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Cow vigilantism: Don’t ferry cattle at night to avoid misunderstanding, advises Jamiat

Concerned over attacks on people transporting cattle in Alwar, the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has asked dairy farmers and cattle owners to not ferry bovines in the night hours to avoid any trouble.The Jamiat leaders, who gathered in Alwar district on Tuesday to discuss the issue, said many dairy farmers and cattle owners from the Mev community transport cattle for dairy farming purpose but get targeted by cow vigilantes or mobs under the impression that the animals were being transported for slaughtering.”We have advised the dairy farmers and owners of the cattle to prefer transportation of the cattle in day time and not in the night because the chances of attack on them are high due to misunderstanding. It creates trouble and disturbs peace and harmony,” Maulana Hakimuddin Qasmi, secretary of the organisation, told PTI over the phone today.Also readSlaughter cow and get killed, BJP MLA warnsHe said that close to 50 leaders of Jamiat and the Mev community were present in the meeting held in Alwar on Tuesday.”Several incidents have taken place in the Mewat region comprising Alwar and parts of Haryana where those transporting animals were targeted and attacked. There should be no illegal transportation but they should also not be targeted,” he said.Also readCow vigilantes murder cattle trader in AlwarHe also said that those transporting cattle should also carry valid documents.Qasmi said to strengthen peace and harmony, both the communities should sit together and ensure that no valid transportation of the cattle is targeted or hampered.A 55-year-old man from Haryana was attacked and killed by a mob in Alwar earlier this year. Besides, several cases of cow smuggling have been detected in Alwar district in the recent past.In reaction to a recent incident of alleged cow smuggling in which a smuggler was beaten by locals. A BJP MLA from Ramgarh, Alwar even gave a controversial statement saying anybody who indulges in cow smuggling or cow slaughtering will be killed.

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GST: 5 undue profiteering cases reported

There have been 5 complaints in Rajasthan against undue profiteering under GST. A four-member committee which was set up by the ministry of finance after GST was implemented to receive the complaints of undue profiteering by any entity under the GST regime has got these complaints.These complaints from the state are part of 70 complaints which have been received by this committee across the country. The highest number of complaints has been received in Haryana with 45 number of complaints while Rajasthan along with Andhra Pradesh is on number two in the list with 5-5 complaints each.These complaints are now being examined by the state level screening committee. Interestingly, these complaints were received from only 11 states and the total number of complaints was 70. Rajasthan is one of these states in the list which includes apart from Rajasthan, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh, states like Jharkhand, Maharashtra, National capital territory of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Kerala, Chattisgarh, and Tamilnadu.While most of these states are considered more industrialize than Rajasthan, they all had complaints number less than Rajasthan.Notably, section 171 of GST deals with rules related to anti-profiteering and a committee and the national anti-profiteering authority may determine the methodology and procedure for determination as to whether the reduction in rate of tax on the supply of goods or services or the benefit of input tax credit has been passed on by the registered person to the recipient by way of commensurate reduction in prices.The authority while examining the case may also order to reduce the price.The complaints are currently being examined by the state level screening committee.Screening panelThe screening committee may examine if the supplier has contravened the provisions of section 171, forward the application with its recommendations to the Standing Committee for further action. The authority may also order to reduce the price.

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Jai Ram Thakur now part of NextGen Saffron

It’s not that Jai Ram Thakur’s name emerged out of nowhere. In fact, it was the other way round in the run up to the elections in Himachal Pradesh.Most of the party loyalists were in favour of projecting 52-year-old Thakur as the chief minister candidate when the elections were announced in October. This was certainly in sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of grooming a new generation of saffron leaders in the states.But the central leadership justified its reason for not projecting any leader at that time, similar to the examples in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand where BJP announced CMs only after the counting of votes. However, the case of Assam was a bit different with Sarbananda Sonowal being the obvious choice, but that was understandable given BJP’s non-presence in North-East.BJP’s theory is simple and straight — young leaders like Yogi Adityanath or Devendra Fadnavis have greater acceptability among masses, and they are the ones to be bet on during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The gamble had yielded unprecedented results in UP during the last LS elections when Amit Shah-Modi combine swept away the opponents and later repeated it in the 2017 Assembly polls without any local face as leader. So, BJP tried out the new success formula in Himachal too. But politics there is much more complex than what Shah encountered in other states. However, the party leadership was successful in choosing a leader that fit into their scheme of things.

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Gangster nabbed for mass rapes, extortion

A notorious gangster, responsible for the plight of hundreds of families, has been nabbed by the Delhi Police. One of the dreaded duo that ran the gang, Hussain, a resident of village Tayda in Bharatpur, was brought to Delhi two days ago.According to the Delhi Police investigation, the gang of two first lured businessmen in the name of attractive deals on electronic and other products, and a holiday trip around Delhi. They would then kidnap the victims, take them to Mewat and get them raped and sodomised by locals. This sexual abuse was filmed to extort money. The gang operated in Haryana and Rajasthan, and had made Delhi a transit place. The cops are now trying to identity and approach the victims and retrieve videos of sexual abuse. According to the police, the gang would give advertisements on vernacular websites and in dailies in Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh claiming that it sold electronic items in bulk at cheap prices. “Thereafter, the gangsters would call and mail local businessmen in these states and tempt them with attractive deals,” a police officer said, adding that once the businessmen were convinced, they were offered a holiday trip, along with their family members, to Delhi and nearby areas.After trapping the businessmen and their families, the gang would take the victims to Mewat. “The kidnapped businessmen were sodomised, their wives and daughters raped by local youths, teenagers, and other gang members, and this sexual abuse was filmed. Hussain and his accomplice Hasan would also demand ransom from their families, ranging from Rs 20-50 lakh,” the police officer said. The families were told that if they approached the police, the videos would be uploaded on the adult websites.

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Haryana CM ML Khattar launches six more e-services on Vajpayee’s birthday

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar today launched six more e-services, thus bringing as many as 100 citizen-centric services pertaining to 12 departments of the state on a single platform.The e-services were launched on the birthday of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, which was celebrated by the Haryana government as ‘Good Governance Day’.”The state government has initiated e-Initiative to end corruption. This will not only save time and money, but will also provide instant services,” Khattar said during the launch of e-services here.The web-based platform will play host to 380 services pertaining to 30 departments of the state government by April 14 next year.Besides, 2,500 tablets have been provided to Patwaris (land revenue officials) across the state to enable them to digitally verify certificates, and launch Swachhata Map Application for 35 cities. It would be initiated in 80 cities of the state by January 26, 2018.The Chief Minister dedicated SARAL Portal under e- governance to the people of the state.SARAL (Simple, All inclusive, Real Time, Action Oriented, Long lasting) is a service delivery platform where citizens can track and avail themselves of more than 100 services on a single platform.Earlier, Khattar had launched the ‘CM e-Dashboard’ to monitor key parameters of various departments and ensure effective delivery of services.”With 2,500 Patwaris getting tablets, this is for the first time in the state that ground level work would be done electronically,” Khattar said.The chief minister said Swachhata Map App would be linked with Swachhata App of the Central government with additional services.Khattar directed the officers to initiate the process of linking villages with the app to facilitate them to provide information about cleanliness in their area.He also launched Deputy Commissioners (DCs) e-Dashboard (Darpan), which, he said, would not only offer analytical view of the ongoing schemes throughout the country but also provide unique survey of the national level schemes.For hotel industry, a digital register has been launched for the first time for visitors in the state. Under this, real-time data of visitors would be shared with the police and manual verification would no longer be required, an official release said.The Chief Minister also launched NOC application of the forest department which has been developed with the help of ISRO and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).The app has been integrated with Geographic Information System (GIS) which would grant automatic approval for Forest NOC and clarification to business entities or companies based on forest boundaries.”We are launching a pilot in Hisar and Bhiwani to give auto approval to any area which is more than 1.5 km away from forest area,” Khattar said.A Mobile Video Conference Platform was also launched which would enable the chief minister or any other official to get connected with 30 officers through video-conference, anywhere, anytime.Urban Local Bodies Minister Kavita Jain was also present at the launch ceremony.

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Jammu and Kashmir: Army bids farewell to soldiers slain in cross-border firing

The Army on Sunday bid farewell to four soldiers who were killed in Saturday’s ceasefire violation in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir.General Officer Commanding of White Knight Corps Lt Gen Saranjeet Singh laid wreaths at a military send-off in Jammu which was attended by senior Army officers, police officers and other ranks, a defence spokesperson said.Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, Speaker of legislative Assembly Kavinder Gupta and some other ministers of the state also attended the ceremony and paid tributes to the slain soldiers, he said.Lt Gen Saranjeet Singh said the soldiers’ sacrifice would motivate the future generations.”The nation will remain forever indebted for the supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty of our heroes,” he said.Also read4 soldiers killed in Keri sector: Army says no mutilation of bodiesA separate ceremony was held in Udhampur where GOC-in-C northern command Lt Gen D Anbu laid the wreaths, the spokesman said.Major Moharkar Prafulla Ambadas (32) of Maharashtra, Lance Naik Gurmail Singh (34) and Lance Naik Kuldeep Singh (30) of Punjab, and Sepoy Pargat Singh (30) of Haryana were killed in a cross-border firing by Pakistani troops along the LoC in Keri sector.

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Ryan student murder: Ruling will set example, says father of victim

The victim’s father, Barun Thakur, called the ruling a first major milestone in a long struggle for justice.”We had approached the court appealing that the accused should be treated as an adult, keeping in mind the nature of the crime. My 7-year-old son did not deserve such a brutal end. In fact, no child shall face such a fate. The accused in such cases shall be dealt with utmost harshness,” Thakur said.He also said that the board’s decision will set an example in the society that such crimes will not be tolerated. “We have crossed the first milestone in our long journey to get my son justice. This positive result has left all of us hopeful,” he added.”Even if 5 per cent of such elements fear such a treatment by court, it will bring change in the society,” the father said.”We request that carelessness on the school’s part should also be looked at and action taken against authorities concerned. The battle is way too long,” he said.The 16-year-old student of Gurugram’s Ryan International School, accused of killing 7-year-old Pradyuman Thakur on the campus, will be treated as an adult and undergo a regular court trial, the Juvenile Justice Board ruled on Wednesday.The Class 2 student was found with his throat slit on September 8. The Haryana police first arrested a school bus conductor for the crime before the CBI took over the case and arrested the juvenile, saying he wanted to have exams and a parent-teacher meeting postponed by killing his schoolmate. His father has alleged that the boy was tortured to confess.

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16-year-old to be tried as an adult for Ryan murder

The 16-year-old student of Gurugram’s Ryan International School, accused of killing 7-year-old Pradyuman Thakur on the campus, will be treated as an adult and undergo a regular court trial, the Juvenile Justice Board ruled on Wednesday.The board called the crime “heinous” and said the accused was mature enough to understand the consequences of his act. The boy’s IQ level was found to be 95. This means he was average.If convicted, the class XI student will stay at Faridabad’s observation home till he turns 21, and will be shifted to a jail thereafter. The teen will be produced before a court in Haryana on Friday. The juvenile’s lawyer said he would challenge the order in the sessions court.Parliament amended the Juvenile Justice Act in December 2015 to allow children aged between 16 and 18 to be tried as adults for heinous crimes like murder and rape.The class II student was found with his throat slit on September 8. The Haryana police first arrested a school bus conductor for the crime before the CBI took over the case and arrested the juvenile, saying he wanted to have exams and a parent-teacher meeting postponed by killing his schoolmate. His father has alleged that the boy was tortured to confess. The victim’s family welcomed the move, while that of the accused expressed disappointment.The ruling came after a petition was filed by Pradyuman’s father Barun Thakur. The CBI had also asked the board to treat the juvenile as an adult.”I thank the judiciary for the decision. We always knew that the journey is long but we will go till the end to get justice for my child and all other children who might be vulnerable,” he said.Sushil Tekriwal, lawyer of the victim’s father, termed the ruling a “turning point” in the case. “The verdict is historic,” said Tekriwal, adding, the board broadly based its decision on the findings of a social investigation report and a psychological report of the juvenileThe Juvenile Justice Act was amended after the December 16 gang-rape case in Delhi in which a juvenile was among those involved and was released in 2015 in accordance with the law at the time.

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Not one Rohingya deported yet

There are nearly 40,000 Rohingyas in India, according to home ministry estimates, but not a single illegal immigrant flagged as a terror threat has yet been deported. The ministry had asked for states to identify Rohingyas with terror links and deport them to Myanmar, but no such links have been reported as yet.On the other hand, in the last three years, 330 Pakistanis and 1,700 Bangladeshis have been sent back to their country for illegal entry into India.In August, the Home Minstry wrote to state governments urging them to identify illegal Rohingyas and deport them. “Detection and deportation of such illegal immigrants from Rakhine state, also known as Rohingyas, is a continuous process. Therefore, it is essential to identify them and keep a watch on their activities for preventing any untoward incident that can take place,”the home ministry communication to states said.Government sources also say that keeping in mind certain strategic reasons, the Rohingyas need to be deported. The government has been under attack for its decision to deport Rohingyas and even UN human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein condemned India’s move. However, the government has defended its action and Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju has in the past called it “calibrated design” to “tarnish” India’s image.”As per an estimate, more than 40,000 illegal Rohingya immigrants are presently staying in India mostly in the States of Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan,” the Home Ministry said in a reply stated in Parliament on Wednesday.Ministry says‘Since entry of such illegal immigrants without valid travel documents is clandestine and surreptitious, it is not possible to have accurate data of such illegal Rohingya immigrants living in parts of country’

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Ryan student murder | Juvenile accused will now be tried as an adult

The Class XI student who was arrested for the murder of seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur inside Gurugram’s Ryan International School, will now be tried as an adult.As per reports, the Juvenile Justice Board in Gurugram transferred the case to a district and sessions’ court. The hearing for the case will begin on December 22.Confirmin the incident, Sushil Tekriwal, lawyer of Pradyuman’s family, said, “The convict will be considered as an adult.”Pradyuman’s father Varun hailed the decision. “I thank the judiciary for the decision. We always knew that the journey is long but we will go till the end to get justice for my child and all other children who might be vulnerable,” he said.The cold-blooded murder case of the seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur took a new dimension after a Class 11 student of the school was arrested by the CBI. Earlier, a bus conductor was arrested for his alleged role in the case. He was subsequently released on bail. The accused reportedly said he committed the crime to postpone examinations.Also readRyan school murder: Juvenile accused to be defended by Rajesh and Nupur Talwars’ lawyerAfter facing flak from all quarters, the Haryana Police accepted that omissions took place on their part during the probe. The cops also admitted that they didn’t watch the closed circuit television (CCTV) footage carefully.The initial eight seconds of the footage shows the now accused teenager calling Pradyuman to thewashroom. The team members, however, remained silent on exactly how they made this grave error.Also readRyan school murder: Bus conductor Ashok Kumar walks free from Bhondsi jailPradyuman, a class II student of the school, was found dead with his throat slit by a sharp-edged weapon on the morning of September 8.The weapon used in the crime has been seized.”We have come to the conclusion on the basis of CCTV, forensic evidence and scientific evidence. The student has been apprehended. He remains our prime suspect,” the spokesperson said.

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MPs seek permanent solution to stubble burning in a bid to tackle dangerous air pollution

A permanent solution to stubble burning, which has been causing choking pollution in northern states, can be brought about at the cost of just 6 or 7 Rafale fighter jets, Congress leader Pratap Singh Bajwa said on Tuesday.Seeking immediate sanction of funds by the Centre to solve the problem, he said the NITI Aayog has projected that a permanent solution would cost around Rs 11,000 crore.Raising the issue of choking pollution from stuble burning in Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh through a Zero Hour mention in the Rajya Sabha, Bajwa said this was just the cost of 6-7 Rafale jets.India is buying 36 Rafale fighters for about Rs 59,000 crore contract (7.87 billion euro) from France.He said pollution in the national capital has become a “national shame” and the government should urgently take steps to tackle it.Farmers, he said, needed support and should be given Rs 200 per quintal extra to get rid of crop residue in eco- friendly way. Farmers should be given financial support to stop stubble burning, he added.Vivek Gupta (TMC) wanted to know what steps the government has taken for the disposal of crop residue.Raising the issue of Cyclone Ockhi which has left a trail of destruction in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Lakshadweep, D Raja (CPI) said scores of fishermen are still missing.He demanded that the disaster be declared a national calamity and adequate financial assistance be given to the governments of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Union Terriroty of Lakshadweep.”Fishermen are passing through huge distress,” he said and demanded setting up of a separate ministry of fisheries to deal with issues of the fishermen.Harivansh (JD-U) sought steps to protect Jaiprakash Narayan’s village Sitab Diara in Saran on the UP-Bihar border from being flooded.

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Government allows micro-breweries in city

Beer lovers in Delhi have a reason to cheer! The Delhi government has allowed micro-breweries for the first time in the Capital. The Delhi Cabinet has approved a proposal of the excise department to allow micro-brew pubs.”The Delhi Cabinet recently approved a new excise policy for 2017-18, under which micro-breweries will be allowed in the national Capital,” said a senior Delhi government official.Micro-breweries produce a small amount of lager and are usually set up in pubs that cater to niche customers. Haryana was one of the first states to have allowed micro-brew pubs.At present, people wanting to taste freshly-brewed beer have to travel to Gurgaon and Faridabad in Haryana where such breweries exist in large numbers. Hotels, malls and other entities will soon be able to offer freshly-brewed beer to their customers.The Excise Department notified the policy in June last year, but the “brewery and potable spirits” figure on the list of”prohibited/negative list of industries” in the Master Plan of Delhi-2021.The official also said that three applications are currently pending with the excise department for opening micro-breweries in Delhi.”As the Cabinet has approved the department’s proposal, a decision on these applications will be taken at the earliest,” the official added.This news has surely made Delhiites happy just before Christmas and New Year.”This is a great decision by the government. Finally, we can have a brewery in Delhi. So far, we had to travel all the way to Gurugram. Let’s hope this plan is implemented soon,” said Ankit Wadhwa, a resident of Vasant Kunj.Micro-breweries originated in Germany and have gained popularity globally in the past decades including in the US, Japan, Canada, Belgium and the UK, where the term was first coined in the 1970s.

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Gujarat elections 2017: Will Congress’s Patidar gambit yield electoral results in Guj?

When Congress announced its intent to provide quota to Patidar community in poll-bound Gujarat this month, many wondered whether the party was back to committing the same mistake that it had committed in Maharashtra, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in past polls.If what all exit polls suggested about BJP’s win in Gujarat, it is clear that Congress quota gambit has once again not paid rich dividends.Like its past promises to provide reservation to Marathas in Maharastra and Jaat in Haryana failed to yield much electoral gains to it in 2014 Lok Sabha poll, even the quota promise to Patidars seem to have led to a kind of counter polarisation among the reserved classes.Releasing party manifesto in Ahmedabad on December 4, Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki, announced reservation in jobs and education to Patidars under a special category. It said that a special bill will be brought to provide quotas to those who are not presently entitled by quota and the quota given to OBCs, STs, SCs will not be touched. Congress said that Patidars will get quota under special category.Congress said that if it won the Gujarat elections, it would pass a proposal for reservations under Articles 31-C and 46 of the Constitution.”We will consult all stakeholders on reservation to Patidars and a commission will be constituted for this purpose,” Solanki said adding that a bill will be introduced in the assembly.Hardik Patel accepted the formula, elating Congress leaders. Votes of Patidars could have influenced results in more than 60 of 182 Assembly constituencies. If the exit polls are correct, then this did not happen. Possibly it also led to a kind of polarisation for BJP among OBCs. It should not be forgotten that though Hardik and Alpesh Thakor, both backed Congress, Alpesh has risen in stature, countering the former’s agitation for reservation for Patidars.BJP is learnt to have worked seriously on the sizeable Koli community among OBCs to offset the losses from its erstwhile core vote Patidars going towards the Congress. A few months before Lok Sabha poll, the Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra granted reservation benefits to the dominant Maratha caste there. It had announced to provide 16 percent to reservation to Maratha to five percent to Muslims in jobs and education.Amid the raging demand for Jaat reservation in Haryana, the Manmohan Singh government at the Centre then announced quota to the dominant peasant community in nine states. While both the measures could not stand legal scrutiny, the move also failed to bring any electoral gains to Congress. BJP not only romped home in both states in Lok Sabha elections but also won with huge margins in subsequent assembly elections there in 2015, replacing the Congress-NCP and Congress government in both states. In the Jaat dominated regions of North India, Congress stands marginalised.Many Congress leaders in private argue that such quota promises proved counter productive.POWER OF PATIDAR?Votes of Patidars could have influenced results in more than 60 of 182 Assembly constituencies. If the exit polls are correct, then this did not happen. Possibly it also led to a kind of polarisation for BJP among OBCs. It should not be forgotten that though Hardik and Alpesh Thakor, both backed Congress, Alpesh has risen in stature.

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Shame! In India, 2 women harassed daily at workplace: National Commission for Women 2017 report

India may surpass first world nation in terms of economic growth, but when it comes to women empowerment, the Asian giant cuts a sorry figure.The latest numbers from the National Commission for Women report just proves the pathetic state of affairs.Sample this – two women were harassed at their workplace daily in 2017, with Uttar Pradesh topping the ‘shame list’.The women panel’s report for the year 2017 says that on an average, the NCW received 1.7 complaints per day, a Times of India report said on Sunday.The Commission got 539 complaints with maximum coming from UP, Delhi, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. But the panel feels that this is just a minuscule number, a tip of the proverbial iceberg as majority of victims still don’t report such matter either to the local police or to the Commission.In last four years, the Commission has received just 1,971 complaints. With #MeToo trending all this year in post Harvey Weinstein expose era, there has been a greater understanding among the women about this issue. Now, the stigma attached to such cases is giving way to women speaking openly about their horrifying experiences.The trend was also responsible for finally making the Indian Inc responsible towards the issue with the Corporate Ministry making it mandatory for all companies to make full disclosure on their compliance with the Sexual Harassment Act.It should be noted that this was a two-year-old demand by the Maneka Gandhi’s ministry, which was accepted only in 2017.

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NHAI contractor inks agreement for ring road

Construction work on Jaipur Ring Road is expected to begin over the next week as the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) formally entered an agreement with Haryana based contract firm for the purpose. The contractor firm ‘Gwar’ has emerged as the lowest bidder among 15 companies to have applied for the Jaipur ring road contract and was issued a letter of interest by the highway authority earlier this month.The contract firm already has sent its team for site evaluation, however, it would still take few more days before work begins on the ground. The firm will be under a strict schedule to complete the project in stipulated time. The contractor firm will have a period of 455 days to complete the 47 kilometers long six-lane road between Jaipur-Agra and Jaipur-Ajmer highway.It has been almost four months since the JDA assigned the task to develop the southern section of proposed Jaipur ring road to NHAI. The urban development department at the time has claimed that the work be completed in 15 months, however, DNA in its article published on August 14 was first to report that it would take nearly 120 days before work is formally awarded to the contract firm.The ring road project has a history of being delays, the work has been juggled between NHAI, JDA and private contractors. It has been after instructions from chief minister Vasundhara Raje that the concerned authorities began to bring the project on track. Even as NHAI has been appointed to develop the road, the process got entangled in various formalities. The JDA took time to reach a foreclosure with the previous contractor firm and the issue of EOI by NHAI was delayed for due clearances from the government. The southern ring road is estimated to cost Rs 960 crore and will be completed in the first quarter of 2019.INSTRUCTIONSThe ring road project has a history of being delays, the work has been juggled between NHAI, JDA and private contractors. It has been after instructions from chief minister Vasundhara Raje that the concerned authorities began to bring the project on track.

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INLD MP enters Parl complex on a tractor

The security staff at Parliament on Thursday was puzzled to see a tractor approaching the entry gate meant for members on the first day of the Winter Session. Soon, they realised the one who was driving the heavy vehicle was no intruder, but a Member of Parliament.The 29-year-old MP from Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) Dushyant Chautala chose to ride a tractor to Parliament to protest against a government’s decision that will put tractors in the category in the normal transport vehicles.”You can call this a protest. If the government thinks a tractor is like any other vehicle, then what’s wrong in driving it on the roads,” Chautala, the youngest Member of Parliament, said. Chautala represents Hisar in Haryana, an agrarian state, with a high farmer population.The young MP believes putting it in the category of any other vehicle will lead to heavy taxes on purchasing a tractor. “This will be a big burden for thousands of farmers who are already in distress,” he said. There was drama as he sat atop a green tractor and wanted to drive into to the parliament premises from the entry meant for MPs.He was asked to use another entry and park the tractor in a different parking. Chautala claimed he gave the vehicle number of the tractor to Parliament security as per protocol and he got the clearance.Garima Bhatnagar, Joint Commissioner of Police, said, “As per rules, tractor and trolley for commercial purposes is not allowed in the National Capital. However, in this case it was only a tractor and moreover there was prior permission from the parliament security.”While leaving Parliament, Chautala was stopped by Delhi Police from driving through the Rajpath. He offered to pay a fine and face any punishment if he was violating any rule. The amendment in the Motor Vehicles Act that Chautala was protesting against also intends to put a limit on loading farm produce in tractor which will further increase the farmers’ woes, Chautala said. He claimed to have red flagged the issue at an all-party meeting whcih was held ahead of the session on Thursday and with Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.

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DRI unearth illegal practice in firms

Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has unearthed illegal practice by Indian firms of saving import duty on goods and machinery imported from China. Recently, the state unit of DRI received a tip-off about paper cup machines ICD in Gadhi Harsaru in Haryana brought without paying import duty. The preliminary investigation found that some firms imported 337 paper cup machines by not revealing the actual cost to save on import duty.The follow-up action by the DRI resulted in a recovery of Rs 1.63 crore as import duty along with interest from two importers while another one is yet to pay Rs 1.86 crore. According to sources, the three businessmen from Rajasthan too had imported paper cup machines. One of the firm was based in Alwar that imported 185 machines but did not reveal actual cost evading Rs 1.2 crore in import duty and interest. The DRI investigation revealed that the machine cost $13000 but the invoice price was shown $7500. The difference in the actual price and the one shown in the invoice was paid to the Chinese company with help from a Jaipur based hawala trader Tarun Baid.The DRI seized mobile of an accused importer in which complete detail of money transaction was found on Whatsapp messages. The DRI has issued three summons to the importer but fearing arrest he did not appear before the officials. The case was registered against him and the matter is pending in the court. Following the Rajasthan unit’s action, the DRI headquarter has issued alert to all ports in the country.

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‘Chintan Shivir’ not an excursion, blueprint of ‘new Haryana’ to be prepared: ML Khattar

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar today said the ‘Chintan Shivir’ (brainstorming session) at the Timber Trail resort in Himachal Pradesh would not be an “excursion” and asserted that a blueprint of a “new Haryana” would be prepared.The session, set to be held from December 15 to 17, faced flak from the opposition, which dubbed it as “holidaying in the hills”.”Blueprint of a new Haryana would be prepared through deliberations on development at the Shivir,” Khattar said here, adding, “Various ongoing development works and other schemes will also be reviewed.”The BJP government is making all out efforts to bring a positive change in the system, the chief minister said.”A blueprint to take the state and the society further ahead on the path of economic development in the next two years would be prepared during the Shivir. Various welfare policies and laws would also be deliberated upon in the Shivir,” he said in Rohtak.Asked about the opposition’s criticism that the session to be held at a luxury private resort was a waste of public money, Khattar said, “The chintan shivir is not being organised for the purpose of excursion.”Former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said the ruling BJP’s concern should have been the deteriorating law and order situation in the state and not “holidaying in the hills”. He alleged that the government was wasting public money.Taking a dig at Hooda, Haryana Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister O P Dhankar said it was a tradition in the BJP to take collective decision from ‘chintan’ (brainstorming).Meanwhile, speaking to reporters about the claim made in a new show of a US-based science channel that the ‘Ram Setu’ between India and Sri Lanka was man-made, Khattar said “Shri Ram Setu’s existence has been confirmed, but it is unfortunate that the leaders of the Congress party are refusing these facts.”Khattar attacked the opposition parties in Haryana, saying they dub organising festivals like Gita Jayanti as futile exercises.He also hit out at the opposition for negating the existence of mythical Saraswati river. “The Congress has always been negating the mythological, literary and historical facts,” he said.”The leaders of the Congress party should think twice before making any statement. It seems that they have no interest in spreading the values in the society and it has become their habit to make comments on our mythological and literary heritage which have earned recognition at international level,” he added.

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Haryana govt FIR against Fortis doctor

The Haryana government lodged an FIR on Sunday against the doctor who treated seven-year-old Adya Singh, who succumbed to dengue shock syndrome, at Fortis Hospital in Gurugram.Fortis has been under scanner since it slapped a bill of around Rs 16 lakh on the girl’s family for her hospitalisation of 15 days. Union Health Minister J P Nadda had ordered an inquiry into the incident.A case under section 304, part 2 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code was lodged at Sushant Lok police station against the doctor who worked with the paediatric department. The section carries a maximum punishment of 10 years.”We submitted our inquiry report to the police on November 23, stating that the hospital had overcharged the family of the deceased,” said B K Rajora, chief medical officer of Gurugram Civil Hospital.The complaint was submitted on Saturday and the case was registered on Sunday, the police said. “We have received a 49-page complaint from the health department. A case has been registered,” said a senior police official.On Friday evening, Adya’s father Jayant Singh lodged a complaint with the Gurgaon police alleging that his daughter died because of the doctors’ negligence, and the hospital tried to ‘destroy evidence’ of their wrongdoings.On Thursday, Haryana Health minister Anil Vij ordered Fortis Hospital, Gurgram, be removed from the list of government empanelled hospitals. He also asked the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) to look into the possibility of cancelling the hospital’s land lease.A seven-member committee headed by Dr Rajiv Vadhera, Additional Director General of Health Services, stated it was unethical to pull off a patient’s life support especially after she had sought Leave Against Medical Advice (LAMA) from the hospital. It also raises questions on forgery of parents’ signatures for hospital documentation and overpricing of drugs and consumables.Following the indictment by the panel, Vij had said an FIR would be lodged against the private hospital and the licence of its blood bank would be cancelled.The Fortis group had earlier said that all documents, statements and details were made available to the probe team of the Haryana government.

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Outrage in Hisar as 5-yr-old Dalit raped, brutalised with stick, killed

A five-year-old Dalit girl was abducted, raped, brutalised with a wooden stick and killed in Haryana’s Hisar district, sparking outrage in the area, in a chilling reminder of Nirbhaya’s gang-rape and murder in Delhi five years ago.The mother said she, along with her daughter, went to sleep in her house at Uklana village, about 160 km from Delhi, on Friday night. When she woke up on the next morning, the child was not there, she said. She searched for her in the neighbourhood. Later the body was found in the village.Forensics and sniffer dog squads visited the crime scene. Rape will be confirmed only after the post-mortem report is in, the police said. “It prima facie looks like a case of sexual assault,” Hisar DSP Jitender Kumar, however, said.Autopsy said that the stick had perforated her uterus and intestines. The parents, who work as labourers, agreed to cremate the body on Sunday after the police promised to arrest the accused within 48 hours.”She had been brutalised with a wooden stick. There was blood everywhere… blood was coming out of her mouth, too,” the victim’s uncle said. An FIR has been filed and a Special Investigation Team formed for a thorough investigation. Raids are being conducted to nab the accused.The police are rounding up local criminals, drug addicts and history-sheeters.The horrifying crime comes a week ahead of the fifth anniversary of the Nirbhaya case, a watershed moment for India’s approach to sexual crimes, which had sparked widespread protests and drew international attention to violence against women.As Opposition parties and locals protested in the area, the administration announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh, a BPL card, a house and jobs for two family members of the victim.The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) condemned the crime and said that it was coordinating with the state police to arrest the culprits.For the third year in a row, Haryana has recorded the highest rate of gang-rape per one lakh population in the country, according to the recent report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) of 2016.

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Yogi Adityanath to tighten noose around private schools

The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh (UP) is bringing in a legislation to curb the exorbitant fees charged by private schools.The state has drafted the UP Self-Financed Independent School (Regulation of Fee) Bill, 2017, to tighten the noose around private schools that charge high fees as well as raise it almost every year.The Bill, which is likely to be tabled during the Winter Session of the state legislature, was drafted after studying similar legislation in Delhi, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan by a committee, headed by deputy chief minister Dr Dinesh Sharma, and taking into account views of parents, teachers, and management of private schools.Prominent private schools in Lucknow charge anything between Rs 3,000 and Rs 12,000 per month from each student. The new Bill will cover all private schools affiliated to ICSE, CBSE, UP Board, and even the minority institutions. Primary schools charging less than Rs 20,000 annually have been kept out of the Bill.Sharma, who is also the education minister, said the main aim of the new legislation was to regulate fee structure in private schools. Under the new Bill, private schools will not be allowed to charge admission fees every year. It can be charged only at the time of admission and three other times — when a student is promoted to Class VI, IX, and XI.The Bill provides for annual fixation of fees and allows a maximum of 15 per cent as development charges. Most schools in the state charge 30-50 per cent on this head. The Bill also directs schools to spend fees raised from this head only on renovation and development of the school infrastructure.No more secretsThe Bill makes it mandatory for private schools to keep their fee accounts and display them on their notice board and website. Also, schools must disclose income from commercial activities

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Gujarat-bound illegal liquor worth Rs 2 crore seized in Rajasthan

A large cache of illegal liquor was seized in Dungarpur district of Rajasthan. Around 3000 cartons of liquor worth over Rs 2 crore, have been seized by the police from a shut-down factory. According to official sources, the liquor of different brands and made in different states was to be smuggled into Gujarat.The Rajasthan police had been running a drive over the last 15 days against illegal liquor. Acting on information by Manoj Samaria, acting CI, Dungarpur, the police raided a shut-down soap stone factory under the Bachiwala thana area and found the liquor loaded on various vehicles, ready to be sent out.One person by the name of Rajendra has been arrested while others managed to get away.Police has confiscated thirteen vehicles; three trucks, one Bolero pickup, one Magic tempo, one Tata 407, two Eicher mini trucks, four motorcycles and one scooty.Also readPhase 1 voting today, BJP hopes to grab early initiative in South Gujarat and SaurashtraThe 3000 cartons contained IMFL made in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Arunachal Pradesh and banned in Rajasthan. It is estimated to be worth Rs 2 crore.The raid was carried out under the supervision of Dungarpur SP Shankar Dutt Sharma and DSP Ramjilal Chandel.

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Indians unhappy with PM Modi’s approach to Pakistan but satisfied with handling Kashmir issue, says Pew survey

Despite maintaining overall popularity in India, only 21% of Indians approve of PM Modi’s approach of handling relations with Pakistan, according to the survey released by the American think-tank on Thursday. This percentage has remained constant for the last three years since 2015. People in India have also increasingly developed more negativity towards Pakistan. Around 72% of Indians are unfavourable of the neighbouring country. It can be safe to say that not taking any stern action against Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed and his recent release had impacted Indians views about Pakistan. Those living closer to Pakistan like Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have more unfavourable view of the neighbouring country with 69% in comparison to others living elsewhere (61%). They are more threatened by Pakistan and terrorism and also the decades long Kashmir issue.Also readMoody’s ratings, Pew survey, ease of doing business: Facelift for Modi before Gujarat Assembly pollsHowever, when it comes to handling Kashmir, majority of Indians trust the prime minister. Around 60% of Indians are satisfied with PM Modi’s ways of handling the Kashmir issue. The northerners are harsher on PM Modi with 51% approve of his ways as compared to 65% in the rest of the country.The younger generation are more contented with PM Modi’s approach to Kashmir than the older ones. At least 64% of Indians aged 18-29 years support PM Modi’s style of handling the most controversial state and 51% of those aged 50 and above.Also readAmit Shah hails Modi’s popularity, refers to Pew surveyThe survey also reveals how maximum Indians think Kashmir is a very big issue that needs to be resolved. At least 62% (six in 10 Indians) feel Kashmir is very big problem and the government should use more military force in the Jammu and Kashmir. Around 63% feel the government should use more army force in the disputed territory as opposed to a meagre 8% who feels there should be less.

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No exceptions for Odd-Even, govt tells NGT

After being pulled up by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government finally submitted in court on Wednesday, an action plan to curb pollution in the city. Changing its earlier stance, the AAP government said the Odd-Even road rationing scheme will be implemented with no exemptions, as an ’emergency measure’.The plan also includes a ban on entry of trucks in city limits, shutting down of industries, prohibition on burning of waste, and a complete stop to construction activities, once the pollution levels touch the ‘Severe’ category.Earlier, the AAP government had told the court that due to the lack of adequate number of buses and keeping women’s security in mind, it must allow exemption to women drivers and two-wheelers.The green court, however, was not in agreement and told the government to add to its bus fleet. The transport department is still in the process of procuring 1,000 more Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses.The NGT also directed the city government to file a a detailed report, including details of exemptions given in the Odd-Even scheme, besides directing the Haryana and Punjab governments to submits their detailed action plan by Thursday. The panel will now hear the matter on Thursday.A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar stated that the air quality in the national Capital was never normal. “You all (states) tell us what steps you will take at what level of pollution. What are your normal steps to check pollution?” the bench asked.The court also rapped the AAP government for not filing a comprehensive action plan on ways to tackle severe air pollution in the city, besides slamming the authorities for organising the India-Sri Lanka cricket test match, despite the bad air quality.The report also stated that after the NGT orders, sprinkling of water and mechanised cleaning of major roads is being done.”The Public Works Department (PWD) has deployed 51 water tankers every day, covering an average of 130 km of roads. The department also took help of the DJB. As many as 6 water tankers have been deployed at an average distance of 15-16 km from September 9 onwards,” the report stated.It added: “The PWD is making efforts to increase the number of machines by re-tendering procurement of sweeping machines.”Besides, monitoring and action against persons for burning waste material in the open has been going on as a special drive. Public notices have been issued on prohibition on open burning of leaves and waste.According to the plan, Sub Divisional Magistrates (SDMs) and Tehsildars (Executive Magistrate), Department of Revenue, have been authorised to take action against violators. Penalty will be imposed in accordance with the NGT directions. The report further stated that promotion of Battery Operated Vehicles or e-rickshaws has been taken up.Air quality in the national Capital had dipped close to ‘severe’ category again over the week. However, with the sun showing up and wind speed picking up on Wednesday, it improved to ‘poor’ from the ‘very poor’ category.
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India 10-year-old raped girl’s baby adopted

The harrowing case of the 10-year-old who was raped by her two uncles shocked the world.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s Honeypreet Insan is broke! ‘Papa’s angel’ says ‘no money to hire lawyer’

In a latest development, Honeypreet Insan, the ‘adopted daughter’ of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, has written to the jail authorities saying she is bankrupt and has no money to even hire a lawyer.Priyanka Taneja alias Honeypreet Insan, has written to the authorities to reactivate her bank accounts so that she can withdraw money and pay funds to the lawyers. Honeypreet’s bank accounts were frozen by the authorities after her arrest. It was only recently that she spoke about the elaborative escape plan along with the Dera chief and allegedly told police that they made plans to settle down in a foreign country, according to an India Today report.Also readRam Rahim Singh’s ‘adopted daughter’ Honeypreet Insan getting home-cooked food, VIP treatment in jailIt was on August 17 that she chaired a meeting with the Dera spokesperson Aditya Insan and many trusted aides who planned the escape routine and incite violence and damage to the public and private property to distract the police officials and security forces.The ‘papa’s angel’, who went missing after her alleged father’s arrest, was nabbed by the Haryana police on October 3.Also readOh Sh*t! United Nations invites Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Honeypreet for World Toilet Day celebrationsHoneypreet was arrested for inciting violence and criminal conspiracy in Haryana’s Panchkula and Sirsa after court convicted Ram Rahim to 20 years jail and a fine of over RS 30 lakh for raping two of his disciples in 2002.Around 41 people were reported dead and over 260 injured in the Panchkula violence on August 25. One of the five arrested Dera Sacha Sauda supporters claimed that Honeypreet had masterminded and funded the Panchkula violence in which people were killed.
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Ring road work likely to take off next week

After a long wait, work on ring road is likely to start next week. National highway Authority has issued letter of interest to Haryana’s Gawar Company.The company has received ‘clean chit’ from the ministry of external affairs over a Chinese company’s share in it. Gawar’s engineers have been searching for site for their office following which they will set up a temporary colony for themselves and other employees.The work is expected to begin this week. However, the government may not get the political mileage it was hoping for as the work will complete after the assembly electons. The firm has been given 18 months to finish off the work although NHAI has claimed that it will be done in just a year. First, the JDA delayed termination of the old contract that was followed by China connection of ‘Gawar’ company. The matter was referred to foreign ministry, which gave go ahead on December 1.The four lane 47 km long ring road will cost Rs 1,190 crore including first phase of Rs 960 crore and second phase of Rs 230 crore.The timelineAgreement between JDA and NHAI took place on August 11, following which companies were shortlisted. Gawar company was shortlisted in November and JDA terminated contract with old firm on Nov 4. The matter got stuck due to Gawar’s China connection on Nov 15. Rs 197 crore were released to banks on Nov 29. NHAI finally issued LoI on December 1.
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Peripheral E-ways to be delayed further

Already delayed by eight years, the Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways — planned as a bypass for vehicles coming from other states and not bound for Delhi — are not expected to complete anytime soon. Acquisition of land from farmers is stuck at various places in Haryana. The latest deadline for the projects was March next year. They are expected to reduce Delhi’s congestion by 50 per cent and cut the rising air pollution. But they will again miss the deadline. The entire project would form a ring road around Delhi with a total length of 270 km. While a length of 183 km passes through Haryana, the remaining 87 km passes through Uttar Pradesh.Admitting that the Western Expressway will not be complete on time, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said on Monday that land acquisition is creating problems in carrying out development projects across the country. “But one needs to understand that not a single protest has happened in the process so far,” he said.Khattar attributed the problems in acquiring land to the Haryana State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation’s (HSIIDC) poor planning. “…it is not only causing Delhi’s air pollution but also affecting Haryana’s development,” he said. The Western Expressway is being constructed by concessionaire Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway (KMPE) Ltd, and HSIIDC is responsible for the project. The total project cost had been estimated at Rs 1,915 crore.The Eastern Expressway is being implemented by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).In Western Peripheral Expressway, around 80 per cent work is complete, but land acquisition problems in a few villages are delaying the project. In Western Expressway, the work has now started. Reacting to the delay in the project, vice-president of Essel Infra, Chandra Prakash, said: “We’re ahead of time. But there are some minor hiccups. If they are resolved, the project will be completed soon. Otherwise it will not be possible.”Framer Ram Niwas of Mandothi village near Bahadurgarh said, “We’re not against the project. Problem is, construction is planned on our land that has not been acquired.”Land IssuesAs farmers refused to part with their land, acquisition is stuck at various places in Haryana. The latest deadline for the projects was March next year.
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Thanks to Narendra Modi govt, 10 crore farmers now have soil health cards

Gujarat elections apart, the Narendra Modi government is silently penetrating and empowering its core votebank — the peasants. In a blitz planned to be unveiled on World Soil Day on December 5, the Ministry of Agriculture will celebrate its feat of having distributed soil health cards (SHC) to 10 out of the 12 crore farmers in India.The ministry has roped in veteran Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar to feature in videos prepared to sensitise and ensure pan-India SHC usage. The actor, ministry sources said, didn’t take payment for the ad campaign. The SHCs have already covered 95 per cent of the total agricultural expanse of the country.Adding another feather to the Modi dispensation after the runaway success of such of flagship schemes as Ujjawala and Mudra, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh would be launching a mobile app on Tuesday in Jhajjhar district of Haryana through which farmers will have access to all information on soil health cards. Ministry officials will travel the length and breadth of the country with smartphones and feed details of farmers and their crop patterns to the app; crops will also be registered. The results of the soil tests will be published on the app, which the farmers can refer to.”The ministry will be organising farmer sammelans at the districts level via the Krishi Vigyan Kendras. The agenda will be to popularise the use of SHCs by putting up hoardings and distributing leaflets across the country. News and television channels have also been roped in to spread the message,” the minister said.Singh also attacked the previous UPA regimes for neglecting soil health and agriculture, as such. “In the previous seven years, before we came to power, the UPA allocated Rs 75 crore towards soil testing. No one knows what happened to the fund. No parameters were set, neither were the states given any money. In the last three years of UPA, before the NDA came to power, there were just 15 soil testing labs; we have installed over 1000 more in the past three and a half years,” he said.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in one of the editions of his ‘Mann ki Baat’ underlined the significance of the soil tests for agricultural growth, and the ministry has planned the health tests of the soils across the country to be a biennial exercise.
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European Space Agency images shows how badly Delhi was affected during November smog

The European Space Agency (ESA) on Friday released satellite images, which show alarming levels of pollution in the national capital region on November 10 – the day air pollution in Delhi and its surrounding areas reached the hazardous levels.Hindustan Times reported that the images were captured by the ESA’s Sentinel-5P satellite, the sixth for the EC Copernicus environmental monitoring programme, but the first dedicated to monitoring earth’s atmosphere.Also readDelhi Pollution: NGT permits trucks to enter Capital, lifts ban on construction activitiesSatellite images released by the European Space AgencySome of the first data have been used to create a global map of carbon monoxide. The animation shows high levels of this air pollutant over parts of Asia, Africa and South America.Also readDelhi pollution: SC issues notices to Centre, UP, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi govts over stubble burningSentinel-5P also reveals high levels of pollution from power plants in India, ESA said in a press release.The smog in the city had been caused by several conditions. These include the pollutants that come from Punjab that is the result of stubble burning, and the others from eastern Uttar Pradesh that come through moisture in the air. The pollutants collide at higher altitudes and this, minus ground wind level, had resulted in the smog-like situation in the national capital between November 6 and 14.The natural factors compounded the pollution which has other sources such as thermal power plant emissions, vehicular exhaust fumes and construction dust, which ensure poor air quality across the Indo-Gangetic belt throughout winter.The Centre had set December 7 as the deadline for old thermal power plants commissioned before January 1, 2017, to meet stricter emission norms with regard to particulate matter, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulphur oxides (SOx).On December 1, air pollution in Delhi rose and returned to levels recorded immediately after the severe smog episode in November, according to the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) data.
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Gujarat Elections 2017: Congress tries to woo farmers, unemployed in manifesto

Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Bharatsinh Solanki on Friday told mediapersons that the party will release its manifesto on December 5 or 7. “If we come to power, we will create a stress-free environment for all. We are planning to have happiness index in the state. We will take steps to ensure no one sleeps hungry. In the next three years, there won’t be any beggars on the streets. We will improve the Human Development Index and add Happiness Index.”Besides taking steps to solve the problem of traffic and pollution, he said, “If Congress comes to power, we will waive loans of farmers and provide them electricity for 16 hours. For employment generation, we will work to revive the small and medium scale industries.”He added that during revival of GIDC and other industries, Congress ‘government’ will give unemployment allowance to youth, till they get employed. “For 12th pass Rs3,000, for graduate- Rs3,500, for technical and post graduate- Rs4,000. As per an estimate, around 80% engineers are unemployed. We will give them Rs4,000 as unemployment allowance,” remarked Solanki.Taking a jibe at BJP, Solanki said they have done nothing but copied Congress’s schemes. “In 2012, we announced a housing scheme. It was copied by BJP and it promised to give 50 lakh houses but the irony is they have hardly allotted 4 lakh houses,” he claimed.Former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda said they are making sure that farmers get adequate minimum support price (MSP) and the party will also implement recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission report.Poll promisesIntroducing Happiness Index Food for all Farm loan waiver 16 hour electricity to farmers Unemployment allowance for 12th pass Rs3,000, for graduate- Rs3,500, for technical and PG- Rs4,000.
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Jansamwad paves way for development in Jhunjhunu

The CM Jansamwad (public dialogue) in Pilani on Thursday paved way for development in Jhunjhunu district as CM Vasundhara Raje announced Rs 910 crore for road infrastructure development. The public dialogue also put on track a demand for broadening of road that had been pending for almost five decades.“The chief minister called up PWD minister Yunus Khan and instructed him on the issue of widening 54km long single lane road from Rajgarh to Haryana state border,” said an official. “The project is estimated to cost Rs 164 crore and the demand for it was pending for 50 years,” he added.During the chief minister’s discussions with local community representatives issues concerning infrastructure development emerged as a major demand. Accordingly, she announced new projects and instructed for improvement as required. She even rushed a team of officials for videography of road damaged due to RUIDP project works.Seeking report of the incident, she instructed that in future no works involving excavation of roads be carried without due permission of the district collector. The RUIDP officials were ordered to get the roads repaired with immediate effect to avoid further inconvenience to public.Chief minister also expressed concern on hardships being faced by people residing in schemes developed by private colonisers. Even as she maintained that development of basic infrastructure at these colonies is responsibility of the coloniser, she warned the officials against issuing no objection certificate to colonies prior to development of facilities such as sewerage, water and electricity.Long pending issues such as missing road link between villages and demand for commencement of new subjects at school also got attention of CM Raje and instructions were made accordingly to address the demands.CM FLAGS OFF ANNAPURNA VANChief minister’s visit to Pilani also brought the gift of affordable breakfast and lunch for the needy sections as she flagged off two Annapurna vans for. These vans, part of CM’s flagship scheme, provide breakfast for Rs 5 and lunch for Rs 8. The CM instructed these vans to be stationed at areas such as hospitals to ensure that their benefit is extended to maximum number of people.PROBE OF IRREGULARITIES AT FOOD SECURITYRepresentatives from one Akuda village alleged that village Sarpanch Mohanlal Sharma was indulging in corruption. They alleged that the Sarpanch is drawing concessional food supply on behalf of deceased people by showing them alive. CM instructed investigation into the allegations.
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Cong: Scam in power purchase from pvt cos

Ahead of the upcoming elections, the Congress party on Thursday alleged a huge scam in power purchase, and accused the state government of allowing four private electricity companies to profiteer at the cost of people and the state exchequer.Quoting figures tabled by the government in the assembly as well as information obtained under RTI, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that Gujarat government had purchased electricity worth a mindboggling Rs 62,549 crore from four private power companies between 2002 and 2016.”In the three years from 2013-14 to 2015-16, Gujarat government purchased electricity worth Rs26,195 crore from Adani Power, Essar Power, Tata Power and CLP. This shows the culture of crony capitalism promoted by the state government,” Surjewala said.A Congress party release said that the state had purchased power worth Rs 10,896 crore from Adani Power, Rs 8,491 crore from Tata Power, Rs 4,842 crore from Essar Power, and Rs1,966 crore from CLP. “What is shocking, and shows systematic undermining of public sector entities by Gujarat government, is that government owned power plants were running at a capacity of just 33 – 38% during these years. As against installed capacity of 8,641 MW, these plants were producing only 3,283 MW power,” he said.”The Congress leader also claimed that while NTPC was supplying power to the state at Rs 2.63 – 3.17 per unit, the government had paid as much as Rs 24.67 per unit to CLP in 2013-14. He claimed that the same company was supplying power to Haryana at Rs 2.99 per unit.”The stark difference in prices paid to a private company and the power PSUs, reeks of a scam,” Surjewala alleged.POWER STRUGGLEA Congress party release said that the state had purchased power worth Rs 10,896 crore from Adani Power, Rs 8,491 crore from Tata Power, Rs 4,842 crore from Essar Power, and Rs 1,966 crore from CLP.
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ABVP leader offers Rs 1 lakh to chop off ‘Games of Ayodhya’ movie producer’s hands

A leader of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the students’ wing of the RSS, today declared a bounty of Rs one lakh for chopping the hands of the director of the upcoming film “Games of Ayodhya”.The remarks come amidst a controversy over period drama “Padmavati”. Some people, including a political leader, had reportedly offered bounties against actor Deepika Padukone and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali.ABVP leader Amit Goswami, during a press conference, announced the bounty of Rs one lakh for anyone who brings him the hands of the film’s director and producer Sunil Singh.Also readPadmavati row: Haryana BJP leader booked for Rs 10 crore bounty offer against Bhansali, Deepika”The film has presented a distorted history of the Babri Mosque demolition which has deeply hurt Hindu sentiments,” Goswami alleged.The ABVP leader alleged that the film wrongfully held senior BJP leaders responsible for the demolition.Also readPadmavati row | Rs 1 crore reward to anyone who burns Deepika Padukone alive: All-India Kshatriya MahasabhaGoswami warned that if the film was allowed to be released then people who watch it “will be responsible for their own lives and theatre owners will do so at their own risk”.The ABVP leader claimed that if he came across Singh he “would not hesitate to shoot him”.Singh is a former MLC from the Rashtriya Lok Dal and he belongs to Aligarh.Meanwhile, state secretary of the Hindu Jagran Manch Yuva Vahini, Sanju Bajaj, in a statement, said his organisation would protest against Singh.Earlier, Haryana BJP leader Suraj Pal Amu reportedly offered a Rs 10 crore bounty for beheading Padukone and Bhansali.He, however, resigned yesterday as the chief media coordinator of the state unit of the party after he was served a show cause notice, seeking explanation about his remarks.A resident of Meerut from the Kshatriya community had also announced a bounty of Rs 5 crore on the heads of Bhansali and Padukone for “wrongfully portraying” queen Padmini.
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Rs 2000-crore road map to end stubble burning submitted in Supreme Court

New Delhi: A Rs 2,000-crore road map to end stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana suggests that the government must provide equipment to farmers for free instead of subsidies, and the cost be recovered by imposing cess on sale of petrol and diesel in Delhi.According to the plan, submitted to the Supreme Court by an amicus curiae in an ongoing case related to air pollution, the best solution to avoid burning of crop residue is to till the straw back into the field using certain machines.According to official estimates, over 30 million tonnes of paddy straw are annually generated in Punjab and Haryana, which are later set to fire by farmers to reduce the turnaround time between harvesting paddy and sowing wheat crop.Also readHow much paddy stubble can we use in thermal plants?”The Centre and state governments must provide machines free of cost to farmers to use. This requires large-scale governmental procurement of the agricultural equipment, which should be given to every panchayat for common use,” says the report.It says the most promising technologies in this area are Turbo Happy Seeder (THS), which allows for seeding without till and the Super Straw Management System (S-SMS), developed by Punjab Agricultural University, which provides for the straw to be spread on the field.Also readFind solutions to stubble woes, says NGTThe seasonal burning of paddy straw in Punjab and Haryana aggravates pollution in Delhi every winter. The issue has turned political in the recent years with the neighbouring governments indulging in blame game over it.Earlier this month, pollution in the city hit emergency levels due to the traditional practice as smoke-laden winds from that region had shrouded Delhi in a thick blanket of smog.Also readDelhi pollution: SC issues notices to Centre, UP, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi govts over stubble burningHarish Salve, the amicus curiae who works closely with the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority or EPCA, submitted the plan to the apex court on November 17.”The THS and S-SMS each cost between Rs 1.2 and 1.5 lakh.Given that there are roughly 13,000 panchayats in Punjab and some 6,500 in Haryana, if even three sets of these machines are given free to each panchayat, it would only require some Rs 2,000 crore to be spent in Punjab and Haryana (Punjab would need Rs 1,300 and Haryana Rs 650 crore),” it says.The amount should be generated by imposing a pollution charge on the sale of petrol and diesel in Delhi, which will also help in reducing the differential between the prices of petrol and diesel, which continues to remain at about Rs 10 per litre because of taxes, the proposal says.Currently, Delhi consumes 10 lakh tonnes of petrol and 13 lakh tonnes of diesel annually (2016-17). If a cess of Rs 1 is imposed on petrol and Rs 5 on diesel per litre, then the city alone will contribute Rs 900 crore in one year.The report terms as “perverse” the suggestion that farmers be provided subsidies to dissuade them from burning crop residues.
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My dream is to slap Farooq Abdullah, says BJP’s Suraj Pal Amu who offered bounty for Deepika’s head

Suraj Pal Amu, the BJP leader from Haryana who resigned weeks after announcing a bounty on Deepika Padukone’s head said that he wants to slap former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) chief Farooq Abdullah.Amu had offered a Rs 10 crore bounty for beheading ‘Padmavati’ actor Deepika Padukone and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, on Wednesday resigned as the chief media coordinator of the state unit of the party.”Now my dream is to slap Farooq Abdullah on Lal Chowk, I challenge him to meet me there,” Amu said.Also readPadmavati: BJP’s Suraj Pal Amu, who offered Rs 10 crore for Deepika, Bhansali’s heads quits party postStating that with a heavy heart, he has resigned from the post he had in BJP, he said, “I am pained at the behavior of Haryana Chief Minister. I have never seen a BJP CM so arrogant who doesn’t respect party workers and community representatives.” Amu, however, said that he will continue to work as an ordinary BJP worker.In his resignation letter which he forwarded to state BJP chief Subhash Barala over WhatsApp, Amu stated that he was upset over Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar allegedly skipping a meeting with representatives of the Karni Sena.At a function of the Rajput community in Delhi recently, Amu had said, “how can we allow somebody to distort history and mislead the people by projecting the heroic character of Rani Padmavati in a poor light while glorifying the villains of history. We will not allow the release of this film at any cost”.Also readSC dismisses plea seeking to stall Padmavati release, rebukes Chief Ministers
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Padmavati: BJP’s Suraj Pal Amu, who offered Rs 10 crore for Deepika, Bhansali’s heads quits party post

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Haryana BJP leader Suraj Pal Amu, who threatened Deepika Padukone for her role in Padmavati and its director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, on Wednesday resigned from the party’s state Chief Media Coordinator post.The Haryana BJP leader had been up and arms against the release of bollywood film ‘Padmavati’ and had hit the headlines for offering Rs 10 crore for anyone who beheads Deepika and Bhansali.Earlier, his violent statements had drawn show cause notice from his own party BJP, asking him to explain his remarks. BJP National Secretary Anil Jain had also condemned his threats on the party’s behalf and said the national party is not in support of such threats. A case was also registered against the controversial Haryana BJP leader.However, Suraj Pal defended his threats saying he made the remarks in his ‘personal capacity’. He further said that he was willing to quit party if he was being asked but would not let anyone ‘insult’ his community. The Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus has been marred in a controversy, where a group has alleged that the film ‘distorts’ the history of Rajput queen Padmini. Rajput Karni Sena (RKS) has been protesting against the film demanding a nationwide ban on its release. Ministers and erstwhile royals are also adding voice to the protest.Several states like Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar has banned the screening of ‘Padmavati’ starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor. The film was slated for release on December 1. But on Sunday, it was confirmed that the Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period drama has been delayed. The film was submitted to the CBFC for certification but it was returned to the makers because of ‘incomplete application’.The production house, Viacom18 motion pictures, sent out an official release on Sunday confirming the delay in the release of Padmavati.

Maharashtra govt hikes reward for excise officials who crack liquor smuggling cases

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After over 40 years, the state government has hiked the rewards given to state excise officials and informers who crack cases of liquor smuggling, duty evasion and bootlegging.The previous policy, which was formulated in 1976, gave a pittance of up to Rs 500 to officials and informers regardless of the type of the case and value of the seizure. At times, members of the raiding team contributed money as ‘baksheesh’ (prize) to informers for the tip-off. The state government has now increased this reward to over Rs 10 lakh depending on the type of the case.“Under the new policy, committees under the district superintendents will have powers to sanction rewards up to Rs 50,000. It will be up to Rs 1 lakh for the divisional deputy commissioners, Rs 2 lakh for the director (vigilance and enforcement), up to Rs 10 lakh for the excise commissioner. For amounts above Rs 10 lakh, the approval will have to come from a committee under the additional chief secretary or principal secretary of the state excise department,” said a senior state excise official. ALSO READ Bihar: Special police unit for execution of liquor ban, crackdown on violationsDuring their service tenure, officials will be able to get a maximum reward of Rs 25 lakh. While the names of the informers will be kept confidential, the money will be given to them through the official whom they tipped off. The reward for state excise officials will be between 5 to 7% of the based on the amount of excise duty saved due to the preventive action or the amount of liquor, beer, mohua flowers, toddy or duplicate liquor seized, whichever is less and 5% for informers and private individuals.State excise officials admitted that the paltry amount given out earlier inhibited their ability to expand their network of informers or adequately compensate them after a successful raid based on these tip-offs. A strong informers network due to higher rewards will also help strengthen ground-level intelligence collection about hooch and liquor smuggling and duplication rackets.Officials claimed that some unscrupulous informers, when they were unable to extract a promise from officials for a substantial reward, chose to first tip them off and later strike a deal with smugglers or bootleggers to help them evade the dragnet. ALSO READ Municipalities across country will exempt from liquor shops ban on highways, says Supreme CourtOf the around 3,600 officials and staff in the department, around half—largely sub-inspectors–are based at manufacturies for supervision. Up to 1974, the department had no punitive powers like the police, which were later granted to inspectors and subsequently to sub-inspectors in 1991. Up to 1985, these officials checked consumption permits of those coming to wine shops and permit rooms for drinking.Maharashtra follows a policy of discouraging liquor consumption through high prices and low sales and has one of the highest excise duty regimes in India. However, neighbouring states and union territories like Goa and Daman have comparatively liberal policies and the cheaper costs of liquor there lead to a huge incentive for smugglers and bootleggers to smuggle in the brew to Maharashtra. With neighbouring Gujarat under prohibition, Maharashtra has also become a transit point for transporting liquor from states like Haryana and Madhya Pradesh to the dry state.

Rakesh Asthana to remain CBI special director, SC dismisses Prashant Bhushan’s plea

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea challenging the appointment of Gujarat cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as special director of the CBI.Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO Common Cause, had said that Asthana’s appointment was illegal as his name had surfaced in a diary recovered during a raid conducted by the Income Tax department at the offices and other premises of company Sterling Biotech Ltd.However, the Centre had opposed the plea saying Asthana had an outstanding career and had supervised over 40 high profile cases like coal scam, Kingfisher Airlines, AugustaWestland scam, blackmoney and money laundering cases.
ALSO READ Rajath Singh evades query on CBI special director Rakesh Asthana’s involvement in corruption caseBhushan had said the diary showed the name of Asthana as having received illegal gratification from a company and the CBI had recently registered an FIR in a money laundering case against the accused firm and some public servants.Demanding quashing of Asthana’s appointment, the petitioner has sought a direction to the Centre to transfer him out of the agency during the pendency of investigation.
ALSO READ CBI forms special team headed by Rakesh Asthana to investigate AgustaWestand, MallyaWhile seeking Asthana’s ouster, the plea noted the special director was the second in command in the CBI after the director and supervised almost all important cases being handled by the agency. Asthana has served as the commissioner of the Police in Vadodara and Surat. He had also examined the case of Asaram Bapu and his son Narayan Sai. The absconding Narayan Sai was caught on the Haryana-Delhi border. (With agency inputs)

A wedding that exhibits innovations, spreads awareness

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an attempt to make a difference and boost innovation, an Amdavadi has got his wedding card printed that mentions sustainable practises of Honey Bee Network, which is a crucible of innovators, farmers, scholars and academicians documenting traditional knowledge and innovation.Chetan Patel who works with Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions (SRISTI), a part of Honey Bee Network, has not only made a difference with his wedding card but also exhibited 30 innovations during his marriage ceremony on Saturday.”Wedding cards have a larger community reach, which is why I thought to use it as a means to spread awareness,” Patel said.Commenting on his initiative, professor Anil Gupta, founder of SRISTI said, “This has happened for the first time in 30 years that someone has even thought of this kind of a blend of cultural and social ways. While the card included numerous practices of innovations by children and farmers, he also gave an opportunity to exhibitors to display their innovations at his marriage. Chetan is the man who organises Shodh Yatra every year. Hence, it is overwhelming to even imagine what he has foreseen through this initiative.”He remarked, “This is a beautiful way of sharing information about what he has learnt with us by including these in this sacred ritual. Instead of a pamphlet, spreading awareness in such a manner is significant.”On exhibition, professor Gupta said, “The exhibition had a farmer from Haryana who had processed 200 kg fruits to make juice for 3,500 guests. He gave the remaining fruits to villagers to make ice cream out of them. We at SRISTI would be happy to help and support if any marriages or ceremonies are planned in an innovation fair where people can have a corner of creativity for their guests. Guests have to wait for long during such ceremonies and they can visit the creative corner.”

Ryan student murder: Pradyuman’s family files petition in SC challenging bail granted to Pintos

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nearly a week after the Punjab and Haryana High Court granted anticipatory bail to Ryan International Group’s three trustees in connection with the killing of a student in its Gurgaon school, the parents of the victim have moved to Supreme Court challenging the bail granted to Pintos.The family of seven-year-old Pradyuman has filed a petition challenging the anticipatory bail granted to the Pintos”We are filing a petition challenging the anticipatory bail granted to the Pintos by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. We are challenging the manner the anticipatory bail is granted to them,” Sushil Tekriwal, Pradyuman’s father Varun Thakur’s lawyer in the case told ANI.”We have said that a wrong message will be sent if anticipatory bail is given,” he added. ALSO READ Ryan student murder: Conductor Ashok Kumar’s wife says cops thrashed him, hung upside downEarlier, Ryan Pinto, and his parents, Augustine Pinto and Grace Pinto, had approached the high court on September 16, seeking anticipatory bail in the case.On October 7, the high court had granted interim bail to the three trustees.Class 2 student Pradhuman Thakur was found with his throat slit in the school washroom in Gurugram on September 8.School bus conductor Ashok Kumar was arrested by Haryana police in connection with the crime. A Gurgaon civil court today granted bail to Kumar on a bond of Rs 50,000.The Pintos, who are based in Mumbai, had approached the Bombay High Court as they had apprehended arrest in the case after the school was accused of negligence in the death of seven-year-old-Pradyuman. ALSO READ Ryan school murder: Juvenile accused to be defended by Rajesh and Nupur Talwars’ lawyer

Robust Haryana braves challenges

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Six months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi paved way for resurgence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the party, riding on the Modi-wave, scripted its maiden victory in Haryana.The state, which had been a traditional battleground for Congress and home-grown Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), witnessed BJP’s historic victory as it emerged, for the first time, as the single-largest party with a majority in the Assembly. BJP won 47 seats in the 90-member Assembly, restricting INLD to 19 and Congress to 15 seats. BJP had won just 4 seats in 2009.The party then announced first-time MLA from Karnal and RSS pracharak, Manohar Lal Khattar, as the chief minister of a state that had not seen a non-Jat CM in the last two decades. While the victory was a clean sweep, the next three years lent a rough pitch to the maiden government.Be it massive damage caused due to the Jat agitation or an outbreak of violence following the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim, the Haryana government came under fire for its inept handling of emergency situations. In three major incidents of civil violence in the last three years, at least 74 people were killed and the Army had to be called in. While CM Khattar faced backlash, infighting among the warring factions added to his woes.Op Rampal: 6 killedBarely a month after it took charge, the government faced its first challenge when the head of the Satlok Ashram in Hisar, Rampal, failed to appear before the Punjab and Haryana High Court after repeated summons and also failed to honour a non-bailable warrant for contempt of court. The court then directed the government to affect his arrest, which led to the launch of a 10-day operation.The so-called Godman remained inside his 12-acre Ashram while thousands of his followers, armed with a huge cache of arms and ammunition, engaged in a violent stand-off with the security forces. The water and power supply to the Ashram were also snapped.At least six persons, including women, were killed in the tense stand-off that ended on November 19, 2014, with Rampal’s arrest and evacuation of thousands of his followers, mainly women and children. He was produced before the court a day later and then sent to jail. Apart from contempt of court, he was charged with sedition, arson, raging war against the state, rioting, and murder.The state exchequer lost over Rs 15.43 crore in the operation, which cost Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, and Centre a total of Rs 26.6 crore.Jat agitation: 30 lives lostThe government faced its biggest administrative failure when protests erupted among Jats, who constitute nearly 29 per cent of the state’s population, in February 2016. The community was demanding reservation under the Other Backward Category (OBC).The protests that escalated and spread across Haryana paralysed the state for nearly 10 days, during which property worth several thousand crores was gutted, with Railways itself summing its loss to Rs 55.9 crore. Even as arson and violence spread to various districts, the government failed to take requisite action on time. The Army had to be called in.At least 30 people were killed and several hundred injured. It was also alleged that women were raped by the mob in Murthal during the agitation. The case stands trial in the High Court.The Opposition hit out at CM Khattar for his failure in manoeuvring the situation, even as party’s own ministers, including MP Rajkumar Saini, added fuel to the fire with his provocative, anti-Jat statements.Reeling under pressure, the Haryana Assembly passed the Haryana Backward Classes Bill, 2016, within a month to provide reservation to Jats and four other communities in government jobs and education. But, the Punjab and Haryana High Court put a stay on the Bill. Even as Jats threaten to launch another protest, the demand for reservation remains pending.Dera violence: 41 lives lostIf Jats left the state counting its losses, the self-proclaimed Godmen were no less a challenge. While Haryana was yet to recover from the damage inflicted on it due to the Jat agitation, it was hit by another wave of violence, when Gurmeet Ram Rahim, head of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda, was held guilty for raping two women followers and sent to jail for 20 years on August 25.This time, the government was able to arrest the Dera head after his conviction by Special CBI Court and put him behind the bars. But it failed to control the violence, which engulfed Panchkula and claimed 35 lives, with the youngest victim being a 16-year-old boy. Six persons were killed in Sirsa.The Haryana Police, led by DGP B S Sandhu, and the government was slammed by the High Court, which castigated them for failing to implement its own prohibition orders under Section 144 of CrPC. The police watched as thousands of Dera followers swarmed Panchkula, camping on roads and parks, a week before the verdict.History was repeated as the mob went on a rampage, torching vehicles, especially those of journalists, and vandalised government property. The government also faced allegations of facilitating removal of incriminating evidence from the Dera, much before the search operation began. It also came under fire when education minister Ram Bilas Sharma visited the Dera a few days before the judgment and donated Rs 51 lakh, which he later withdrew. The Dera had played a crucial role in shaping the party’s victory in 2014.The Dera head remains behind the bars while his other aids, booked for sedition, including Aditya Insan, remain on the run. The verdict in two other murder cases against the Dera head is also expected soon.Improved fiscal healthAt a time when its neighbouring Punjab is struggling to strengthen its crippled finances, Haryana has managed to bring fiscal discipline. The state government successfully brought down the revenue deficit from 1.9 per cent during the former Congress government to 0.94 per cent during the budget of 2017-18. The GDP also improved from 5.7 in 2014-15 to 8.7 in 2016-17, and might touch 9 per cent in 2017-18.Haryana held its first-ever Global Investors’ Summit and brought in investments worth Rs 80,000 crore. With its new enterprise promotion policy, the state jumped from 14th to 4th rank among all states in the Ease of Doing Business rankings prepared by the World Bank and the Department of Industrial policy and promotion.Unlike its neighbouring Punjab, Haryana also set aside Rs 70 crore to provide subsidies to farmers on agricultural equipment, to prevent them from burning stubble and made provisions to ensure the subsidies were deposited in banks. The government also increased the compensation to farmers, in cases of crop loss, from Rs 1,000-1,200 per acre, apart from waiving tube-well bills of farmers in regions where the crop loss was 25-50 per cent.Whether it was promoting cash-less transactions or linking various government subsidy schemes with Aadhar to weed out fake beneficiaries, the government took the lead. It announced that all government payments of more than Rs 5,000 would be made digitally.E-governanceBe it strengthening its grievance redressal system through the launch of CM Window or introducing Aadhar-linked biometric attendance system in all offices, the government, which came to power with a promise of graft-free good governance, took several steps to bring reforms through e-governance. The government brought transparency through the launch of e-stamping and a centralised online system for integration of property registration and digitisation of land records in the state.A web portal, Harsamay, was also launched by the Haryana Police to facilitate registration of FIRs. But the biggest e-reforms came in the education sector, with the launch of online transfer policy, which was later adopted by Punjab and UP government.Women police stationsTaking a step ahead in its Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign, the government empowered women by setting up a network of Mahila police stations across the state, with one in each district. The first Mahila police station was inaugurated in Panchkula on August 28, 2015, on the eve of Raksha Bandhan. According to the government, this has helped increase the percentage of women in police from 6 to 8.5.TASKS ACCOMPLISHEDOpen defecation-free state: Haryana became the fifth state in the country to be declared open defecation-free in June this year, after an intensive campaign that included barring people from contesting the Panchayat elections, if they did not have functional toilets at home. A grant of Rs 1 lakh was also announced for every Panchayat whose village was declared open defecation free.
Women police stations: In order to empower women, a network of Mahila Police Stations was set up in the state, with one in each district. The first was set up in Panchkula on August 28, 2015, on the eve of Raksha Bandhan. According to the government, this has helped increase the percentage of women in police from 6 to 8.5.
Online transfer policy: The step helped curb corruption in transfers of government teachers, as eligible teachers seeking transfers could apply online by submitting their choice of school, which would then be issued as per the necessary criterion. The system was replicated in Punjab.
Beti Bachao Beti Padhao: The government hails it as an achievement, stating that the campaign helped the state improve the sex ratio from 850 to 922.
E-governance: Be it strengthening its grievance redressal system through the launch of CM Window — an online portal in all districts — or Aadhar-linked biometric attendance system in all offices, e-Stamp, e-bills, the government took several steps to bring reforms through e-governance.
Minimum education for Panchayat polls: The government laid down a law to ensure minimum education qualification to contest Panchayat polls — Class X for men, Class VIII for women, and Class V for Dalits. The revolutionary step encouraged the inclusion of more youth. SETBACKSJat reservation: Even though the government has passed the Jat Reservation Bill, 2016, in the Assembly, it is yet to clear the legal test as the Punjab and Haryana High Court has put a stay on it. With the decision awaited and Jats adamant on seeking reservation, the issue remains a big challenge for the government.
Jobs for youth: The government was flayed for not fulfilling its promises to the youth, including an unemployment allowance of Rs 9,000 and the assurance of organising student elections in the state.
Pending inquiries: Be it Murthal gangrape, Jat agitation, Dera case investigation, or Junaid lynching case, the government has been under scrutiny for its investigation into many such cases. The cases are pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Smog: The thick blanket of smog that envelops the northern states every year in October remains a key challenge. Stubble burning is rampant across the state, despite subsidies announced on additional agricultural equipment.
Education: Haryana has failed to improve the performance of students of government schools in the state, with declining pass percentage every year.
River water dispute with Punjab: The decades-old dispute over construction of the Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) canal with Punjab remains a teething concern, with the main Opposition party, INLD, set to rake the issue until the canal is constructed. The Apex Court has ruled in favour of Haryana.
Stray cattle: The government had announced to make the state stray-cattle free by August 2017, but with all cow-shelters full to capacity, it seems like a distant dream.

We will see who cuts whose nose: TMC hits back at BJP leader Suraj Pal Amu over his comment against Mamata

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>We will see who cuts whose nose: TMC leader hits back at Suraj Pal Amu’s comment against MamataAfter Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the makers of controversial film Padmavati were welcome in West Bengal if they wanted to put up a premiere or even screening the film, Haryana BJP leader Suraj Pal Amu on Friday threatened Mamata saying that she would meet the same fate of Surpanakha, sister of Ravana in Ramayana. “Mamata Banerjee wants Padmavati to be released in West Bengal. Women with demonic nature should realise what happened to Surpanakha. He was taught a lesson by Lakshman,” he said.Senior TMC leaders in Bengal, naturally reacted to the comment.
ALSO READ Padmavati | Don’t forget Shurpnakaha’s fate, BJP leader threatens Mamata Banerjee for backing Deepika Padukone’s film“He should ask for forgiveness. If he doesn’t, he must realise that people of Bengal is watching everything and will give a fitting reply,” Partha Chatterjee, TMC national secretary general said on the sidelines of a public meeting at Canning in South 24 Parganas.State minister of state for health Chandrima Bhattacharya at a rally in Kolkata said, “People are watching these provocative statements. We will see who cuts whose nose. Mamata had been elected twice convincingly in Bengal.”
ALSO READ Padmavati row: Sanjay Leela Bhansali is welcome to premiere his film in Bengal, says Mamata BanerjeeBirbhum TMC president Anubrata Mondal said that it was easier said in Haryana. “It will not be possible to say such things in Bengal,” he said at a meeting.

Ryan school murder: Juvenile accused to be defended by Rajesh and Nupur Talwars’ lawyer

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lawyer Tanveer Ahmed Mir, who successfully defended Rajesh and Nupur in the trial of their daughter Aarushi’s murder, has now been hired by the family of juvenile accused in the sensational Ryan International murder case.According to The Hindustan Times report, the father of the class 11 student, who is being accused by the CBI for murdering Pradyumn Thakur in the washroom inside Gurugram school, hired Mir on Friday. The lawyer has also confirmed the development.The juvenile has been accused of murdering the seven-year-old Thakur on September 8.
ALSO READ Ryan student murder: Conductor Ashok Kumar’s wife says cops thrashed him, hung upside downHe was produced before the Juvenile Justice Board after his custody ended on Wednesday. He was last produced before the board on November 11. He has since been put up at an observational home in Faridabad.Even as the mystery remains as to who killed the class II student, Ashok Kumar, the bus conductor who was accused by the Haryana Police for murdering Pradyamn walked free from Bhondsi Jail on November 22.
ALSO READ Ryan murder case: Pinto family get anticipatory bail, bus conductor Ashok considering filing defamation caseThe High Court judge had granted bail to the bus conductor due to ‘lack of evidence’. The decision was made after the CBI failed to submit incriminating evidence against Ashok that could directly connect him to the case.However, the victim’s family had opposed to giving bail to Kumar, stating that the investigation is not over yet. The CBI, which is now handling the probe, had also stated that they have not given a clean chit to anyone as of now.

Padmavati row: Haryana BJP leader booked for Rs 10 crore bounty offer against Bhansali, Deepika

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gurgaon Police today booked Haryana BJP leader Surajpal Singh Amu for allegedly announcing a Rs 10 crore reward to anyone beheading Bollywood filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and actor Deepika Padukone.A case has been registered against Amu, the chief media coordinator of the BJP’s Haryana unit, for criminal intimidation under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at the sector 29 police station here on a complaint filed by a Bhansali fan, a police official said. Pawan Kumar, a resident of Chakkarpur village here, in his complaint said that his “feelings were badly hurt” by the BJP leader’s recent statement.”I saw Amu announcing a Rs 10 crore reward for beheading film actress Padukone and filmmaker Bhansali on a news channel. He has threatened both of dire consequences. Lives of Padukone and Bhansali were in danger. Please take action against Amu,” Kumar said in his complaint. Amu, meanwhile, remained defiant and dared the Haryana Police to arrest him. The BJP leader said he stood firmly by his statement whether he remained in the party or not.Amu said he made the statement personally as a “Rajput” and not as an office-bearer of the party.Earlier, Amu had claimed that legendary queen ‘Padmavati’ had been improperly depicted in the film by the same name, and reportedly offered Rs 10 crore to anyone beheading Bhansali and Padukone. We have registered a case in this connection and the initial probe is in progress, Ravinder Kumar (PRO) Gurgaon Police said.

Fortis dengue death case: Haryana govt orders probe, hospital says no overcharging

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Haryana government today ordered a probe into an allegation that Fortis Hospital in Gurgaon overcharged the family of a seven-year-old girl, who died of dengue, hours after the Centre asked it to initiate an urgent inquiry into the case.The private hospital has denied the charge, saying the patient’s kin was informed about the bill on a daily basis. State Health Minister Anil Vij said a senior officer would investigate the case. Directions have been issued to the officer to submit the probe report at the earliest so that strict action could be taken against the guilty, he said. He said no hospital in the state would be allowed to play with the health and sentiments of the people. The health ministry earlier asked the Haryana government to take “exemplary” action against Fortis if “overcharging, negligence or malfeasance” were established in the case of the dengue patient.The case relates to the death in September of the dengue patient, Adya Singh, who was admitted to Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI), Gurgaon, a multi super-speciality care hospital, for 15 days. The hospital billed her family almost Rs 16 lakh. The episode was highlighted recently on Twitter by a friend of the girl’s father, who alleged the hospital charged a huge sum of money for the treatment, and the patient later died.
ALSO READ Father of deceased 7-year-old pleads for justice as hospital bills Rs 16 lakhs in 2 weeksThe Twitter posts went viral, in the wake of which Health Minister J P Nadda took cognisance of the case. Terming the incident “very unfortunate”, Nadda earlier in the day had asked Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan to look into the case.She in turn wrote a letter to the principal secretary of Haryana’s health department, asking for an action-taken report within two weeks, following which the state government initiated the probe. The hospital in a statement refuted the allegation and said there was no medical negligence and all standard protocols were followed in the treatment of the patient. “Patient Adya Singh was admitted at FMRI on August 31 at 11:16 am with an initial diagnosis of severe dengue. At the time of admission, the child’s condition was serious and deteriorating,” the statement said.After an MRI (brain) of the patient on September 14, her family was again explained about the critical condition of the child, after which “they took the decision to take the child Leave Against Medical Advice (LAMA)”, the hospital said, adding she succumbed the same day. A total of 750 pairs of gloves and 600 syringes during a 15-day stay is “justifiable and acceptable” when the patient is in an ICU setting. Syringes are being misrepresented as “injections” which are very different from each other, it claimed. The hospital had yesterday claimed that an itemised bill “spread over 20 pages was explained and handed over to the family” at the time of their departure from the hospital.All consumables are transparently reflected in records and charged according to actuals, it had claimed. “Ventilator usage, CRRTs (continuous renal replacement therapies), multiple blood transfusions, ICU rent also add on to the cost to the patient. The total bill for the 15-day duration of hospitalisation was Rs 15,79,322. “An amount of Rs 5,21,433 was paid by the insurance, and the balance Rs 10,37,889 was paid by the family of the child,” the statement added. “All standard medical protocols were followed in treating the patient and all clinical guidelines were adhered to,” the hospital had yesterday claimed.Asked by reporters if he was intimated regularly about the bill through text on mobile phone, Adya’s father Jayant Singh alleged, “Yes, I was getting the bill and one day when I asked for a break-up of it, they said, 900 gloves were used in 6-7 days. And, when I questioned that, the number of gloves were reduced.” Congress leader Deepender Hooda hit out at Vij, alleging, “The minister is occupied with putting comic tweets. He was not elected to entertain people, and he should rather focus on his department.”Indian Medical Association President Dr K K Aggarwal said the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) should take over the case. “Questions we need to ask is, whether it was a case of unnecessary treatment? Has the hospital charged for something for which it should not have? If it is a fraud, let it be investigated. But, first let the probe be done,” he said.

Padmavati row | If those threatening actors are guilty, then Sanjay Leela Bhansali is also guilty: Yogi Adityanath

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday lashed out at ‘Padmavati’ director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, saying he is no less guilty than those issuing threats to actors.The Chief Minister also said that Bhansali was ‘habitual of playing with public sentiments’.Stating that no one has the right to take the law into own hands whether it is Sanjay Leela Bhansali or anyone else, the chief minister said, “I feel that if those threatening (the actors of the film) are guilty, Bhansali is no less guilty.”On Monday, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya had said that the state won’t let Padmavati film release in Uttar Pradesh unless and until objectionable scenes are removed.Several politicians have also demanded a ban on the movie. Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Punjab CM Amarinder Singh also joined the chorus against ‘distortion of history’.Meanwhile, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje said that ‘Padmavati’ will not be released in the state unless necessary changes as suggested to the Centre are made in the film.In Chandigarh, the Haryana BJP sought an explanation from its chief media coordinator Suraj Pal Amu over remarks offering a Rs 10 crore bounty to anyone beheading Bhansali and Padukone.While the BJP distanced itself from the comments, Amu said he had made the remarks in his personal capacity and that he would resign if his party asked him to but would not tolerate any “insult” to his community.The film features Deepika Padukone in the title role of Rani Padmavati, with Shahid Kapoor as Maharawal Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh as Sultan Alauddin Khilji.Bhansali has been under attack from the group since he started shooting for the movie. The set of the movie was vandalised twice – in Jaipur and Kolhapur – and the director was roughed up by Karni Sena members in Jaipur in January.Bhansali, through a video statement, has sought to clear the air surrounding the film, saying he was careful in depicting the “Rajput honour and dignity” in the film.(With agency inputs)

Never misused my position like Mallya: Robert Vadra

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra on Tuesday cried foul after liquor baron Vijay Mallya drew parallels citing both of them were victims of political vendetta.In his defense before a UK court against India’s request to extradite him in a money laundering case, the businessman had said that he was a political victim like Vadra and Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.Vadra, however, shrugged off Mallya’s statement saying that he was a political victim but never misused his position or ran away with anyone’s money.”Yet again, I came across the news, where somebody or the other is using my name as crutches, for their personal benefits… This time, none other than Mr Vijay Mallya citing my references in the UK courts. I would like to remind Mr Mallya, yes I am a political victim, but I never misused my position and have full faith in my country’s judicial system… I never ran away with anyone’s money from the country like him,” Vadra said.Mallya, who is wanted in India for financial irregularities involving a total amount of Rs 9,000 crore as well as money laundering, will be tried in the UK court on December 4.Vadra also advised the now-defunct Kingfisher airline’s chairman to come back to India and face all pending legal matters against him.”My piece of advise to him is ‘to please return to India and face all pending legal matters and to clear his dues to the people owed’, and last but not the least, ‘please avoid using my name’, I do not wish to be associated with you in any matter,” Vadra said.Mallaya has been staying in the UK for over a year now.Vadra has been under the scanner for dubious land deals made in Haryana when the Congress was in power for 10 years.The deals were held up by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during poll campaigns for years as proof of massive corruption on Congress watch.

Pawan Insan, another close aide of Gurmeet Singh, arrested in Punjab by Haryana police

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pawan Insan, close aide of jailed Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Singh, was arrested by the Haryana Police today.”Pawan Insan was nabbed from near Lalru (in Punjab). He had been absconding for over two months,” Panchkula Deputy Commissioner of Police, Manbir Singh told PTI over phone.The place from where Pawan was nabbed by the Special Investigation Team of Haryana Police is about 30 km from Chandigarh.Asked if he was travelling in some vehicle when he was arrested, Singh said, “He was arrested around late in the evening. We will share the details later”.Pawan Insan was booked for allegedly inciting violence in the wake of the Dera chief’s conviction in a rape case by the CBI court in Panchkula on August 25.He is the former spokesperson of the Dera chief and used to manage the media for the self-styled godman.However, another close aide of the sect chief, Aditya Insan, who is also wanted for allegedly inciting violence, continues to evade arrest, the DCP said.Honeypreet Insan, who calls herself the adopted daughter of the Dera Sacha Sauda chief, was arrested by the Haryana Police last month in connection with the case. She was also arrested nearly 30 km from Chandigarh along the Zirakpur-Patiala Highway.Pawan Insan, Aditya Insan and Honeypreet have topped the list of 43 “wanted” people. The list was released by the state police in September in connection with the violence following Ram Rahim’s conviction.At least 41 people died and several others were injured in the violence.The Dera chief has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for allegedly raping two female disciples.

Let’s not forget the ‘chill’ within Chhillar: Miss World Manushi Chhillar reacts to Shashi Tharoor’s tweet

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Miss World Manushi Chhillar is on cloud nine. She won the crown for India 17 years after Priyanka Chopra won the title and no controversy can ruin her mood. So after Congress MP Shashi Tharoor apologised on social media for mocking at the government’s demonetisation decision while applauding Manushi Chhillar who won Miss World crown this week, the crowned beauty also had an epic reply to Tharoor’s comment.While Tharoor mentioned Chillar as ‘loose change’, Manushi played it cool by saying ‘Let’s not forget the ‘chill’ within Chhillar’. This Haryana girl took to Twitter and wrote, “A girl who has just won the World isn’t going to be upset over a tongue-in-cheek remark. ‘Chillar’ talk is just small change – let’s not forget the ‘chill’ within Chhillar.”
ALSO READ Just another Whatsapp uncle: Twitter can’t keep calm over Shashi Tharoor making a Manushi Chhillar-demonetization jokeReferring to Chhillar’s achievement Shashi Tharoor initially wrote on Twitter, “What a mistake to demonetise our currency! BJP should have realised that Indian cash dominates the globe: look, even our Chhillar has become Miss World!” However, Tharoor was quick to apologise after being slammed on social media.
ALSO READ 5 lesser-known facts about Miss World 2017 Manushi ChhillarHis tweet read: “Guess the pun IS the lowest form of humour, & the bilingual pun lower still! Apologies to the many who seem to have been righteously offended by a light-hearted tweet today. Certainly no offence was meant to a bright young girl whose answer i’ve separately praised. Please: Chill! (sic).”The National Commission of Women (NCW) had also said it will summon the Congress leader for his ‘derogatory and degrading’ tweet on newly-crowned Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar.
ALSO READ Miss World 2017: Priyanka Chopra, Sushmita Sen, Big B and other celebs congratulate Manushi Chhillar for her winA series of tweets by NCW read, “NCW condemn the tweet of @INCIndia leader @ShashiTharoor. He degraded the achievement of daughter of #haryana and #India who got glory to the country. Will he call his own daughter chillar? He must apologize immediately. NCWIndia will summon Shashi Tharoor to commission on his derogatory tweet.”Bharatiya Janata Party also accused Tharoor of “demeaning” a Haryana subname.BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra tweeted, “Is it real tweet of Sh Tharoor? This is ridiculing the great achievement of Ms Chhillar! Repeat of “Cattle Class” comment? Should apologise demeaning a Haryana Surname!”Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) Chairman Anupam Kher called Tharoor a “fool” and asked why his standard had gone so low.”Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” Best wishes on #InternationalMensDay.:),” Kher further tweeted.

State Mapping: Punjab battles drugs, eyes end to farm crisis

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With its farmers pushed to the brink and its youth battling the scourge of drugs, Punjab had been caught in a downward spiral. As the pressing issues plaguing the state took centrestage in the Assembly elections, Congress was catapulted to a resounding victory.Promising to build a debt-free and drug-free state, the party, led by scion of erstwhile Patiala royal family, Captain Amarinder Singh, vowed to ‘redeem the honour of Punjab’. He announced that it would be his last electoral battle and people gave him the mandate. Singh clinched 77 seats in the 117-seat Assembly, and was elected the chief minister for the second time.The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which emerged as the third front in the otherwise bipolar contest between two-arch rivals — Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Congress — debuted with 20 seats. Akali Dal, whose patriarch former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal ruled the state for 10 years with alliance partner BJP, was pushed to third position with 18 seats.The victory bolstered the Congress, which had been fighting for its revival on the national scale, and provided another much-needed boost seven months later, when it wrested the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat, once a BJP bastion.Within two days of taking reign, CM Captain Amarinder Singh put an end to VIP culture and scrapped the use of red beacons atop all government vehicles. He also barred the legislators from laying foundation stone of any project across the state, and banned foreign travels for two years.Punjab also became the first state to announce 33 per cent reservation for women in jobs and 50 per cent reservation in urban local bodies and Panchayati Raj institutions.Farm loan waiverEight months into the formation of the new government, even as Opposition continued to target it over farmers’ suicides, the government was quick to announce a loan waiver to make one-time settlement with banks. The notification was subsequently issued in October.Singh announced to waive loans of up to Rs 2 lakh, of 8.75 lakh small and marginal farmers (with land upto 5 acres) and the entire debt of all suicide-hit families. Relief of Rs 2 lakh was announced for marginal farmers. As many as 10.25 lakh farmers would be benefitted under the scheme with the budget estimate of Rs 9,500 crore, finance minister Manpreet Badal announced.With the crippled financial state of the government, however, the announcement gave little hope to farmers, who continued to commit suicide. As of March 31, Punjab’s farmers owed nearly Rs 59,620 crore to co-operative, public, and private banks.”Even if one farmer dies, it is a great tragedy. But, debt-waiver must be treated as a temporary relief measure. It does not eradicate the basic reasons behind farmer suicides. The need is to totally re-orient the agricultural policy and make small and marginal farmers viable,” noted economist Dr Sucha Singh Gill said.The term was marked by frequent standoffs with farmers, with the situation aggravating at the outset of paddy harvesting season, when farmers across the state declared that they would burn paddy stubble in protest, until the government announced compensation.Drug menaceWhile farmers reeled under debts, the youth, struggling to find employment, was hooked to drugs.Pointing out that ‘chitta’ (white powder) has killed thousands of Punjab’s children, CM Singh promised to wipe out drugs from the state and put those involved in the trade behind bars within four weeks of him coming to power.In its first Cabinet meeting, the government announced setting up of a Special Task Force (STF) to launch a crackdown on drug smugglers. Thus began a series of raids across all districts. Within four weeks, 485 drug traders and peddlers were arrested and booked under more than 387 NDPS cases. Also, 3.9 kg heroin was recovered.As drug supply was temporarily snapped, de-addiction centers in government hospitals witnessed a surge in the number of addicts, and price of chitta in the market almost doubled.Law and orderWith its border with Pakistan and two terrorist attacks in the recent past, including on Gurdaspur and Pathankot air base, Punjab remains a sensitive state. The Maur blasts case in Bathinda a few days before the Assembly elections, in which seven people were killed, is yet to be solved.The targetted killing of Right-wing Hindu leaders in the last two years has kept the state on the brink of communal tension, with CM Singh pointing at the involvement of external forces in disruption of the state’s harmony.As many as seven such murders have taken place in the last two years. The victims included leaders of RSS, Shiv Sena, followers of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda, and a church pastor. Senior RSS leader Jagdish Gagneja was shot dead in Jalandhar in August, 2016. Exactly a year later, another RSS leader from Ludhiana, Ravinder Gosain, was shot dead outside his house.Even as the cases went to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the Punjab Police made a major breakthrough and busted the terror module behind the incidents. The assailants were arrested and role of Pakistan’s ISI in destabilising the state was also exposed. In fact, the Punjab Police have busted eight such terror modules, funded by the foreign agencies, in the last eight months.Indicating a growing nexus between gangsters and radicals, CM Singh highlighted that the ISI was always looking at radicalising the state’s youth. “These killings were aimed at fanning communal disturbances to further ISI’s anti-India gameplan,” he had said.The state also set an example during the Dera Sacha Sauda violence, when it completely controlled the law and order situation while neighbour Haryana simmered. No death was reported in Punjab while 41 people died in Haryana.End to vendetta politicsEven as Congress was gunning for Badals-led Akali Dal in its election campaign and vowed to put them behind the bars for their alleged involvement in drug trade and transport mafia, the party came under attack from main opposition party — Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) — for adopting a soft stance against the Akali government.Mincing no words, Captain Amarinder Singh declared in several election rallies that he would throw into jail all those responsible for the drug menace, and not sparing even the Badals and Majithia, if found guilty. Recently, however, he stated that the decision to indict them depended on the probe being conducted by the Central investigation agencies and he cannot take any action against him without evidence.If Singh adopted the line of ‘no vendetta’ against the Akali Dal, Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu launched a tirade against the Akali leadership and declared a war on the cable mafia, including Badals-owned Fastway network. The former cricketer-turned-politician, Sidhu, who joined Congress after keeping the party on tenterhooks for several months, continued to lambast Badals for pushing the state-run transport system into losses of over Rs 350 crore and splurging funds to fulfill their dream projects.AAP on downward spiralRiddled by several controversies, the AAP has been struggling to hold a united front after the elections. Especially after dissenting voices emerged when Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi was removed from the post of party convener two months after the election to elevate MP Bhagwant Mann as party president, against the larger opinion of the party MLAs.The party continues to struggle to keep the warring factions at bay, even as disenchantment against the Delhi leadership among the MLAs has been made evident in the recent past.Even though the party led by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal made truce with its disgruntled MLAs, by appointing MLA Sukhpal Khaira as the Leader of Opposition following resignation of senior advocate H S Phoolka, the crisis seems to have only deepened as demands of his resignation emerged from within the party after he was summoned by court in a drug case.CHALLENGESDrugs: As per a study conducted by PGI, Chandigarh, in 2015-2016, one in every six persons in Punjab was dependent on a substance. There were more than 22 lakh alcohol-dependent people and nearly 16 lakh tobacco-dependent people in the state. Nearly 1 in 10 reported facing medical problems due to substance use. The party faces an uphill task, especially when there have been no major arrests of drug lords even eight months after the elections.
River water woes: With Punjab still locked in a river water dispute with neighbouring Haryana, the contentious issue of construction of 214 km Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, whose construction remains suspended since 1990, continues to keep the state on tenterhooks. Haryana has been demanding its share of river water, while Punjab has maintained that an estimated 10 lakh acres of southern Punjab was likely to go dry, if the SYL canal was constructed. The issue remains subjudice and the Supreme Court has passed an order in favour of Haryana, stating that the construction of canal should be executed.
Farmer suicides: The announcement of loan waiver has failed to put an end to the spate of farmer suicides, even as protests by farmers’ organisations to demand implementation of the Swaminathan Report for higher MSP for crops continue.
Crippled economy: The Punjab government continues to highlight that it inherited a wrecked economy from the former Akali-BJP government. With promises of debt-waiver and generation of jobs, however, the government is under high pressure to bolster its economy.
Unemployment: The government is yet to fulfill its promise of providing job to one youth in every household. The job fairs organised recently have proved to be a damp squib. The governent has, however, announced that the job opportunities will increase with industrial investment in the state. ACHIEVEMENTSEnd of VIP culture: The Punjab government put an end to VIP culture in the first Cabinet meeting. The government enforced a ban on the use of red beacons atop government vehicles, except emergency vehicles, and barred the legislators from laying foundation stones for projects across the state. It also dissuaded the legislators from using helicopters for official and foreign visits for at least two years.
Reservation for women: Punjab was among the first states to announce 50 per cent reservation for women in urban local bodies and Panchayati Raj institutions.
Crackdown on drugs: Vowing to wipe out drugs within four weeks, Captain Amarinder set up a Special Task Force (STF) against drugs under ADGP Harpreet Siddhu, who has handled anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh. The STF made massive recoveries and arrested some cops for allegedly acting in connivance with drug dealers.
Farm loan waiver: Though it is yet to be implemented, the government fulfilled its pre-poll promise after it issued a notification for farm loan waiver, to take over debts and make one-time settlements with banks to waive loans of up to Rs 2 lakh. The announcement was followed by loan waiver decisions by UP and Maharashtra.
Free education for girls: The state announced provision of free education to girls in government schools from nursery till completion of PhD.

World’s largest toilet pot model unveiled at ‘Trump village’ in Haryana on World Toilet Day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>World’s biggest toilet pot model was unveiled at Marora, popularly known as the “Trump village”, in Haryana on the World Toilet Day today in a bid to create awareness towards sanitation and use of toilets.The nondescript village, with a population of 1,800, in Mewat region was in June rechristened as “Trump village” by NGO Sulabh International Social Service Organisation in a gesture to US president Donald Trump ahead ofPrime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington.The Nuh district administration, however, later said the move to rename the village was “illegal”, forcing the organisation members to remove boards mentioning the new name.A mega pot of toilet made up of iron, fibre, wood and plaster of Paris – measuring 20×10 feet – was unveiled in the hamlet to mark the World Toilet Day, which is observed on November 19 to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis.Sanitation expert and Sulabh International founder Bindeshwar Pathak and other dignitaries inaugurated the “biggest toilet pot of the world” model and dedicated another 95 new household toilets to the residents of the village.”It’s a symbolic gesture to inaugurate a large toilet pot at Trump village to mark the World Toilet Day to create awareness among people towards the use of toilets and safe sanitation,” Pathak said.He said the large pot replica would be moved to Delhi’s Sulabh Toilet Museum.Pathak had in June announced in Washington his decision to adopt Marora. He had said the move was aimed to encourage businessmen adopt villages in India to promote sanitation.Since then, Sulabh International has carried out the construction of toilets for every household and set up of a vocational training centre for girls in the village.”Organising a programme in a remote village of Haryana on the World Toilet Day was a promotional concept in connection with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to make villages in India free from open defecation on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary year in 2019,” Pathak said.”Trump’s slogan is ‘Make America Great Again’ and our Prime Minister’s credo is ‘Make in India’, so I thought why not make a humble beginning honouring the friendship of the two,” he said.Apart from inaugurating individual toilets, two books on the use of toilets and sanitation were also released.Pathak said he hoped the move would win enough attention and goodwill to raise awareness for a major social problem.Puneet Ahulwalia, a member of the ruling Republican Party of the US, speaking on the occasion, said the initiative would go long way to motivate masses towards cleanliness and safe sanitation.

Just another Whatsapp uncle: Twitter can’t keep calm over Shashi Tharoor making a Manushi Chhillar-demonetization joke

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India’s Manushi Chhillar won the coveted Miss World 2017 crown at a grand event in China, bringing to an end the country’s dry spell of 17 years at the top pageant contest.The 20-year-old from Haryana, who is a medical student, edged out top five contestants from England, France, Kenya and Mexico.Chhillar was presented the crown by Stephanie Del Valle, the last year’s Miss World winner from Puerto Rico at the event in Sanya City Arena in China which was televised live globally.While a lot of individuals made the usual demonetization-Chhillar (colloquial word for loose change) joke, Twitterati were aghast when the normally dignified also made the Whatsapp level joke.He wrote on Twitter: “What a mistake to demonetise our currency! BJP should have realised that Indian cash dominates the globe: look, even our Chhillar has become Miss World!” Tharoor later apologised and said he was just attempting a bilingual pun. He wrote: “Guess the pun IS the lowest form of humour, & the bilingual pun lower still! Apologies to the many who seem to have been righteously offended by a light-hearted tweet today. Certainly no offence was meant to a bright young girl whose answer i’ve separately praised. Please: Chill!”Here’s how Twitter reacted:Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Chhillar, and praised her for making the country proud. “Congratulations @ManushiChhillar! India is proud of your accomplishment,” the Prime Minister wrote on Twitter.Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah tweeted, “Heartiest Congratulations to the Indian daughter Manushi Chhillar for conquering the world and making India proud on being crowned as #MissWorld2017.”Minutes after the results were announced, the Chief Minister of Chhillar’s home-state Haryana, Manohar Lal Khattar, took to Twitter and said, “Congratulations to Manishi Chillar, daughter of Haryana, on becoming Miss World 2017.”Haryana Minister Vipul Goel also expressed pride over her victory. “Haryana girls making India proud around the world. Many congratulations to @ManushiChhillar for becoming 6th Indian to win Miss World 2017. We all are proud of you.”Congratulations to Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar on her achievement. Our young achievers make us proud. India’s future lies in the indomitable spirit & excellence of our youth,” Gandhi tweeted.20-year-old medical student from Haryana, Chhillar, won the coveted crown at a grand event in China yesterday, bringing to an end the country’s dry spell of 17 years at the top pageant contest.Aishwarya Rai had bagged the title in 1994, followed by Diana Hayden in 1997, Yukta Mookhey in 1999 and Priyanka Chopra in 2000.She edged out four other top contestants from England, France, Kenya and Mexico at the event, which saw participation from over 100 countries.Chhillar is the sixth Indian to win the coveted crown, which was first won by Reita Faria back in 1966.With inputs from PTI

India is proud of your accomplishments: PM Modi to Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India’s Manushi Chhillar today won the coveted Miss World 2017 crown at a grand event in China, bringing to an end the country’s dry spell of 17 years at the top pageant contest.The 20-year-old from Haryana, who is a medical student, edged out top five contestants from England, France, Kenya and Mexico.Chhillar was presented the crown by Stephanie Del Valle, the last year’s Miss World winner from Puerto Rico at the event in Sanya City Arena in China which was televised live globally.Taking to Twitter, PM Modi congratulated Chhillar saying India was proud of her accomplishment. He was joined by Haryana CM ML Khattar, union minister Suresh Prabhu and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma.

NGT asks Faridabad builders to fork out bank guarantee, compensation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered 10 builders in Faridabad district, Haryana, to fork out a bank guarantee of Rs 50 lakh each within three days for faulty and unauthorised sewage treatment plants (STPs) failing which their bank accounts would be attached. The Tribunal also prohibited them from withdrawing money from their bank accounts in the meanwhile and directed them to fix the STPs and get them inspected by the Haryana Pollution Control Board.The Tribunal also prohibited the builders from dumping sewage in the open. “Only after taking permission from the NGT would the accounts of the builders be de-freezed,” said NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar who was heading a four-member bench. The bench was hearing a plea by Faridabad resident Varun Sheokand which alleged that waste was being dumped in open.The builders asked to fork out bank guarantee are: Omaxe Heights and Summer Palms in Sector 86, SRS Residency and BPTP Villas in Sector 88, ERA Redwood Residency in Sector 78, SRS Royal Hills Sector 87, Puri VIP Floors in Sector 81, BPTP L Block and BPTP Elite floors in sector 84 and Era Divine Court in sector 76 of Faridabad.Among these builders, ERA Redwood Residency also faces a hefty environment compensation of Rs.55 lakh for failing to obtain the statutory consent to operate the STP. The Tribunal asked them to pay up within a week. Further, Omaxe Heights, SRS and BPTP were asked to fork out environment compensation of Rs 5 lakh each for dysfunctional STPs.The NGT bench was earlier imposing an environment compensation of Rs 50 lakh each. But, the counsel for builders pleaded that they were facing mounting pressure of Non-Performing Assets and thus sought to reduce the compensation and the Tribunal agreed.

Delhi smog: Ban on trucks, construction lifted as air quality improves

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Environment Pollution (Prevenention and Control) Authority on Thursday lifted the ban on construction activities and entry of trucks with immediate effect.The parking fees which were hiked four times in a bid to encourage public transport earlier due to the ‘dangerous’ smog condition in the national capital also has been lifted.In a letter, EPCA chairperson Dr. Bhure Lal directed Chief Secretary MM Kutty to roll back the measures with ‘immediate effect’, as the prevailing air quality has improved and is not under ‘dangerous’ level.”Today an improvement was seen in the air quality and the region is now in the ‘Very Poor’ category in terms of the Air Quality Index (AQI). Given this improvement, EPCA is now directing that the two conditions imposed can be lifted with immediate effect,” the letter read.The letter, which was marked to chief secretaries of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana, also said that the situation was being monitored. The pollution board on Wednesday said it may withdraw all the steps taken under the ‘severe plus’ or emergency category of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) if pollution remains under control.The pollution board on Wednesday said it may withdraw all the steps taken under the ‘severe plus’ or emergency category of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) if pollution remains under control.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar held a meeting met in Chandigarh and said they woould resolve the issue and have put in “sustained efforts” to prevent the repeat of high-level smog situation next year.(With inputs from PTI)

Delhi air pollution: Arvind Kejriwal government sat on Rs 787 crore green fund

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While Delhi choked on toxic smog in the past two winters, the AAP government sat on a fund of Rs 787 crore generated as environment compensation charge (ECC) since it came to power in 2015, an RTI query has revealed. The fund was meant to improve transport infrastructure and cut down on pollution in the city. However, the government has till date spent only 0.11% (Rs 93 lakh) of the total amount.The RTI response came on day when Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met his Haryana counterpart ML Khattar in Chandigarh to discuss measures to cut down on toxic air pollution levels by curbing crop stubble burning.However, Delhi government sources quickly said that the fund would be used to procure 500 electric buses within a year.”The CM has instructed Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot to start the process. Each bus will cost between Rs 1.6 crore and 2.6 crore,” said a government source.Sources also claimed that Gahlot was meeting officials for the procurement to strengthen non-polluting public transport.”Since ECC has been enforced, the AAP government did not spend a penny to actually save people from toxic pollution levels. The claim of buying electric buses with the fund as well as meeting the Haryana CM are just an eyewash. If the Delhi government had to spend money on improving infrastructure, it would have done so in two years,” said Sanjeev Jain, an RTI activist, who had filed the query.The amount of Rs 93 lakh has been spent on “paying the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) for pre-tendering incidental cost related for preparation of RFID documents.”Meanwhile, AAP spokesperson and MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj said the interference by the Lieutenant Governor — and not shortage of funds — was stalling welfare activities.”An attempt is being made through some sections of the media that the Delhi government has not spent the revenue earned as ECC. This is a brazen misrepresentation of facts. Never has the Delhi government claimed that it has a lack of funds to undertake any activity in the interest of the people. The government allocates enough funds for schemes, but they are stalled for political reasons by the office of the Lieutenant Governor,” said Bharadwaj.The Supreme Court had in October 2015 ordered the imposition of ECC on light and heavy commercial vehicles entering Delhi. The cess came into force on November 1, 2015.The SC direction had come after the National Green Tribunal said that commercial vehicles entering city limits must pay — in addition to toll tax — an environment compensation charge. The order had come in the view of pollutant emissions released by goods vehicles. ECC on light commercial vehicles is Rs 700, while for three-axle and above heavy-duty vehicles, it is Rs 1,300.

Delhi-NCR smog: Pollution on the wane, EPCA may lift ’emergency’ measures

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Air quality remained outside the ‘severe plus’ category today and if the trend prevails till tomorrow, emergency measures such ban on construction and entry of trucks may be lifted.The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, a Supreme Court-appointed panel, said it may withdraw all the measures enforced under the ‘severe plus’ or emergency category of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) if pollution remains under control.The 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) was 361, which falls in the ‘very poor’ category, showing a marginal dip as compared to yesterday when it was 308, the best in a week.In a major development, the Centre announced that it has preponed the introduction of ultra-clean Euro-VI grade petrol and diesel in the national capital by two years to April 2018 to help fight air pollution.Even as air quality remained out of emergency category, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar met in Chandigarh and resolved to put in “sustained efforts” to prevent a repeat of the recent smog episode in 2018.The hourly-graph of the Central Control Room for Air Quality Management, which tracks the levels of PM2.5 and PM10, also captured the declining trend. PM2.5 and PM10 concentration was recorded as 198 and 307 microgrammes per cubic metre at 7 PM.The corresponding 24-hour safe standards are 60 and 100.Pollution is considered severe plus or emergency when these readings are above 300 and 500 respectively.According to the Centre-run monitoring agency SAFAR (System of Air Quality And Weather Forecasting And Research), air quality is improving as strong surface winds is aiding pumping out accumulated pollutants.However, it said there might be a dip in quality and the AQI may settle in the upper side of ‘very poor’ from November 17 due to meteorological conditions including a fall in temperature and entry of moisture.”But as the speed of wind in the upper layer of the atmosphere is low, possibility of incursion of pollutants from external sources such as stubble burning is very less,” a SAFAR scientist said.Meanwhile, the Delhi Fire Services carried out water sprinkling from the 22-storey high Vikas Minar at ITO in the afernoon for about an hour.”Before and after the water sprinkling, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee measured the pollution levels. A report in this regard will be submitted to the National Green Tribunal tomorrow,” a Delhi Fire Services official said.The process was carried out using a hose pipe that was connected to an overhead tank.The Delhi government’s petition to the NGT on odd-even, seeking a review of its order withdrawing the exemptions given to two-wheelers and three-wheelers, will also come up before the tribunal tomorrow.The fresh petition has also sought a direction from a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar that the neighbouring states should also be asked to implement the scheme.The emergency measures continue to be in place.However, the parking fees in areas falling under the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, which were quadrupled a week ago, will now be restored to the previous rates from tomorrow.The North and East Delhi corporations, however, said, they will continue with the revised rates.

When you see condom ad while sitting with your family: Twitter reacts to ‘awkward’ Kejriwal-Khattar picture

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Wednesday, after what felt like ages of endless tweeting, Arvind Kejriwal finally met his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar, while Punjab CM Captain Amarinder stayed away.Even though Kejriwal is a man who like Khattar also hails from Haryana, the two were amazingly awkward during their meeting. A photo of Khattar holding an AC remote while Kejriwal sat on the far end of the sofa went viral on social media.After a long football-match length session, a joint statement was issued where the two promised to put in sustained efforts to check pollution and ensure that 2018 wouldn’t see a repeat of the hell-hole that Delhi-NCR became in 2017.Here’s how Twitter reacted to the awkward meeting, which some described as a PTA meet, while another said felt like an adult scene coming on the TV while one is watching a film with family. A joint statement was issued after the meeting, in which their environment ministers and other top officials also participated.”We the chief ministers of Delhi and Haryana are happy to have had a very fruitful meeting at Chandigarh today. We recognised our deep and shared concern over the recent episode of heavy smog in our National Capital Region. We agreed upon the need for action on many measures aimed at preventing its re-occurrence in the winter of 2018,” according to the statement.It said that during the discussions, the two sides agreed that “serious health risks to which such episodes of smog expose one and all require concrete and quick action on a number of fronts.””In today’s meeting we covered crop residue burning and vehicular pollution issues. We resolve to put in sustained efforts in pursuance of the jointly identified action points in the coming days, weeks and months.”We look forward to covering other sources of air and water pollution in our future discussions.” The two chief ministers also briefly met the media later after their meeting.Kejriwal said that states may be separated by territorial boundaries, but nobody has control over air and joint efforts need to be put in by all stakeholders to check pollution.”Therefore, it is very important that the country’s top political executive, both of states and the Centre, everyone will have to collectively find a solution to this problem,” he said.”I believe today’s meeting is just a beginning. It is an indication that to deal with this problem, we are ready to take whatever steps are required to be taken. We had a discussion on crop burning, on vehicular pollution, as also on bypasses which are being built, we had a discussion on how we can introduce CNG vehicles.”They gave us suggestions that there are some stretches, like for example Delhi-Gurgaon has only one road stretch and if the Dwarka bypass can be expedited, likewise Badarpur- Ashram stretch…,” Kejriwal said touching upon steps that can be taken to decongest traffic and bring down pollution levels caused by vehicles.He also said “I believe that message should go out that at the top level whatever steps are needed to be taken we are ready to take those steps. This is an indication to governments of both the states that strict steps should be taken to curb pollution.”Khattar said there is really genuine concern about smog, which has engulfed northern states, especially in NCR.”It has been happening for the last two years. This problem is not related to only one state but it is a common concern. We are taking steps in our respective states whether it is stubble burning or vehicular pollution,” he said.He said his government has decided to give subsidy to farmers and government procurement agencies on the purchase of 8-9 implements in order to tackle stubble burning problem.”This year, the number of incidents of stubble burning has dropped in Haryana. Satellite pictures show that we have controlled it to a large extent in Haryana,” he said.He said Delhi is the capital of India and “we will collectively try to ensure smog does not envelop Delhi”.Kejriwal had earlier said that Khattar had invited him to Chandigarh today for the meeting as he could not meet him in Delhi because he was very busy.The Delhi chief minister had sought a meeting with his counterparts from Haryana and Punjab to find a solution to stubble burning in neighbouring states, a major source of high pollution levels in Delhi.The practice of burning of crop residue by farmers of Punjab and Haryana has been blamed for the toxic smog enveloping the region every winter.Kejriwal recently said the Centre, Haryana, Punjab and Delhi governments should keep political differences aside and come together to find a permanent solution to stubble burning.Yesterday, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh again ruled out a meeting with Kejriwal, asking him not to “politicise” the serious matter. With inputs from PTI

Delhi-NCR smog: Kejriwal and Khattar finally meet, resolve to put in ‘sustained efforts’ to check pollution

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar today resolved to put in “sustained efforts” to check pollution and discussed measures to ensure smog does not envelop the national capital in the winter of 2018.Kejriwal held a nearly 90-minute meeting at Khattar’s residence here and it primarily centred around air pollution and stubble burning that is a major contributory factor to smog, which has engulfed the national capital and parts of Haryana and Punjab over the past nearly two weeks.A joint statement was issued after the meeting, in which their environment ministers and other top officials also participated.”We the chief ministers of Delhi and Haryana are happy to have had a very fruitful meeting at Chandigarh today. We recognised our deep and shared concern over the recent episode of heavy smog in our National Capital Region. We agreed upon the need for action on many measures aimed at preventing its re-occurrence in the winter of 2018,” according to the statement.It said that during the discussions, the two sides agreed that “serious health risks to which such episodes of smog expose one and all require concrete and quick action on a number of fronts.””In today’s meeting we covered crop residue burning and vehicular pollution issues. We resolve to put in sustained efforts in pursuance of the jointly identified action points in the coming days, weeks and months.”We look forward to covering other sources of air and water pollution in our future discussions.” The two chief ministers also briefly met the media later after their meeting.Kejriwal said that states may be separated by territorial boundaries, but nobody has control over air and joint efforts need to be put in by all stakeholders to check pollution.”Therefore, it is very important that the country’s top political executive, both of states and the Centre, everyone will have to collectively find a solution to this problem,” he said.”I believe today’s meeting is just a beginning. It is an indication that to deal with this problem, we are ready to take whatever steps are required to be taken. We had a discussion on crop burning, on vehicular pollution, as also on bypasses which are being built, we had a discussion on how we can introduce CNG vehicles.”They gave us suggestions that there are some stretches, like for example Delhi-Gurgaon has only one road stretch and if the Dwarka bypass can be expedited, likewise Badarpur- Ashram stretch…,” Kejriwal said touching upon steps that can be taken to decongest traffic and bring down pollution levels caused by vehicles.He also said “I believe that message should go out that at the top level whatever steps are needed to be taken we are ready to take those steps. This is an indication to governments of both the states that strict steps should be taken to curb pollution.”Khattar said there is really genuine concern about smog, which has engulfed northern states, especially in NCR.”It has been happening for the last two years. This problem is not related to only one state but it is a common concern. We are taking steps in our respective states whether it is stubble burning or vehicular pollution,” he said.He said his government has decided to give subsidy to farmers and government procurement agencies on the purchase of 8-9 implements in order to tackle stubble burning problem.”This year, the number of incidents of stubble burning has dropped in Haryana. Satellite pictures show that we have controlled it to a large extent in Haryana,” he said.He said Delhi is the capital of India and “we will collectively try to ensure smog does not envelop Delhi”.Kejriwal had earlier said that Khattar had invited him to Chandigarh today for the meeting as he could not meet him in Delhi because he was very busy.The Delhi chief minister had sought a meeting with his counterparts from Haryana and Punjab to find a solution to stubble burning in neighbouring states, a major source of high pollution levels in Delhi.The practice of burning of crop residue by farmers of Punjab and Haryana has been blamed for the toxic smog enveloping the region every winter.Kejriwal recently said the Centre, Haryana, Punjab and Delhi governments should keep political differences aside and come together to find a permanent solution to stubble burning.Yesterday, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh again ruled out a meeting with Kejriwal, asking him not to “politicise” the serious matter.

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