

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>JP chief Amit Shah on Monday criticised Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi over his remarks on dynastic politics and said the BJP believes in the politics of performance while the Congress banks on the “politics of appeasement and dynasty”.In his inaugural address at the BJP national executive, Shah said the current president, vice president and the prime minister had reached their position due to their work, despite their humble origins.Shah said the economy was stronger under this government than it was under the UPA and cited figures to make his point, Union minister Piyush Goyal told reporters while briefing them on the party president’s speech.Shah’s comments came amid the opposition’s criticism of the government’s handling of the economy.He praised the government over its handling of Naxalism and terrorism, saying more terrorists were killed in its three years of rule than any other spell of three years.Shah also attacked the TMC government in West Bengal and the Left government in Kerala for alleged political violence targeting BJP workers, Goyal said.

Mumbai locals stuck in the ’80s, overhauling ailing suburban rail system top priority: Piyush Goyal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two weeks after taking charge as railway minister, Piyush Goyal feels that the Mumbai’s suburban railway is the same as it was in 1980s when he was travelling in local trains. On September 19, while speaking at at the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce conference, Goyal said improving the suburban system is at the top of his list.”We are working on how can we rapidly scale up supply of facility for suburban commuters. Mumbai is on top of my priority list,” said Goyal, who also met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday night.The rail minister joked he did not know why he was given the rail portfolio, and it was probably because someone informed the Prime Minister that he had travelled in local trains between 1979-87.Faster trains, track renewalsThe rail minister promised that in addition to starting bullet trains on more routes than just the Mumbai-Ahmedabad stretch, the ministry would focus on improving existing trains. The Indian Railways is planning a third Mumbai Central-Nizamuddin Rajdhani Express that would cover the distance within 13 hours. Sources said it would start before Diwali.At present, the Rajdhani takes 16 hours on the 1,377-km route. Two engines could be added to a 24-coach Rajdhani or 14-coach trains would be run to augment speed.Goyal defended his predecessor, Suresh Prabhu, sayiong he invested in rail safety in the last three years, and stressed the need to improve deterioarting rail infrastructure.”The infrastructure has become sick as track renewals have not happened for years. The rail fractures has not happened overnight but because of neglect over the years,” added Piyush Goyal.Meeting with CMSources said that at the four-hour meeting attended by Goyal, CM Fadnavis, and railway and civic officials, the two ministers asked the authorities to maintain the network. Rail officials said they had been asked to reduce overcrowding and prevent trespassing – 10 people die daily on rail tracks due to these factors – and raise height of platforms.The CR and WR have been asked make plans to augment train services on the CSMT-Thane and Churchgate-Borivili stretch. Currently the two routes are saturated.The ministers also discussed how the state government can help in clearing encroachments and acquiring land for the Rs 11,000-crore Mumbai Urban Transport Project-3, which focusses on the Virar-Dahanu Road stretch, a new suburban corridor from Panvel to Karjat, and an elevated suburban corridor from Kalva to Airoli.

Bullet train project part of ‘Make in India’ mission, will bring employment opportunities: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of India’s first bullet train, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday called it a a symbol of brotherhood between people of India and Japan.Goyal said that this partnership would prove to be beneficial for India and would also contribute to the country’s ”Make in India” Mission.”People will get employment opportunities with this project and it will bring important changes in the country. This bullet train will be a symbol of brotherhood between people of India and Japan,” Goyal said.Addressing the gathering for the first time after taking over as the Railway Minister, Goyal said that the bullet train project would boost the economies all along its route.”Many people criticised the introduction of the Rajdhani Express, but now it is the train everyone wants to travel by.Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that projects like bullet train would fulfil the vision of the Prime Minister’s ‘New India”’.”We are not only laying the foundation of the bullet train, but are laying the foundation of the Prime Minister’s New India Vision,” he said.”The employment generated with the project will boost the GDP,” he added.The bullet train, which has a capacity to accommodate 750 people, is expected to reduce travel time between the two cities from seven to three hours.On the Ahmedabad-Mumbai route, total 12 stations have been proposed that include Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati.The distance of 508 km will be covered in two hours and seven minutes by the bullet train if it stops at four stations namely Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Mumbai.According to the railway ministry officials, the operating speed of the bullet train will be 320 kilometers per hour and the maximum speed will be 350 kilometers per hour. With this, India has become the first to import the iconic ‘Shinkansen’ bullet-train technology after Taiwan. The Japanese Government has also agreed to fund the project at minimal interest rates.

Bullet trains had zero accidents in Japan and I am sure it will continue in India: Piyush Goyal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rattled by the recent spate of train derailments in the country, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday, assured the people about the ambitious project and said that that the bullet train has not seen a single accident in Japan.”It has been a zero accident train in Japan and I am sure the track record will remain the same in India,” Piyush Goyal said.Ahead of Bhoomi Pujan ceremony of the bullet train project, Goyal said that the country’s rail network will be transformed and revolutionised with the initiative.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given directions for a holistic development of the Indian Railways,” Goyal said, adding, India’s transport sector is all set to change and “it is indeed a matter of celebration.”Goyal further said that the new initiative will help boost the employment in the country.”The coming of bullet trains to India will not only boost employment, but also will help India to export it,” he said.Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe will also be visiting India to attend the ‘Bhoomi Poojan’ and foundation stone laying ceremony of the Rs. 97,636-crore Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail link, using Japanese bullet-train technology.During the visit, Prime Minister Abe will also hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Modi and is expected to serve as the “top salesman” for the adoption of the Shinkansen technology by other Indian railway systems, with China also aiming to win orders for the projects, the Japan Times had reported, earlier in August.The 500-km railway will link Mumbai and Ahmedabad in Western India, with services planned to commence in 2023. This train is based on Japanese high-speed technology called Shinkansen, known for its safety and comfort.India has pledged to build high-speed railways, focused on the four major cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.When Prime Minister Modi went to Japan last November, he travelled by Shinkansen with his Japanese counterpart from Tokyo to Kobe to visit a bullet-train plant of Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., a maker of Shinkansen cars.

After string of derailments, new Railway Minister Piyush Goyal goes in damage control mode

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the back of three train derailments, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal today asked the Railway Board to divert rails marked for construction of new lines to stretches prone to accidents and where replacement was due.He also directed the board officials to expedite procurement of new rails to complete laying of tracks in pending projects and eliminate unmanned level crossings within a year.Chairing a meeting with top Railway Board officials, the minister asked them to take up track replacement and renewal on a priority, an official said.”The procurement of new rails should be expedited on a large scale with a view to completing construction of new lines in time,” the minister was quoted as having told the officials.Goyal also instructed the board to install anti-fog LED lights in locomotives to ensure unhindered and safe train operations during winter.Goyal, who assumed office after the exit of his prececessor Suresh Prabhu following a string derailments, also said the process of replacing old coaches with modern LBH bogies should be speeded up.”The Minister emphasised that safety is paramount and there cannot and should not be any compromise on this front,” said the senior official.Today, three trains jumped off the tracks while derailment of another was averted in Uttar Pradesh, New Delhi and Maharashtra within a span of nine hours.The hattrick of derailments was the first since Goyal assumed office following Sunday’s rejig in the Union Council of Ministers.On August 20, 14 coaches of the high-speed Kalinga-Utkal Puri Haridwar Express had derailed in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar, killing at least 23 people and leaving scores injured.Three days later, nine coaches of the Delhi-bound Kaifiyat Express had derailed in the Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh after it collided with a dumper, which had strayed on to the tracks, leaving around 100 passengers injured.

He has been mentoring for 20 years: Piyush Goyal praises Suresh Prabhu as he takes over as Railway Minister

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A beleaguered Suresh Prabhu, who had taken the “moral responsibility” for a recent spate of train accidents, came in for high praise from his successor Piyush Goyal, who took charge as the new Railway minister today.The new minister said his predecessor was his mentor with whom he had worked on earlier occasions.”It is a very emotional day for me. Suresh Prabhu has been mentoring me, directing me and taking care of me for the past 20 years. From time to time we have had the chance to work together,” said Goyal, whose formal taking over was attended by Prabhu at Rail Bhavan.Prabhu had not attended office after August 23, when he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and offered to resign after the accidents last month.”In the government of Atal Behari Vajpayee, he (Prabhu) worked with my father and at that time he was in charge of the power ministry and the leadership that he had shown then is the reason why our country has such a capable power sector,” Goyal said.He pointed out that Prabhu then headed a task force for interlinking rivers of which Goyal was a member.”I was introduced to his style of work when I worked with him for two years in the task force, and it was a fantastic experience,” said the new Rail minister.Goyal said the “culture of non-stop work” in the government was practised by Prabhu when he headed the force.Recalling his first days as the Power minister, Goyal said initially he had little knowledge of the sector and didn’t know the “P of Power”.”I had just come from Mumbai and I didn’t know the P of Power. Then P for Prabhu, my elder brother, taught me how to combine the three sectors – power, renewable energy and coal and move towards development at a fast pace,” he said.Prabhu’s roadmap, Goyal said, focused on investment, security and consumer utilities.All this, he said, had turned the Railways into a vibrant organisation.”For this, the country will be indebted to him, the ministry is indebted to him. We all have to just follow his track,” said Goyal.Prabhu, while speaking to the media today, said he believed Goyal would do a better job than him in the ministry.”He (Goyal) will play a big role in the progress of the country. I wish him all the best and all the success. I am here to help him in whatever he needs, and I believe that everyone will support him as they did me,” Prabhu said.Prabhu, now in charge of Commerce, however, refused to speak about his tenure as the Rail minister.He had offered to step down after two train accidents in Uttar Pradesh last month, which were followed by two other derailments.

Goyal’s mother faints at swearing-in event, admitted to AIIMS

Updated: Sep 4, 2017, 10:13 AM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chandrakanta Goyal, mother of Piyush Goyal, was admitted to AIIMS on Sunday after she fainted during the swearing-in ceremony of new ministers at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.She was brought to AIIMS from the venue, a source at the hospital said.”She has been kept under observation at the ICU. Her condition is stable,” the source said.Piyush Goyal was elevated as the Railways Minister.The union minister’s mother, who is above 80 years, is admitted under Dr Nitish Naik, a professor at the department of cardiology in AIIMS.

Modi’s 2019 squad is ready

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To say that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has, once again, managed to outwit the Lutyens’ Delhi insiders, including the media, would be akin to saying milk is white. All speculation proved to be incorrect. Who would have thought Modi would dish out a masterstroke by giving India her first full-fledged woman Defence Minister? In the Modi era, political guesstimate doesn’t work.Today’s reshuffle exercise has Modi stamped all over it. Be it the elevation of Nirmala Sitharaman as Defence Minister or the induction of four former officers — two IAS, one IPS and one IFS – in the council of ministers, the PM has sent a clear message: This reshuffle is aimed at drastically ramping up his government’s performance with an eye on the 2019 general elections.Everybody, especially Modi himself, is aware that when voters enter the polling booths in 2019, the main factor would be Modi and his performance in achieving his stated goal of Maximum Governance, Minimum Government. Therefore, it shouldn’t have surprised anyone to see the PM bringing in outside talent to strengthen his own hands.The induction of former Union Home Secretary RK Singh, former IFS officer Hardeep Singh Puri, former Kerala cadre IAS officer KJ Alphons and former IPS officer Satya Pal Singh underlines the premium that Modi puts on experience and capacity to deliver and match the gruelling pace set by him.Having said that, there is no denying the fact that the Prime Minister’s search for credible names was also hampered by absence of talented and experienced bench-strength among the current lot of MPs.It is now clear that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) will continue to play a more proactive role in running various ministries. Even in the elevation of Sitharaman, the signal is that the PMO will continue to micro-manage defence, like it does in foreign affairs.Apart from Modi, the only other man whose hand is clearly visible in the reshuffle is BJP president Amit Shah, who seems to have given significant inputs on the exercise.By ignoring the JD(U) and the ever-complaining Shiv Sena, Modi has again made it clear that he isn’t open to any kind of political blackmail.The laggards have been punished, while performers have been amply rewarded. Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s elevation as Railway Minister is a sign that the PM wants an end to continuous derailments and accidents. Nobody understands better how to contain ‘derailments’ than Goyal. As Power and Coal Minister, he put an end to scams in the Coal Ministry while at the same time ensuring production was increased so that shortage of the crucial material couldn’t derail the India growth story.Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has been awarded for the success of the Ujjwala and LPG (DBT) schemes – both pet projects of the Prime Minister.Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has been rewarded for his handling of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha as Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs.

Cabinet reshuffle: Know the biggest winners and losers in the rejig

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal emerged as two biggest gainers in the Cabinet reshuffle today as Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave them the heavyweight Defence and Railways portfolios respectively.Sitharaman, who was holding the Commerce portfolio (Independent charge), was promoted to the Cabinet rank as were Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.Goyal replaced Suresh Prabhu who had earlier offered to resign as Railway Minister after a series of derailments.Prabhu has been shifted to commerce and industry ministry.Another gainer in the latest round of reshuffle was Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, who was given the additional charges of the water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation, which was with Uma Bharti.
ALSO READ Cabinet reshuffle: From international diplomat to MoS, Hardeep Singh Puri has had a worldly-wise journeyBharati has been shifted to Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavrdhan Rathore too gained after the rejig and got the Sports portfolio (independent charge).
ALSO READ Cabinet reshuffle: PM Modi prefers low profile, result-delivering ministers for his core teamSantosh Kumar Gangwar too gained and got the Labour and Employment Ministry with independent charge. He was serving as the MoS finance.Among others, Giriraj Singh got the Independent charge of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. He was serving as the MoS in the ministry.Smriti Irani retained her Information and Broadcasting Ministry besides the Textiles Ministry.She was given the additional charge of Information and Broadcasting Ministry in July after M Venkaiah Naidu was named NDA’s vice presidential candidate.Cabinet minister Harsh Vardhan, who was given the additional charge of the Environment Ministry following the demise of Anil Dave in May, continues to hold the portfolio.Vijay Goyal, who was stripped off the Sports portfolio, is seen as the loser in the reshuffle as he will now serve as the junior minister in Parliamentary Affairs and Statistics and Programme Implementation.Mahesh Sharma has to give away the portfolio of tourism (independent). He retains the Culture Ministry (independent charge) and will also work as the Minister of State of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

Cabinet reshuffle done, all eyes on portfolio announcements: 10 updates

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In his third cabinet expansion since coming to power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inducted 9 new faces in his team.But the new roles of these ministers and others is yet to be announced.Here are major developments from this political story:1: Since morning, there is a strong buzz that Suresh Prabhu or Sushma Swaraj can become India’s next defence minister.2: If Sushma Swaraj gets Defence portfolio, it would be the first time since Indira Gandhi that a female minister has held the crucial ministry.3: Uma Bharti, the Water Resource Minister, skipped the reshuffle. According to news agency ANI, Bharti is in Varanasi. It is also being reported that Piyush Goyal is tipped to be the next Railway Minister.4: There are also reports the Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was reportedly unhappy over the rejig. Many say Kumar was miffed over non-inclusion of JD(U) members in the Cabinet expansion.5: Lalu Prasad, the RJD chief and former Nitish Kumar ally, was quick to react to this. “They (JD(U)) didn’t even get the invite. One who leaves his people won’t be taken in by others. It’s Nitish Kumar’s fate,” Prasad was quoted as saying to ANI.6: At the majestic Durbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan, Dharmendra Pradhan was the first minister to the oath.7: Piyush Goyal, Nirmala Sitharaman, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi were among those who came next. All of them have been promoted as Cabinet Ministers.8: Seen as the Brahmin face from Uttar Pradesh, Shiv Pratap Shukla, who is a BJP member in Rajya Sabha took oath as Minister of State.9: Ashwini Kumar Choubey, BJP lawmaker from Bihar’s Buxar; Dr Virendra Kumar from Madhya Pradesh’s Tikamgarh; Ananth Kumar Hegde from Karnataka; former bureaucrat RK Singh from Bihar; Hardeep Singh Puri, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat from Rajasthan’s Jodhpur were among those who also took oath.10: Also on the list were Mumbai’s former top cop Dr Satypal Singh and Alphons Kannanthanam.

Return of scrapped notes endorses success of demonetization: Piyush Goyal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP on Thursday rejected the opposition’s criticism of demonetization, saying it has been the “biggest success” as it has proved to be a major step towards establishing a “clean and honest” economic order.All suspected black money transactions with banks are under the government’s scanner and those found having deposited unaccounted cash will be taxed. It will give a boost to revenue collection, Union minister Piyush Goyal said. “Demonetization has been the biggest success. It has made all the money deposits in banks traceable and the economy clean. It also enhanced liquidity with banks, resulting in lower taxes and more money for welfare measures,” he said.Dismissing the opposition’s attack on the government, Goyal claimed that those criticising the measure do not understand economics. Demonetization instilled a sense of “fear” among tax evaders and increased compliance among people, leading to the “success” of the Goods and Services Tax.
ALSO READ Opposition thrashes govt post RBI data on demonetization, Rahul Gandhi asks, ‘Will PM own up'”It has been a big step towards creating a clean and honest economic order,” he said, adding that it has led to a huge increase in digital transactions. It has also led to creation of massive data for the government, he said. According to the RBI as much as 99 per cent of the junked Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes have returned to the banking system and has prompted the opposition to question the efficacy of the government’s unprecedented note ban decision to curb black money and corruption.”The fact we have been able …to get all the money back into the system is a great endorsement of the big fight that the government has picked up against the black money, against corruption… I think it is a great endorsement of the success of demonetization,” Goyal said. The minister further said the government is moving towards the path of honest governance unlike the previous Congress regime which had “encouraged people to indulge in corruption and do business by unethical means.” He said that the opposition Congress “cannot understand a simple thing that money coming into the bank will help spur the economy and will pay back.”

Under PM Modi, country is seeing end of ‘politics of caste, dynasty and appeasement’: Amit Shah

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> BJP president Amit Shah on Sunday credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi with laying the foundation of an “unbeatable” BJP in Gujarat while fighting a smear campaign.”It is easy to make governments. It is hard to make a good karyakarta (party worker),” Shah said, lauding Modi’s role in building the organisation at the grassroots level. Modi laid the foundation of a strong and “ajeya” (unbeatable) BJP in Gujarat, he said after releasing the Hindi translation of a book on Modi ‘Hamare Narendrabhai’ authored by Dinesh Desai. “Modi’s life has been full of hardship. Many people tried to malign him, but he has come this far while countering such people,” he added.Shah said the role of party as an important part of democracy was established for the first time in the 1995 Gujarat Assembly polls when there was change of power (from Congress to BJP) without any significant development like Emergency or the Ram Mandir issue. “This is the first instance of victory due to building a strong party organisation,” Shah said. Modi took over as Gujarat chief minister in October 2001 but was involved for long in building the party in the state.”As CM, Modi had promised to bring ele ctricity to all villages in Gujarat in 24 months, but he did that in 18. The then opposition leader and former CM Amarsinh Chaudhary told Modi that being an engineer he thought the target was unachievable, but Modi kept his word,” Shah said. The BJP president said under Modi the country was seeing the end of “politics of caste, dynasty and appeasement” and moving forward on the path of politics of performance. Under UPA, every minister thought he was Manmohan Singh while nobody gave importance to the real prime minister, Shah said.The Modi government has been “without a taint” in the last three years, compared to the charges of corruption of Rs 12 lakh crore under the UPA government, Shah claimed. Our government has provided a life of dignity to young girls by building four lakh toilets in three years, he said. Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said the contained rare photographs of Modi from his childhood and youth.”When Modi addressed the US Congress, he received a standing ovation 56 times,” Fadnavis said.Union minister Piyush Goyal cited a popular greeting card with the words ‘The world’s greatest boss’ while speaking about his experience working with Modi. Describing the pair of Modi and Shah as “incredible”, Goyal said, “We have never seen such an excellent coordination between the government and the party before this.”

Centre asks Pb govt to extend support to hearing-impaired teen

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre has asked the Punjab government to extend all support to city lad Yashveer Goyal who was first in the National IT Challenge for Youth with Disabilities’ hearing-impaired category. The 18-year-old is all set to represent India in the Global IT Challenge in Vietnam next month. The Ministry of Social Justice Empowerment’s Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities sent a letter on August 8 to the state government, asking it to extend all possible support to the teenager and his family, an official said. The national IT competition was organised by the National Institute of Technology, Kurukushetra, on July 20 and 21 under the aegis of the Union ministry, and had e-designing, use of e-tools and creativity challenges. The global challenge is slated to be held between September 18 and 22 at Hanoi in Vietnam. Four participants will represent India under different categories, the official said. “We always wanted to make our child self-reliant and independent. He has made us proud with his achievement and interest for information and technology,” the teenager’s mother Nitu Goyal said. She said that it was her dream that her child should not lead a dependent life but an independent and normal life like any other child. Yashveer, who is pursuing his graduation from IGNOU, had scored 91 per cent marks in Class 12 examination. Hearing-impaired from birth, he expressed his gratitude to his teachers, friends and family for the achievement and confidently added that he shall win and make India proud.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Piyush Goyal asserts Naidu’s win for VP post will be unprecedented

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Union Minister of State for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday that M. Venkaiah Naidu?s victory in next month?s vice-presidential elections would be unprecedented with support coming from across the political spectrum. Goyal told ANI, ?We are very proud that he is going to be the next vice-president of India. At 11 o? clock, the senior leaders will go and file their nominations. The Congress is in a hard position, but in any case, they hardly matter. Across parties, there is love, affection and adulation for Venkaiah Naidu. He is loved by all parties and leaders. His victory is going to be unprecedented with support coming from all parties across the political spectrum.? Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya also said that Naidu?s nomination for the post of vice president is a proud moment for the Telugu community. ?The decision by the NDA for Venkaiah Naidu?s nomination is most appreciable. He will do the rightful duty and he is an experienced person. For Telugu people, it is a very proud moment. I send my warm greetings to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party chief Amit Shah and Venkaiah Naidu. I want all parties to support him. I also wish him good luck,? Dattatreya said. Naidu will be the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate for the post of vice president. The announcement was made by BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi yesterday after a meeting of the BJP?s parliamentary board. Naidu, who was the Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Information and Broadcasting, submitted his resignation yesterday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Party President Amit Shah, Union Ministers Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj, Venkaiah Naidu, J P Nadda, Thawar Chand Gehlot and Ananth Kumar were present in the meeting. Naidu was BJP president from 2002 to 2004. He was elected to Rajya Sabha from Karnataka in 1998 and was re-elected to the house in 2004, 2010 and 2016. He also chaired the Committee on Petitions and Committee on Home Affairs of the Rajya Sabha. Naidu was also a cabinet minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Government.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Curfew relaxed in slain gangster Anandpal’s village

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The curfew at Nagaur district’s Sanvrad village was relaxed for over five hours today after the situation improved since Wednesday when a mob clashed with police after a condolence meet for slain gangster Anandpal Singh. The situation remained peaceful and under control in the village. The curfew was relaxed from 10.30 am to 2 pm and 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm, ADM (Didwana) Chhagan Lal Goyal said. The family members of Anandpal also conducted a condolence meeting, the officer said. The curfew was imposed after a man died and 32 people, mostly policemen, were injured in the clash. Violence broke out after a condolence meeting at the village which was attended by a large number of Rajput community people. Anandpal Singh was killed in an encounter by police on June 24 at a village in Churu district.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Junaid lynching case: Main accused worked as security guard in Delhi, confesses to crime

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The prime accused in the killing of Junaid Khan on-board a Mathura-bound train was working as a security guard in Delhi and has confessed to having stabbed the Muslim youth, a senior police official said on Sunday.The accused, who was on the run since June 22, was arrested on Saturday from Dhule district of Maharashtra.The 30-year-old main accused, a resident of district Palwal in Haryana, worked as a private security guard in a firm in Delhi, Superintendent of Police (Railways) Kamaldeep Goyal said, addressing a press conference here.On the claim of the victim’s brothers that they were called “beef eaters” by the accused, Goyal said, “No such thing has come to the fore during the main accused’s questioning so far.”He said the accused, whose identity was being withheld pending completion of some legal procedure, had boarded the train from Shivaji bridge station in Delhi.”During his questioning so far, the main accused has confessed to having stabbed Junaid and attacking his brothers,” he claimed.He would be produced before a court here and his police remand would be sought.”His consent will be sought for Test Identification Parade before court,” Goyal said.The weapon has not been recovered so far, he said, adding the accused told the police that the knife, with which he attacked Junaid, was in his possession.”It is an open investigation and only after thorough interrogation of the accused will the complete sequence of events in the case come to fore,” Goyal said, replying to a question about sequence of events which led to Junaid’s killing.”Time limit for this investigation cannot be fixed.Whatever facts we could share have been shared, but in the interest of investigation revealing more facts at this stage will not be appropriate. We will share these facts as and when they become clear,” he added.The fight between the victim and his brothers and the accused in the train started at Okhla railway station in Delhi while the stabbing took place at a station Ballabgarh onwards, he said.When asked about the facts that have emerged with the arrest of five accused earlier, Goyal said the probe is ongoing.”The main accused has been arrested yesterday only… I am repeating that it is an open investigation, what was the sequence of events, what exactly led to murder of Junaid, will become known after main accused’s interrogation,” he said.Goyal said it was difficult for them to crack the case as thousands of people travel from Delhi to Mathura daily on the local train.”Different type of methodologies were adopted by the police department and it is culmination of all those continuous efforts by the police. Which technique exactly led to the arrest of this accused, I am not going to reveal, but a lot of aspects of investigation were touched by police..,” he said.He said the main accused will be taken on police remand and during further interrogation, many things will become clear.When asked where the main accused was hiding, Goyal said, “He spent a few days at his home. He went to Mathura and Vrindavan and later through a relative he worked at some unit in Dhule for a few days.”When asked if anymore accused were yet to be arrested in the case, the SP said, “During the main accused’s interrogation this should become clear.”He also said that statement of other arrested accused in the case has been recorded.Replying to a question, Goyal said the main fight had started between the victim and another man Rameshwar, who was earlier arrested in the case.The SP said the main accused also jumped into the fight, though he did not know Rameshwar.He said steps were being taken to strengthen security on trains, including having CCTV cameras, for which we have written to the Railway Ministry.He said the Government Railway Police (GRP) was also trying to have a databank of daily commuters from Faridabad and Palwal.”Often many things come to fore like some of these daily passengers occupy seats of others, play cards, sit in rail coaches meant for women etc. So, we will try to make them aware..,” he said.Junaid’s mother, meanwhile, has demanded capital punishment for the main accused.”My son was innocent. I lost him as no one came to his help. While exemplary punishment should be given to all accused involved in the case, I demand that the main accused who stabbed Junaid should be hanged,” she told reporters at her village in Ballabgarh today.A statement released by the GRP yesterday had said that a team was sent to Dhule following a tip-off that the accused was hiding there. The GRP claimed in the statement that during interrogation, the accused had “confessed” to having killed Junaid.The police had earlier arrested five persons, including a Delhi government employee.Junaid was stabbed to death while his brothers, Hashim and Sakir, were injured by a mob which also allegedly hurled communal slurs against them. His brothers had claimed the attackers had taunted and repeatedly called them “anti-nationals” and “beef eaters”.A reward of Rs two lakh had also been announced for information on identity of those involved in the killing.Junaid was stabbed to death when he, along with his brothers, was returning home to Khandawli village after shopping for Eid in Delhi. His body was dumped close to Asaoti village in Faridabad district.

Agri loan waiver not enough: Dharmendra Pradhan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Welcoming state government’s decision of waiving of loan for farmers, minister of state for petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan however, stated that its not the ultimate solution and farmers need to be supported with promotion of biofuel projects so that they get additional and sustainable revenue.Pradhan was in Pune to inaugurate two-day-Bio energy Urja Utsav, a national conference and exhibition organised at Balewadi stadium on Friday. Along with Pradhan, union power minister Piyush Goyal was also present at the inaugural function.During his inaugural speech, Pradhan hailed the decision of Maharashtra government of waiving off loan of farmers but at the same time, he said that farmers can earn additional revenue if they are encouraged to take up biofuel projects. “The decision of Maharashtra government of waiving off loan is an important decision. However, we have to look beyond loan waiver to improve farmers’ economic situation. The agriculture produce can give additional income to farmers if they are supported with bio fuel project,” Pradhan said.”If biofuel projects are taken on large scale in the country, it can import bills upto Rs 1 lakh crore and that money can go into the pockets of our own farmers. We have the technology and if we manage to increase the scale of production of green energy, the revenue generated from it can reach to the deprived class,” Pradhan said.During his speech Pradhan also stated that the government has recently introduced GST and he will be speaking to the union finance minister for tax relaxation for green energy.

Imported coal based power plants an albatross around neck: Piyush Goyal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister for renewable power, coal and mines Piyush Goyal on Saturday said that despite the ample coal availability, the country has to import coal mainly to meet the needs of power plants with an installed capacity of 83,100 MW power projects as they are designed to run on imported coal and not on domestic coal which contains 40% fly ash. The union minister of state for power, renewable power, coal and mines Piyush Goyal said “These plants have become an albatross around my neck. The power generated by these plants is costly. The imported coal-based power plants were planned despite India has third largest coal reserves. At the same time, we have to regulate coal production as nearly 55 million tonnes of coal is gathered at the pithead coal mines for low demand especially from states,” he said.The union minister, who was speaking at the sidelines of a conference on the power sector, said the country is also facing another problem where in the power generation plants are purchasing low coal quantity not to block the working capital. “The coal production in the first quarter was brought down by 5% also to avoid fire in coal mines.’’Goyal said the coal shortage has become a thing of past. Besides, the government’s efforts during last three years have paid off as none of the coal based power plants are now facing any coal shortage. He informed that the energy and peak demand shortages too have drastically come down and the states can now even trade on power exchanges. Besides, states can book power through an app launched by the power ministry. “Today, the electricity is priced at Rs 2.52 per unit in the whole country,” he added.Further, India is now power surplus and exporting power to all SAARC countries barring Pakistan. However, he admitted that despite surplus coal, India cannot export it due to 40% fly ash content and the higher transportation cost.On meeting target set by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2015 to electrify 18,000 villages from remote areas in 1,000 days, the minister informed that so far 14,700 have been electrified and the balance 3,800 will be electrified ahead of schedule. On the government’s initiative to promote LED lights, Goyal said as on date 24 crore have been sold out. The target is to sell 77 crore LED lights in five years. “With the use of 100% LED, India can save Rs 40,000 crore and 112 billion units of electricity per year. Efforts are to create a favourable environment for LED use by one and all by 2019,’’ he noted.

IT notice to TMC: BJP asks Mamata Banerjee to come clean on party’s election funding

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Launching an attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the BJP today accused her party, the Trinamool Congress (TMC), of not accounting for over Rs 24 crore “it spent on political campaigns” in 2013-14.Union minister Piyush Goyal asked the TMC supremo to “come clean” on the source of the money and took a dig at her saying it was now clear why was she opposed to demonetization, which was “aimed at curbing black money”. As per the Election Commission’s (EC) guidelines, the political parties had to account for their expenses even when they were getting funds from a third party, he said.Goyal cited a media report which claimed that the Income Tax department had reportedly sent a notice to the TMC. “While the Union government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking steps to curb black money and corruption and boost transparency, we now know why some parties were so opposed to transparency and demonetization,” the Union Power Minister told a press conference.He added that all the political parties in the country should follow the BJP’s “example” as far as transparency was concerned. Goyal also asked the opposition parties not to “politicise” every investigation “under the garb of secularism and freedom of press”. He took a jibe at the opposition parties over their attempts to forge unity saying it looked like a “coalition of the corrupt against a government trying to put an end to corruption”.

Media baron or politician, nobody immune from probe: Piyush

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister Piyush Goyal today said NDTV founder Pranoy Roy and his company should face investigation in connection with the alleged loss caused to a private bank, stressing that nobody enjoyed immunity from being probed. “I don’t think anybody should shy away from investigation … just because you run a media house or you are a top politician or whatever, this does not give immunity to anyone in this country from investigation,” the Energy Minister told reporters here. “If they are clear everything is alright then obviously the investigation will show everything as alright. There should not be any concerns about that,” he said. His remarks came within hours of the CBI conducting searches at Roy’s residence in New Delhi and three other locations for allegedly causing a loss of Rs 48 crore to ICICI Bank. The NDTV, however, has termed the action by the agency as “witch-hunt” based on “same old, false” accusations. Ruling out government’s role in the matter, Goyal said investigative officers have to pursue all the leads that they receive. “Therefore, they are doing their job. We are not involved in any investigation. That is for the investigative authorities to do,” he said. Asked whether India would be hit by LNG supply due to Saudi Arabia and key allies cutting ties with Qatar, Goyal replied in negative. “Not at all, we have not cut any relations with Qatar. So, we have been continuing to get supplies,” he said. Goyal said it is an internal diplomatic issue between those countries including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and India does not have any view and doesn’t not take any sides in this matter. “We believe in good harmonious relations with all countries with which India has diplomatic ties,” he said. Four Arab nations — Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — have announced they would withdraw their diplomatic staff from Qatar, a gas-rich country and world’s top seller of liquefied natural gas (LNG). They have accused Qatar of supporting extremism.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Amit Shah addresses a ‘paathshala’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A television media conclave at Ashoka Hotel here on Saturday afternoon, as a part of the 3rd anniversary celebrations of Narendra Modi government, virtually turned out to be a powerful and effective “Paathshala” for ministers and the media.The conclave was chaired by BJP president Amit Shah, who was sitting in a very cool and composed mood, carefully listening to an hour-long presentation made by Power Minister Piyush Goyal on the achievements of Modi government in the last three years. Goyal happened to be the sole speaker, in the presence of Union ministers Venkaiah Naidu, Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and media personalities Rajdeep Sardesai, Arnab Goswami, Navika Kumar, Arun Puri, Supriya Prasad, Rahul Kanwal, Jagdeesh Chandra and Sudhir Chaudhary.In this way, it was a powerful show for the ministers and media, where Shah virtually acted as a silent principal of a Media “Paathshala”. This was perhaps for the first time that almost 100 per cent invitees attended the function.Shah’s own office personally and meticulously monitored the entire invitation exercise and phone calls were made to senior television professionals by party functionaries to ensure that every media person gets a proper invitation in a decent and dignified manner.In this entire exercise, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore was also actively involved along with his cabinet colleague Goyal for the last one month. It was virtually a disciplined show, where everybody sat quiet and listened to the keynote speaker Goyal.After the speech, everybody met Shah and other Union ministers, especially Jaitley to share their views.English media’s main focus was Jaitely though there was a sense of craze and excitement to say hello to party president Shah. The main focus of informal discussions between the media and Shah was upcoming Presidential election. The united Opposition meeting at Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s place was also discussed at length by media persons.The entire show lasted for more than two hours and everybody appeared to be happy and satisfied with the menu of the lunch. This was the first phase of “Paathshala”, which will continue on Sunday. Senior editors from print media have been invited over lunch and the entire regional media of the country will meet Shah and other Union ministers over dinner.The single line message of the conclave was that the entire media appears to be in “tune” with the ruling government and the ruling party. This may be a new beginning for the present government’s relationship with the television media. No BJP president ever before got such a massive response and attention from media, as it happened in Saturday’s function.

Journos told to leave BJP meeting, Tiwari left red-faced

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari was left embarrassed today after his party colleague and Union minister Piyush Goyal asked journalists invited by him to cover a party meeting, to leave the venue. Tiwari’s entreaties to Goyal that journalists were given a “special invitation” by him fell on deaf ears as the minister insisted that the “purpose” of his address to party leaders at the Delhi BJP’s executive committee meeting would be lost in their presence. Goyal asked media persons to leave the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry auditorium on the second day of the two-day meeting. He said he was “unaware” that the media was also invited to attend the meeting. As media persons began leaving, Goyal seemed to be open to speaking about the Modi government’s achievements in their presence. “It’s okay if they are leaving,” he said. Delhi BJP leaders were seen asking journalists to stay back while the minister wanted them to leave. A Delhi BJP invite sent to media persons yesterday stated that “his (Goyal’s) session (is) open to media”. The minister reached an hour late for the “open” session that was scheduled for 1 pm. Earlier, BJP’s national general secretary Anil Jain addressed the party members in the presence of journalists.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Modi govt has delivered in all fields: Shah to spokespersons

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP chief Amit Shah today said the Modi government has delivered in all fields, from launching satellites into space to providing LPG cylinders to the poor, as he asked party leaders to inform the masses about its “successes”. In his inaugural address at a national workshop for party’s spokespersons drawn from across the country, he said the government has worked a lot to uplift and empower the poor, Dalits and the backwards and it was now the spokespersons’ job to reach out to the masses with this. The workshop comes ahead of an over 20-day-long event the party will launch from May 26 to mark the government’s third anniversary. Senior BJP leaders and ministers, including general secretary (organisation) Ram Lal, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Piyush Goyal besides the party’s media head Anil Baluni, addressed the over 200 leaders. The BJP president will leave for Telangana tomorrow as part of his 95-day tour across the country to strengthen the organisation. Sending out a message, he will pay floral tributes to the late party secretary in the state, Gundagoni Mysaiah Goud, who was gunned down by Naxals in 1999.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJP Jharkhand welcome Piyush Goyal’s announcement that all villages in Jharkhand would be electrified

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP’s Jharkhand unit today welcomed Union Energy Minister Piyush Goyal’s announcement that electricity would reach to all the villages in Jharkhand. “There is a total focus on villages and electricity by the state and the Central governments,” BJP spokesman Pratul Shahdeo said in a statement.Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das has already said the rest of the villages in the state would be electrified by 2019, Shahdeo said, adding the state government s current budget is also focused on the rural sector. The state government is also committed on solar energy, which would protect the environment, he added.The electrification work would be completed in the remaining 3,992 villages by October this year which will pave the way for giving all households in the country access to power by May 1, 2018, Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal had yesterday.While addressing a press conference on rural electrification, Goyal had said the government will electrify the remaining villages by October this year so that all households get electricity by May 1, 2018.

Have given all answers to Mishra’s allegations AAP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Brushing aside all charges made by sacked Delhi minister Kapil Mishra, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Gopal Rai on Friday said his party had given answers to the former?s allegations. ?Our party has given all the answer to Kapil Mishra?s allegations,? Rai told ANI. Health Minister Satyendra Jain, a day before, filed a criminal defamation case against Mishra. Jain also filed a suit against MLA Manjinder S. Sirsa in the Tis Hazari Court here. Earlier on Wednesday, Mishra took the fight against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and filed a complaint against the former for financial irregularities. Mishra claimed that the Income Tax authorities had started probing the allegations raised by him against fake companies registered in the name of AAP MLA Shivcharan Goyal. Mishra told the media, “The Income Tax department has started investigations against the fake companies registered in the name of AAP MLA Shivcharan Goyal.” Mishra earlier approached the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to submit evidences of corruption against Kejriwal. Mishra also alleged that for three continuous years, black money was converted into white and spent on foreign trips of AAP leaders. “The AAP did not inform about some of its funding which it received from the fake companies,” he said. Mishra targetted Kejriwal and revealed that 16 shell companies deposited money worth crores in the AAP’s bank accounts. “These fake companies are registered in the name of AAP MLA from Moti Nagar, Shivcharan Goyal. These companies have given Rs. 2 crore to Kejriwal. The funds received from these companies were sent to the same branch of Axis Bank, where there were allegations of converting black money into white at the time of demonetisation,” he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cabinet nod for amending law to allow construction near

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Union Cabinet today approved amendments to a law for allowing the central government to carry out infrastructure projects within the limits of “prohibited area” around protected monuments. The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958 will be amended to allow “public works of national importance” in the prohibited areas, said Union minister Piyush Goyal while briefing reporters on the decisions taken by the Union Cabinet. A ‘prohibited area’ means land in the 100-metre radius around a protected monument. Currently, construction is not allowed in the prohibited area except for repair and renovation works. The ban on new construction within prohibited area was “adversely impacting various public works and developmental projects of the central government”, Goyal said. Public works have been defined as construction works related to infrastructure which are financed and constructed by the central government for public purposes as they are essential to public safety or security. Its emergent necessity is based upon specific instance of danger to public safety or security. He said adequate safeguards have been proposed to ensure that monuments remain protected when the infrastructure work is carried out. Earlier, there was a proposal to bring in an Ordinance in this regard but it was dropped at the last moment. The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites Remains (Amendment) Bill, 2017 will now be introduced in the Parliament. At present, as many as 3,686 monuments and sites are centrally-protected under the jurisdiction of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which is responsible for their maintenance.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Disaster management should not be seen in isolation: Goyal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Disaster management should not be seen in isolation as it has linkages with poverty and all development schemes of the government, Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal said here today. Addressing the valedictory session of a two-day conclave of the national platform for disaster risk reduction, Goyal said poverty has a direct impact on vulnerabilities and hence everyone has to work simultaneously. Disaster management should not be seen in isolation as it has linkages with poverty and all development schemes of the government, he said. Goyal made an appeal to everyone to come together to fight against disasters, an official release said. “If we cannot prevent disasters, we must work for reducing the impact of disaster. We need to make investments in preparedness and risk reduction,” he was quoted as saying. Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju emphasised on investment in research and development and building partnerships with universities and research institutions.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CBI raids: Today is the day of accountability for the corrupt, says Piyush Goyal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On a day it was voted to power three years ago, the BJP on Tuesday, said this was the day of accountability for the corrupt after government agencies searched Congress leader P Chidambaram’s premises and properties allegedly linked to RJD chief Lalu Prasad.Union Minister Piyush Goyal rejected Chidambaram’s charge that he was being targeted for his columns critical of the government and claimed that the issue was why beneficiaries of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) gave “money to firms owned by his son”.”The former Union finance minister’s columns did not exactly set the Yamuna on fire,” Goyal told. The CBI carried out searches at several places linked to former Union minister Chidambaram and his son Karti over alleged favours granted in foreign investment clearance to a firm, INX Media, in 2007.
ALSO READ CBI raids: Chidambaram says govt wants to silence him; son Karti cries ‘political vendetta’Also, the Income Tax department conducted raids on at least 22 locations in Delhi and adjoining areas on charges of alleged benami deals worth Rs 1,000 crore linked to RJD chief Lalu Prasad and others. Goyal also said in its three years in power, the BJP has given an honest, scam-free government, a decisive leader and pro-poor thrust on governance.Goyal also claimed that for the first time ever, India “is the fastest growing large economy” in the world.

Today is the day of accountability for the corrupt: Goyal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On a day it was voted to power three years ago, the BJP today said this was the day of accountability for the corrupt after government agencies searched Congress leader P Chidambaram’s premises and properties allegedly linked to RJD chief Lalu Prasad. Union Minister Piyush Goyal rejected Chidambaram’s charge that he was being targeted for his columns critical of the government and claimed that the issue was why beneficiaries of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) gave “money to firms owned by his son”. “The former Union finance minister’s columns did not exactly set the Yamuna on fire,” Goyal told reporters. The CBI carried out searches at several places linked to former Union minister Chidambaram and his son Karti over alleged favours granted in foreign investment clearance to a firm, INX Media, in 2007. Also, the Income Tax department conducted raids on at least 22 locations in Delhi and adjoining areas on charges of alleged benami deals worth Rs 1,000 crore linked to RJD chief Lalu Prasad and others. Goyal also said in its three years in power, the BJP has given an honest, scam-free government, a decisive leader and pro-poor thrust on governance. Goyal also claimed that for the first time ever, India “is the fastest growing large economy” in the world.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SDMC launches fleet of auto-tippers for garbage collection

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Following its win in the civic polls, the BJP’s new team of councillors is dedicated to make Delhi the prime minister’s “dream city”, state unit chief Manoj Tiwari said today. Flagging off a fleet of auto-tippers for garbage collection in South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), Tiwari said that the initiatives of the corporation were in tune with the party’s manifesto for MCD polls that promised to provide best civic amenities to the people. “In the coming days, the initiatives of SDMC will free south Delhi from garbage,” he said. Tiwari urged the residents of SDMC areas to cooperate with civic authorities to improve the rank of the city under Swachh Bharat Mission. SDMC commissioner Punit Goyal said for the “first time” in the capital city, segregation of garbage at source as biodegradable, dry and hazardous waste will be done with an aim to provide a result-oriented transportation. Besides garbage compacters, 148 auto-tippers, 28 three- wheelers and 56 rickshaws are going to be deployed for street-level collection. Previously, only 80 auto-tippers were deployed for this purpose, he said. The municipal corporation has decided to set up the second waste-to-energy plant soon, he said and added that formalities towards this end will be completed in the next two months.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

JK govt fixes compensation for people affected by field firing

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Jammu and Kashmir government has issued a notification fixing Rs 2.5 lakh compensation in case of death of a person due to field firing and artillery practices in the state. As per the notification issued by Principal Secretary R K Goyal to the state Home Department, a compensation of Rs 2.50 lakh will be given in case of death of a person in firing practice. “Those rendered 100 per cent disable in the event of firing will get Rs 2 lakh compensation, while those with 50-100 per cent disability will get Rs 1.50 lakh. The affected with 50 per cent disability will receive Rs 1 lakh compensation,” it said. The rate of compensation for damage to live stock and crops have also been fixed with a compensation of Rs 5,000 each for the death of a goat or sheep, Rs 25,000 for a buffalo, Rs 20,000 for a cow and bull each and Rs 25,000 for a horse, the notification said. The state government said the loss to crops will be assessed by the revenue authorities concerned, adding the compensation rates for the evacuation of people due to field firing have also been fixed. “In case where the villagers are compelled to leave their houses or when restrictions are imposed on their movement due to field firing practice, the compensation of Rs 151 per day and Rs 225 per night will be given to men and women above the age of 18 years. Rs 75 will be given to children above the age of 12 and less than 18 years per day,” the notification added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Remaining 4141 villages to be electrified by 2018- Goyal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Inaugurating a state power ministers? conference here on Wednesday, Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal said, ?Power is the fulcrum around which an ecosystem can be created to give better quality of life to every citizen of India?. Delivering the inaugural address at the two-day event, Goyal said the objective of the conference is to review the work done in the sectors of power, coal, renewable energy and mining by state governments/union territories in last six months. Further, the conference intends to forge new policies for achieving the goal of providing 24×7 quality and affordable power for all in the stipulated time, upholding Prime Minister Narendra Modi?s vision of ?New India?, Goyal added. He stressed that this conference is an ?outcome focussed gathering? while reiterating the resolution taken in last state power ministers? conference in Vadodara to provide electricity to every household in the country by December 2018. He also noted that the challenges in achieving 24×7 power for all are not over yet and in the next three to four months, a final push is needed to electrify remaining 4141 un-electrified villages in the country. Talking about the transparency and accountability that a number of mobile apps and web portals have brought in the energy sector in India, Goyal said that transparency has been a hallmark of this government. The minister encouraged the esteemed gathering to put forward a collective, collaborative and cooperative approach of State and Central Government which will help in creating a corruption free power sector in the country. The conference was attended by ministers and senior government officers from 23 State/UT governments. Also present on the occasion were P.K. Pujari, Secretary, Power, Arun Kumar, Secretary, Mines, Rajeev Kapoor, Secretary, New and Renewable Energy along with senior officials of the Ministries and the CPSUs under them.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India’s electric turnaround: Powerless to power-surplus

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When Piyush Goyal took over as the Union Minister for Power, Coal and Renewable Energy in May 2014, he inherited perhaps the worst of the UPA regime’s handiwork.In October 2014, at least 56 thermal power stations were reporting critical coal stock levels of or less than seven days. India’s power distribution companies, for a decade and a half, were caught in a debt trap and forced into borrowing for funding of everyday operational expenses. Meanwhile, India was reeling from an energy deficit that was peaking at 9 per cent. Power cuts and load-shedding were eating into corporate productivity and average energy production in the country was falling short by a whopping 87 billion kWh.Now, thermal power stations have enough coal stocks to last them for 27 days. In FY13, the number of critical power plants — those operating with coal stocks of less than seven days — was 21, whereas those deemed ‘super critical’ — the ones with operating stocks of fewer than five days — was 14. Under Goyal, the number of critical and super critical power plants has come down to zero.In FY17, India, for the first time in history, became a power-surplus country, leaving behind a historical legacy of increasing power deficit. In the April-February period of the current fiscal, it exported around 5,798 MU to Nepal, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. As per the Central Electricity Authority, India is likely to end FY17 with 1.1 per cent excess electricity supplies.In the context of discoms, the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) already has 27 member states that are ushering in operational and financial efficiency within their discoms. Aggregate technical and Commercial Losses (AT&C) have come down from 24 per cent in FY16 to 22 per cent by April 2017. The gap between the average cost of supply (ACS) and average revenue realised per unit sale came down to Rs 0.4 per unit by December 2016 from Rs 0.56 per unit in March the same year.The power, coal and renewable energy sectors have come a long way and the credit for the turnaround goes to Goyal’s no-nonsense approach. Even though there is still a long way to go for India in securing last-mile connectivity and complete electrification, under Goyal, it seems as if a job well begun is a job half done.Goyal has been at the helm of giving shape to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal of generating 175 GW from renewable resources by 2022. Under him, there have been incremental capacity additions of renewable energy over conventional power sources, what with FY17 being another first in Indian ‘power’ history where the total capacity addition for renewable sources exceeded those of conventional power sources. In FY17, the latter saw additions of just 10,328 MW, whereas the former saw an addition of 73,306 MW.As per the draft National Electricity Plan released by the Central Electricity Authority in December 2016, renewable energy is estimated to contribute 33 per cent to overall generation capacity and will provide for at least 20 per cent of the electricity demand by 2022.Meanwhile, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana, which focuses on electrifying rural households, has crossed over 70 per cent of its set target of electrifying 18,452 villages in India.Additionally, Goyal has said that his ministry is looking at setting up Rs 3 per unit as the benchmark rate for power sales, irrespective of its source.This is an extremely low rate given that in a lot of states, power is being sourced in the range of Rs 4.2 to Rs 4.50 per unit.However, it is not all smooth-sailing for him. By the looks of it, the fiscal deficit of states under the UDAY scheme is set to balloon in FY18 as debts and interest costs that were kept out of the state’s accounts in FY16 and FY17 will be included in the next fiscal…. & ANALYSISWith power, coal, mines and renewable energy, Goyal is in charge of the entire supply chain.
Also, it indicates that a couple of these ministries should ideally merge and become one entity.
Renewable energy is estimated to provide for at least 20% of the electricity demand by 2022.

Raj minister asks officials to resolve water-related issues

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To meet water requirements of the state during the summer months, Rajasthan Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) Minister Surendra Goyal today directed officials to remain active and resolve water-related issues. During a video conference with officials, the minister asked them to complete works under the second phase of the Mukhyamantri Jal Swavalamban Abhiyan in coordination with the local public representatives. The department’s officials apprised the minister about the current situation in the state. Additional Chief Secretary J C Mohanti asked the department’s engineers to increase movement in the field, take action against illegal connections and ensure supply of drinking water through tankers wherever it is needed. Senior officers of the department were present for the video conference with engineers and other officials.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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