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Toll booths on Bandra-Worli Sea Link to go solar

In the next six months, the toll booths on Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL) will get electricity supply from the solar panels to be installed on the Sea Link. The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) had announced the installation of solar panels earlier this year. However, now it seems electricity generated from solar panels will only be used for toll booths and not the street lights on the Sea Link.The toll operator of the sea link has said that they would be able to have panels installed in the next 3-6 months. Jayant Mhaiskar, managing director at MEP Infrastructure Developers, toll operator, said, “Our concession period has started from October 07, 2017 and as per the concession agreement we will be in a position to install solar panels in the next three to six months.”Mhaiskar, added, “As per the concession agreement, the electricity generated from the solar panels will be used for toll booths in the day and for the night hours we will have to use normal electricity connection as we do not have a power storage facility in India.”The MSRDC’s aim is to bring down their electricity bills and will also promote the Central government’s initiative of promoting solar energy and to cut down carbon footprints.

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MMRDA writes to state govt over fare hike of Metro-1

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has written to the state government to ask the Central government to form a new fare fixation committee (FFC) to decide on the proposal of increasing fares for the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro-1 corridor.Reliance Infrastructure-led Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL), had proposed to increase fare for Metro-1. The FFC formed earlier too had also suggested an increase in the fare. However, a week ago, the Bombay high court had quashed the recommendation of the FFC along with the proposal of MMOPL. The court had also directed the formation a new FFC to decide on the fare structure for Metro-1.Currently, the fare slab is Rs 10,20,30,40 for the 11.4-km-long route, the MMOPL had proposed the fare slab of Rs 10,20,25,35 and 45. The fare fixation committee (FFC) had recommended the fare to be between Rs 10 and 110.”We have written to the state government, who will ask the Centre to form a new FFC in order to decide the fare structure of Metro-1. The high court has asked to form a new FFC in one month, and decide on the fare structure in the next three months,” UPS Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA, told DNA.The MMOPL has been citing losses and has appealed for an increase in fare rates. However, the MMRDA had challenged the MMOPL’s proposal to increase fare citing that the concession agreement signed between MMRDA and MMOPL says that Metro-1 fare should be between Rs 9-13.

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CBI chargesheets IRB Infra chairman, others

IRB Infrastructure Developers’ Chairman and Managing Director Virendra Mhaiskar and others along with its subsidiary Aryan Infrastructure Investments Pvt Ltd (AIIPL) have been chargesheeted by the CBI in an alleged land scam, forcing the company’s share price to tank on Thursday.An anomaly in the land deal along the Mumbai-Pune Expressway was exposed in 2009 by the slain Right to Information activist Satish Shetty. In January 2010, the Pune-based activist was stabbed to death in Talegaon off Mumbai-Pune Expressway, months after the scam was unearthed. CBI is yet to file a chargesheet on the activist’s murder.As per the CBI chargesheet filed with Pune Sessions Court, there is involvement of AIIPL, Virendra Mhaiskar (then Director of AIIPL) for having issued Power of Attorney, in favour of then Project Head Deepak D Gadgil (Retired – Head Realty, Airport and Hospitality of the Company, then Project Head) and the company along with certain other persons.”…the CBI has filed a charge sheet today with the Sessions Court, Pune in the matter of an alleged illegal purchase of government land in village Pimploli and nearby, Taluka Maval, District Pune by AIIPL), a subsidiary of IRB Infrastructure Developers Limited,” read company’s filing with BSE on late Wednesday evening.Soon after the trading session began on Thursday, IRB Infrastructure Developers share prices fell to an intra-day low of Rs 194.70 per share, which is over 6% drop only to recover later during the day to end at 2.29% lesser at Rs 205.20 per unit.A discharge application will be filed by the company soon.”Based on a preliminary review of the charge sheet, it appears that the charge sheet focuses on an alleged conspiracy to attempt to cheat for acquiring certain land parcels belonging to the government/MSRDC. We deny any allegations made against Mhaiskar, Gadgil, AIIPL and the Company in this matter and will seek appropriate remedies under law. The Company and its management are responsible citizens and have fully complied with the law of the land,” the company clarified.In an analyst call, Mhaiskar termed the charges as frivolous. “We have received charge sheet copy and we firmly believe that no offence can and has been made out against us in the same. We strongly believe that it is a very frivolous charge sheet, as we see it and as we read it. The charges that have been made are conspiracy and attempt to cheat and not even a cheating case,” said Mhaiskar.When analysts asked him about possibility of another chargesheet by CBI against the company’s, he replied, that closure report on murder was filed earlier, but he is unaware about the status if the investigation is still underway or not. “Had there been an involvement in the murder case, that chargesheet should have been filed first as that’s a much grave case,” he remarked.Explaining the land deal, the company added that AIIPL began acquiring land parcels from 2007 onwards an acquired approximately 1,200 acres of land parcels. In early 2009, AIIPL observed that around 5% of the total land parcels owned by it were, in fact, owned by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation. AIIPL on its own accord proceeded to cancel agreements to sell, for these land parcels The amount attributable to these 5% of land parcels, pertaining to which the charge sheet has been filed, is Rs 6 crore only.This amount of Rs 6 crore was returned to the Mumbai-based highway developer.BLOOD IN PASTAn anomaly in a land deal along the Mumbai-Pune Expressway was exposed in 2009 by slain RTI activist Satish Shetty. In January 2010, Shetty was stabbed to death in Talegaon.
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Bombay High Court strikes down plea to hike Metro fare

The Bombay High Court, in a major relief to Mumbaikars, on Monday restrained the Reliance Infrastructure-led Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) from hiking the fares for the Versova-Ghatkopar Metro route.The bench headed by Chief Justice Manjula Chellur refused to approve a 2015 recommendation of the Metro Fare Fixation Committee, which proposed a hike of up to Rs 110. The Mumbai Metro Regional Development Authority (MMRDA), which has stakes in the project, had challenged the proposed hike. The court asked the Union government to form a fresh committee within one month, which would decide on the issue in the next three months.A spokesperson from the company said “We are studying the detailed order and will take the appropriate legal course.”The first elevated metro operations of the city began in June 2014 and the introductory fare was Rs 10 for a one-way journey along the 11.4-km stretch. It was subsequently increased to Rs 40, the entire distance one side. In July 2015, the fare fixation committee suggested a new fare range of Rs 10-110, instead of the existing Rs10 to 40. Citing heavy losses, the MMOPL had later announced that starting December 1, 2015, the fares would be increased by Rs 5.The MMOPL had argued for the increase, claiming that it was not able to meet the operation costs. On December 17, 2015, in an interim order, the HC had stayed the proposed fare hike.The MMOPL had moved the Supreme Court against the high court’s order, but the apex court refused to interfere. The fare fixation committee led by a retired SC judge, had recommended increasing the fare up to Rs110.
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Bombay High Court restrains Mumbai Metro fare hike

On her last day in office, Chief Justice Manjula Chellur of the Bombay High Court, allowed the petition filed by Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA), challenging the fare fixation committee report of 2015, allowing Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL), an arm of Reliance Infrastructure, to hike fares upto Rs 110.The court has asked the Union of India to form a new committee on receiving an application by the company, which will have to decide the issue within three months. Until then the company has been restrained to increase the fare.Also readMumbai Metro: Passengers take to social media to complain about ‘non-functional air-conditioning system’The MMOPL had argued for the increase on the ground that it was not able to meet the operation cost and was having difficulty in paying the interest on the loan taken to build the Metro.The MMOPL had started operations on the 11.4km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar route from June 7, with a promotional fare of Rs10. Thereafter, the fares were increased to Rs10, Rs20, Rs30 and Rs40, depending on distance. The court had upheld the initial fare hike.Later, the three-member FFC, led by a retired SC judge, had recommended increasing the fare up to Rs110. The maximum fare currently levied for the ride is Rs 40.The committee report has been challenged by the MMRDA in the high court. It was said by MMRDA that as per the agreement the fares cannot be raised by the company. Also readMake In India’ a bane for Mumbai Metro?
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Mumbai Metro: Passengers take to social media to complain about ‘non-functional air-conditioning system’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Passengers have been registering their complaints on the social media every now and then about the alleged ‘non-functioning of air conditioning system’ inside the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro-1 coaches in Mumbai.However, the Reliance Infrastructure-led Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) has said that there is no technical issue and individual preferences are different. According to several passengers who have been voicing their opinion on social media, tagging the official account of Mumbai Metro, the air conditioning system ‘stops functioning’ at times which leads to suffocation. This year, there have been tweets from passengers in almost every month. MMOPL has been responding to the tweets seeking contact information of these passengers to understand their problem. However, in a query sent by DNA, MMOPL, said, “There are close to 4 lakh commuters who use the Metro on weekdays. We keep the air-conditioned environment in a specific range, keeping in mind all genre of customers and the ambient outside as per the guideline prescribed by the national agency.”MMOPL added, “There is no technical issue with the air condition but some time individual preference may be different.”In the past too, there have been several complaints reported relating to air conditioning or air condition ducts.The coaches for Metro-1 were procured from M/s CSR, Nanjing China. The air-conditioned coaches of Metro-1 are designed with a speed limit of 80-kmph and the operating speed to 50-kmph.Metro 1 connecting the western and eastern Mumbai recorded its highest ridership of 4.13 lakh commuters on a single day in September 2017. According to MMOPL, Metro 1’s record ridership stood at 3.8 lakh on July 17, followed by 3.71 lakh on June 28, while on September 2, 2016, it stood at 3.68 lakh commuters.

India and World Bank sign USD 98 million loan for Solar Parks Project

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Shared Infrastructure for Solar Parks Project will finance Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd (IREDA), to provide sub-loans to states to invest in various solar parks, the World Bank said in a statement.The solar parks will be mostly under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy s (MNRE) Solar Park Scheme, it said.The first two solar parks are in the Rewa and Mandsaur districts of Madhya Pradesh, with targeted installed capacities of 750 MW and 250 MW respectively, it said.Other states where potential solar parks could be supported under this project are in Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Haryana.The government is committed to setting up an enabling environment for solar technology penetration in the country, said Sameer Kumar Khare — Joint Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs.”This Project will help establish large-scale solar parks and support the government s plan to install 100 gigawatts (GW) of solar power out of a total renewable-energy target of 175 GW by 2022,” he said in the statement.The IREDA will utilise the funding under this project to develop the common infrastructure such as power pooling substations, intra-park transmission infrastructure and provide access to roads, water supply and drainage.While some states intend to provide a full range of infrastructure services to the selected private or public sector developers, others plan to provide only pooling stations to facilitate internal evacuation.With about 331 GW of installed capacity, India s power system is among the largest in the world. Yet, the per capita electricity consumption is less than one-third of the global average.An estimated 300 million people are not connected to the national electrical grid, the statement said, adding that with a rapidly growing economy the need for reliable power is only going to grow.The USD 75 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 5-year grace period, and a maturity of 19 years.The USD 23 million loan from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) has a 10-year grace period, and a maturity of 40 years.The USD 2 million is an interest-free CTF grant.

PM’s panel gives plan on jobs, growth, infra

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The second meeting of the Economic Advisory Council to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, chaired by Bibek Debroy, formulated recommendations to guide the evolving framework for the Fifteenth Finance Commission, including the incentivisation of states for achieving health, education and social inclusion outcomes.The meeting was attended by renowned economists Dr Surjit Bhalla, Dr Rathin Roy, Dr Ashima Goyal, Dr Shamika Ravi and Member Secretary and Principal Adviser NITI Aayog Ratan P. Watal.Lead presentations were made by experts on key themes — including Infrastructure Financing by Debroy. Dr Vinod K Paul, member of NITI Aayog, highlighted strategies for achieving Swastha Bharat by 2022. Secretary in Skill Development KP Krishnan presented Skill Development Strategies highlighting convergent initiatives to reach youth and women. The meeting spelled out a clear road map towards skill development, job creation, enhanced resource investment in the social sector, including for Health and Education and for boosting Infrastructure financing.The council is also evolving the design of a new economy tracking monitor, linking economic growth indicators with social indicators for last-mile connectivity.Apart from transformation of the gold market, improvements needed in national accounts and innovative steps for unlocking growth, exports and employment potential of growth drivers were discussed.The council took stock of economic and social analysis undertaken by theme groups and evolving initiatives led by different members. It identified key issues, strategies and recommended interventions in respect of these themes.

FIR against Maria Sharapova for endorsing Gurugram hsg project

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi court has directed the police to register an FIR against Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova and real estate builder Homestead Infrastructure Development Pvt Ltd. for endorsing a Gurugram-based luxury housing project which never took off.The FIR has been lodged against the company, its office bearers and Sharapova for the offence of cheating and collecting Rs 53 lakh from investors on the pretext of a project named ‘Ace by Sharapova.’ The complaint said the money was collected despite property not even being acquired for the said project.The complainant also alleged that the project proposed a tennis academy and commercial space for clothing and sportswear which had lured her interest. None of this materialised.Sharapova is accused number four in the 156 (3) CRPC application which was filed before the Rohini Court by a homebuyer, who invested in the luxury housing project.”If the alleged persons have no licence or sanction to raise the residential flats in the name of ‘Ace by Sharapova’, Sector 73, Gurgaon, and accepted Rs 53 lakh to book a flat of unit area of 2,500 sq ft, then they have undoubtedly committed a criminal offence,” the court said.

50% BEST ticket vending machines are non-functional

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The electronic ticket issuing machines (ETIMs) of Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) are in an abysmal condition. Almost 50 per cent of their 9,500 ETIMs is under repairs.The BEST was supposed to take full charge of its maintenance and operations from November 1 from Trimex IT Infrastructure. But with the state government planning a single card for all modes of transport, the BEST has failed to improve the existing lot of ETIMs, as they are waiting for the upgraded ones.”The condition is so bad that of the 27 depots, at least nine depots are facing problems with their ETIMs. Every morning conductors stand in long queues to get a working ETIM as almost 50 per cent of them are non-functioning,” said Suhas Samant, BEST Committee member.The faulty ETIMs at the Santacruz, Gorai, Oshiwara, Goregaon, Worli, Shivaji Nagar, Ghatkopar and Mulund depots are of no use as many of them are beyond their shelf life of five years.”The administration should have accepted the proposal of getting 3,000 new ETIMs rather than refusing only because they need an upgraded one,” said Anil Kokil, Chairman, BEST Committee. Currently, the per ticket cost issued through ETIM costs 11 paisa per ticket, while in the new system the same would be 16 paisa per ticket, excluding paper cost.A few months back, the BEST was supposed to get 3,000 new ETIMs — similar to the existing lot minus the upgrade of accepting the proposed single card or debit/credit card – but the BEST Undertaking refused toaccept it.Now the administration has called for open tenders for these upgraded version of ETIMs at a total cost of Rs 108 crore.The committee members claim that due to this the absentiseem among the conductors has increased thus affecting the turnout of buses. Surendra Bagde, General Manager, BEST said, “These existing ETIMs are unsuitable for the proposed single card and so we require new hardware and system”. The batteries of these ETIMs are also very poor and need frequent charging. Many ETIMs shut down in the middle of the journey which also troubles passengers.BUDGET APPROVALOn November 2, the BEST Committee approved the Rs 590 crore deficit budget of 2017-18. The BEST wants the BMC to convert the Rs 25 crore given as advance to the Undertaking’s employees for Diwali bonus into grant.

Govt to hire more staffers to ease congestion at immigration counters

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>ln order to ease congestion at immigration counters at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) during peak hours, the government is planning to increase the crew significantly. The measure has become unavoidable in view of the drastic increase in the number of flyers over the last few years.Issues related to congestion have been raised by travellers several times in the past. Passengers say immigration clearance takes a long time due to staff shortage. Following regular complaints, a team of Home Ministry officials visited the IGIA counters for inspection on Tuesday.Home Ministry officials said that granting of e-visa to citizens of over 160 countries in the recent past has led to the arrival of a huge number of tourists. Besides, there have been allegations that many immigration officers leave their counters during the rush hours for tea or meals and some of them are not even trained properly.The officials also argued that the infrastructure at the airport was not keeping pace with the rush, which has increased from nearly 30,000 a day in 2015 to 41,000 a day now. In fact, the four business-class counters were also thrown open for the general public to handle the rush.The Delhi airport has 75 immigration counters at both arrival and departure halls, including those for e-visa. An assessment revealed that each passenger spends 50-90 seconds at an immigration counter and the authorities are now planning to reduce this time to 30 seconds, an official said.

AMC still awaits Centre’s nod for Pirana fund

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the aim to make the city Zero Waste by 2031, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has decided to find a solution to Pirana’s waste problem that has been affecting the city’s environment or a long time now. It had put forth a proposal before the Centre to fund them and clear a bio-mining project spread across 84 acres, but are still waiting for the nod.The local authority dumps 4,700 metric tonnes of solid waste at this site on an average since 1980. The proposal is in accordance wih he Swachh Bharat Mission.Authorities believe that bio-mining is the best solution and a step ahead for the smart city. But for the first heritage city of country, Heritage Pirana Site is a complex issue.”After studying the options available for an issue like Pirana, we have finalised bio-mining as a viable solution. A Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the same has been submitted to the Centre. We are now waiting for the final approval by the urban development department,” said Mukesh Kumar, municipal commissioner.The project is estimated to cost around Rs 375 crore and the proposal was submitted three month back. AMC is waiting for the final nod to get rid of solid waste. Similar projects are at tandem in several towns and cities across India.WATT FROM WASTEThe civic authority is also thinking of converting the waste for energy production. Two companies have been awarded tenders and are likely to start production by next year. The energy to be produced will be close to 25 MW. Abellon Clean Energy and JITF Urban Infrastructure Limited, were also given land by the AMC. They will use 1,000 metric tonnes of the waste daily.Civic authority claim that their plans for Pirana are innovative. Surat, Pune and Delhi generate power from their waste.Abellon had inked an MoU with AMC in 2013 to produce 15 MW energy using 1,000 metric ton of waste, said a senior AMC official.FOR TAX-FREE BONDSAMC was all set to issue tax-free public bond in the third financial quarter, the fund from which was to be used for the smart city project. However, the central government has given the permission for private bonds. Civic authority has sent a proposal to the finance department for the conversion of type bond, which is pending before them. This year, the civic authority is considering Rs150 crore from the market by issuing bonds. Pune has raised Rs 200 crore this year in June by issuing bonds.CIVIC PLANSThe local authority dumps 4,700 metric tonnes of solid waste at this site on an average since 1980.. The civic authority is also thinking of converting the waste for energy production. Two companies have been awarded tenders and are likely to start production by next year.

Solar panels to cost Metro 1.5 cr less

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After completing the installation of solar panels on all 12 Metro stations along the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro-1 corridor, the Reliance Infrastructure-led Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL), operator of Metro has said that this initiative will save them Rs 1.5 crore every year. The Metro-1 corridor is already running in huge losses, and installation of solar panels will save carbon emissions of approximately 2,700 tonnes every year.The total quantity of solar panels installed along with the supporting and cable work is 6,987. The electricity generated from the solar panels will be utilised for operations of various Metro station equipment like lighting, lifts, escalators, pumps etc. The solar plants were set up on the renewable energy service company model wherein power purchase agreement has been signed.According to the MMOPL, currently, the Metro’s auxiliary power requirement for non-traction use is 6.9 megawatts, 30 per cent or 2.30 megawatts of which will be met with the installations of these solar panels.“The team made sure that in spite of hindrances like sloppy roofs, and the exceptional height of stations,” an MMOPL spokesperson said.

Govt unveils Rs 9 lakh cr package to boost growth, Cong calls it ‘shoddy attempt’ to defend ‘decimation of economy’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress today launched a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying “Modinomics” has destroyed India’s growth story.The main opposition party also termed as a “shoddy attempt” by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to defend the “decimation” of the economy after he reeled out economic indicators to support the government’s contention that GDP growth slowdown has bottomed out and economy is turning around.”‘Modinomics’ has destroyed India’s growth story. A shoddy attempt of a desperate finance minister Arun Jaitley to defend the decimation of economy has failed to impress either the Indian industry or common people. The growth as projected by the government is only on paper,” Congress’ communications department incharge Randeep Surjewala said.
ALSO READ Those used to 2G, coal scam will have trouble with genuine taxes: Jaitley on Rahul’s Gabbar remarkSurjewala said decisions like noteban and “poor” implementation of GST hurt the core of macro and micro economic fundamentals, and expressed concern over growing NPAs of public sector banks. The bank recapitalisation plan announced by the finance minister neither has a roadmap nor a timeframe, he said, asking the government to do a reality check and share a targeted framework of bank recapitalisation rather than engage in “hyperbole and high-sounding syllables”.On Jaitley’s claim that the macro economic fundamentals of economy are very strong, he said, “On the contrary, mindless and unsound decisions like demonetisation and the poor implementation of GST has hurt the core of the fundamentals of macro and micro economic fundamentals.” The Congress leader alleged common people were being made to suffer, jobs were in peril, and medium and small industries in dire straits, as economy stuttered due to demonetisation and GST roll out. “Time has come to travel from empty jumlas (rhetoric) to meaningful governance,” he said in a statement.
ALSO READ Government plans to revive ailing banking sector as FM Arun Jaitley announces Rs 2.11 lakh crore bank recapitalisation planCongress spokesperson Sushmita Dev said if the prime minister or the finance minister were claiming “all is well”, they should go to Gujarat and listen to what the people were saying. “Today, if the economy is turning around, then why is there ‘no feel good factor among the people. I will tell the prime minister and the finance minister that all is not well,” she said. Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said on Twitter, “If Economy was a wish-horse Arun Jaitley could have ridden it. Fact- in 41 months he created a new bumper sticker ‘Hey honey I sunk the Economy’.”Surjewala said the NPAs of public sector banks jumped from 36 per cent in March 2014 to 82 per cent in June 2017– from Rs 36,000 crore to Rs 8.35 lakh crore. Noting that the money given for recapitalisation of banks will increase the fiscal deficit, he said, “This is a desperate move by a finance minister groping in the dark as demonetization and GST failed to bring in the promised Rs 4-5 lakh crore.”Jaitley today announced a Rs 2.11 lakh crore bank recapitalisation plan to revive investment and growth.Accusing the government of waiving loans worth Rs 1,88,287 crore of wilful defaulters in the last three years, the Congress leader asked, “Is the government risking taxpayers’ money for more such loan waivers without commitment to MSME and agrarian sectors?” On Bharatmala project, he said it is completely debt driven with the burden falling on people of India. Bharatmala is an umbrella programme under which 34,800 km of highways will be constructed at a cost of Rs 5.35 lakh crore Seeking to boost note ban and GST-hit economy, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today announced a massive Rs 6.92 lakh crore infrastructure spending and another Rs 2.11 lakh crore for bank recapitalisation to revive investments as well as growth. Flanked by all his five secretaries and Chief Economic Advisor, Jaitley reeled out economic indicators to support government contention that GDP growth slowdown has bottomed out and economy is turning around.To boost job creation, the government granted enhanced access of funds for MSMEs, including by way of customising Mudra loans. A presentation was made at a briefing titled ‘The India Story: Speeding Up For Take Off!’ which highlighted that the economy grew by 7.5 per cent per annum in the three years of BJP-rule since 2014. For last three years India has been fastest growing major economy in the world, Jaitley said. “And our intention is that the high growth economy that India has become, we continue to maintain that position.”Economy slowed to 5.7 per cent in the April-June quarter of the current, the weakest pace since 2014 as demonetisation sucked out 86 per cent of the currency in circulation throwing cash-dependent businesses in disarray and the implementation of GST from July 1 hit small and medium enterprises. “There was a temporary slippage in growth in the last two quarters thanks to transitional effect of demonetisation (of old 500 and 1000 rupee notes) and GST,” an official statement issued at the briefing said.That effect, it said, is now over with all indicators – industrial production, core sector, automobile and consumer spending — pointing towards “a strong growth pick up”. “There is expectation of very good growth from second quarter of current year itself.” The Finance Minister said it is natural that when structural reforms happen there is some impact for limited time. “But medium to long term, there is huge benefit.” The Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today approved a Rs 6.92 lakh crore investment in building 83,677-km of road over the next five years, which will create 14.2 crore mandays of jobs.With this, the total infrastructure spending cleared by the government touched Rs 14 lakh crore, Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa said.Also, a massive bank recapitalisation programme has been approved. Of the Rs 2.11 lakh crore, recapitalisation bonds will account for Rs 1.35 lakh crore and another Rs 76,000 crore will come from budgetary support and equity issuance. Jaitley said the recapitalisation of PSU banks would be followed by a series of reforms. He, however, did not elaborate. “When you give such a big push to infrastructure, it helps in job creation. And job creation is the intention to push private sector investment and MSME funding,” he said. Public sector banks, which remain the main source of funding, have seen NPAs or bad loans swell from Rs 2.78 lakh crore as of March 2015 to Rs 7.33 lakh crore in June this year, primarily because of reclassification of loan, Department of Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar said.Of that, Rs 1.75 lakh crore relates to just 12 cases which have been referred to NCLT. The recapitalisation besides repairing their balance sheets would help banks meet the Basel III banking rules. “The net impact of all these is, private investment will be further strengthened. Infrastructure instantaneously creates job, lending to small and medium enterprises creates job,” Jaitley said. Macro economic fundamentals are strong, he said, adding that there was a need to increase public spending. “Infrastructure expenditure is unprecedented in the country.Efforts are on to increase public expenditure in various sectors of economy — rural roads, highways, Bharat Mala, housing, railways.” Also, the intention is to increase private investment in economy. “It was one area which had its own challenges. So far we believed that public sector banks have done indiscriminate lending at one stake. Between 2008-2014, because of indiscriminate lending, a bigger chunk is NPAs,” he said. On reforms that will follow in banking sector, he said, “I’m only indicating that more reforms will happen so as to ensure that there is no repetition of the situation that was there in 2014 where in you lend indiscriminately while hiding the real conditions of those loans. Its only after March 2015 the actual position of banks became clear.” Asked if the bank recapitalisation plan will impact fiscal deficit, he said: “It will depend on the nature of bonds and the manner in which it is dealt with.”The money which has been deposited in banks post demonetisation that is available for lending, but availability of money doesn’t ensure that it can be lent. For that capital adequacy is needed. And that capital adequacy was eroded because of excessive NPAs and because of situation of banks between 2008-2014.”Jaitley said the Cabinet decided that a “bold step” should be taken by the government to address this problem through Rs 2.11 lakh crore recapitalisation. “This will be accompanied by a series of banking reforms which you will hear from us in the course of next few months.” “Of this money, part of money will come from banks raising their own capital where government equity can come down to 52 per cent,” he said. “There is another Rs 18,000 crore from budgetary resources which will be put into banks under Indradhanush. So that makes it a total of Rs 76,000 crore.”In a presentation made at the briefing, Economic Affairs Secretary S C Garg said inflation has consistently come down since 2014 and will remain below 4 per cent this fiscal. Detailing macro-economic fundamentals, he said that current account deficit will be less than 2 per cent this year and foreign exchange reserves have crossed USD 400 billion. On fiscal deficit, he said the government is committed to sticking to the target of 3.2 per cent of GDP for the current fiscal but a review would be done in December.Stating that the GDP growth slowdown has bottomed out and the economy is turning around, he said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had recently projected that the country would achieve a 8 per cent growth rate soon.

Metro-7 pillar core tilts at Goregaon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Iron rods used in the construction work on the Andheri (East)-Dahisar (East) Metro-7 corridor, tilted towards the ground near Aarey Colony on the Western Express Highway on Saturday afternoon. However, this caused no injuries, though the service road at WEH was blocked. MMRDA has said it will issue a show-cause notice to the contractor, J Kumar Infrastructure, for the incident.Metro-7 is 16.475 km long elevated corridor with 13 Metro stations from Andheri (E) to Dahisar (E). It will be made operational in 2019 and the corridor is expected to see commuter traffic of 4.79 lakh people daily.MMRDA claims the incident took place due to a crane touching the iron rods while work was in progress on a pier. Pravin Darade, Addtional Metropolitan Commissioner, said, “We will issue a show-cause notice to J Kumar Infastructure. This has occurred due to air pressure of the crane, and it is the contractor’s responsibility to take safety precautions on site.”A spokesperson, J Kumar Infrastructure, said, “One of the Metro pillar reinforcement of Line 7 tilted while fixing the shuttering. Fortunately there is no damage to men and machinery in any form. We shall take best possible efforts to avoid such instances in the future.”Dilip Kawathkar, spokesperson for the MMRDA, said, “After completion of the pier reinforcement (iron rods) for Metro-7, stagging was removed to provide shuttering. Accordingly, one three-meter shutter was fixed and at 4 pm, while fixing the second shutter by hydra crane, the hydra’s boom touched the reinforcement bars. The leakage of air pressure from the hydra resulted in the bending of the reinforcement.”Kawathkar added, “The reinforcement bent and twisted towards service road. Fortunately, there were no casualties. The incident took place at Aarey Junction on WEH.”This is the second time such an incident has taken place on the construction site of Metro-7. In June 2017, a pier reinforcement – colloquially, a bunch of iron rods – came down crashing at WEH in Jogeshwari. At the time, MMRDA had held heavy rains and wind as culprit.No police complaint or case has been registered against the contractor by MMRDA. “No one has approached us yet for registering a complaint,” said Jyotsna Vilas Rasam, senior police inspector of Vanrai police station.In June, iron rods inside the barricaded area of construction site had collapsed. In September 2012, a similar incident occurred during Metro I work, where an under-construction structure collapsed, killing one worker.

Metro-1 reels under signalling, radio communication glitches

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Monthly reports prepared by the Independent Engineer (IE) of the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro-1 corridor say the corridor has several technical ‘failures’ with rolling stock or coaches, signalling, telecommunication, power supply, as well as escalators and lifts at stations. The corridor is operated by Reliance Infrastructure-led Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL), and glitches connected to the Automatic Fare Collection gate top the list.Monthly reports prepared by the IE between January 2016 and June 2017, accessed by DNA, show that while there were 13 technical failures in the Chinese rolling stocks in the first six months of 2016, there were 11 failures in the next six months. In the first six months of 2017 alone, there were as many as 22 failures.However, none of these hitches have led to major accidents that resulted in loss of human life, and MMOPL has been able to maintain a punctuality rate of around 98-99% every month.While the IE’s monthly reports term them technical ‘failures’, MMOPL calls them ‘faults’. It’s officials say that even minor faults are recorded in a transparent manner as part of a robust monitoring mechanism, and are addressed immediately, before they can affect operations.”Number of faults depends on the traffic and MMOPL is taking corrective action,” said a MMOPL spokesperson.”If the number of faults has gone up over the last year, it is solely on account of heavier footfall and increased number of trips the Metro is undertaking. These faults have not turned into service-affecting failures except in the odd case just because of our stringent processes that ensure that faults do not graduate to failure.”These snags include failure of the Metro doors to open or close, headlights not working, train going into emergency mode, leakage in battery cells, etc. There have also been failures related to signalling and telecommunication— as many as 241 signalling failures were reported between January 2016 and June 2017.Signalling is crucial for operation of any form of mode of transport. Around 675 telecommunication hitches were reported between January 2016 and June 2017, including 74 failures relating to the radio system between Metro pilot, Metro station and Metro control room, and 448 failures of CCTV cameras.Topping the list are snags related to the Automatic Fare Collection gate. IE’s reports recorded 1,249 of them. There have also been 338 issues in the escalators and lifts at the stations.”We accord uncompromising priority to commuter safety and performance standards,” said the MMOPL spokesperson. “Our robust and pro-active reporting regime is geared towards identifying each minor fault and undertaking immediate remedial action so that these do not graduate to service-disrupting failures. This is how MMOPL manages to maintain its performance of 99.9% punctuality and 100% availability on continuous basis. MMOPL has achieved 100% punctuality continuously for all days of a particular month several times in last 39 months of its operation.”

Speak up Mumbai: Do rly officials need to be held responsible?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the ever-increasing population relying on the city’s lifeline for their daily commute, the railway infrastructure continues to crumble.The incident of Elphinstone Road stampede on August 29 was the last thing a Mumbaikar expected. What made it worse was the inquiry report that absolved railway authorities and gave them a clean chit despite the death of 23 people.The railways, BMC, MMRDA and police authorities have now come together to sort out differences and build safer railway stations in Mumbai. However, senior railway officials confirmed on Saturday that they will struggle to meet the new Parel FOB deadline. We can expect this reunion to help build a better transport network but the question of accountability remains if no one is held responsible for the death of these 23 people.Accountability is important so that jobs are taken seriously. DNA speaks to a cross-section of residents to know if officials across departments need to be held responsible for their actions, especially when it is a matter of life and death.Former Railway Minister, Suresh Prabhu, had already sanctioned the file for the Elphinstone-Parel FOB. However, the lower level bureaucrats were negligent and delayed the process of floating tenders. The officials should be held responsible for their lackadaisical efforts and an FIR should be lodged immediately.—Irfan Machiwala, resident of Mahim.To be honest, it’s not that railway officials are corrupt, it is because we are still following the red tape culture of government processes. It is high time that the government starts implementing the culture of private organisation in their own system. To improve accountability, the government should sack officials who do not perform up to the mark.—Upendra Rai, resident of VirarI do not agree that the government or Railways are responsible for the FOB stampede. Everyone was in a rush. Instead of pushing each other, people could have waited calmly. Further, rumours about the bridge collapsing added to the chaos. Hence, I think the onus of the stampede is on the commuters. Infrastructure development in a crowded city like Mumbai will take time.—Karan Kateja, resident of KalyanThis mentality of blaming the government for lapses is not right. The common man, too, has to be alert and sensitive enough to understand the situation. The rumours spread by people that day was the main reason behind the stampede. The Railways need to upgrade their infrastructure so that they can provide adequate services to the ever-increasing number of commuters during peak hours. We cannot entirely blame the Railways, but we, too, have to be equally responsible for the tragedy.—Madhu Daswani, resident of BandraThe railways should take ownership of what has happened. Infrastructure across Railways is poor and there is no accountability despite several complaints. The shifting of blame game should stop and commuters should get the facilities that they pay for.—Uday Kulkarni, resident of VikhroliYes, railway authorities should also be blamed for the incident. It is their responsibility to provide better infrastructure for the commuters. Apart from this, sudden rains and rumours added to the bridge collapse tragedy. However, a commuter-friendly bridge would have caused less damage. Rather than limiting these projects to paper, implementing them could have saved lives. Proper planning as well as implementation is necessary.—Rohit Sawant, resident of ParelOfficials should be held responsible for their erroneous actions. They have time and money to clear projects like the Shivaji Maharaj statue in the Arabian sea but not enough time to complete pending projects. The tragedy could have been averted if pending projects were completed in time. Rumours like “the bridge has fallen” would have then not affected people and created panic that lead to the tragedy.—Imran Shaikh, resident of AndheriDue to the influx of commercial spaces in and around Elphinstone and Parel, the narrow width of the bridge was highlighted time and again. Despite this, officials turned a deaf ear to the needs of the commuters. Railway officials are equally responsible and action should be taken against them.—Homa Pouredehi, resident of Marine LinesEXPERT SPEAKIdeally, in such cases a third party should conduct an inquiry. However, in the Elphinstone Road stampede case the inquiry was conducted by railway officials themselves. Due to this, none of their fellow colleagues or offcials responsible for this mess were found guilty. We can expect justice only if inquires are conducted by third parties.—Madhu Kotian, president, Mumbai Rail Pravasi SanghIdeally, in such cases a third party should conduct an inquiry. However, in the Elphinstone Road stampede case the inquiry was conducted by railway officials themselves. Due to this, none of their fellow colleagues or offcials responsible for this mess were found guilty. We can expect justice only if inquires are conducted by third parties.—Madhu Kotian, president, Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh

NCLT can’t declare any builder insolvent

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After the bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) declared Amrapali and Jaypee as insolvent companies, the plight of home buyers, who are struggling for possession, has worsened. This insolvency declaration, among other things, has made Greater Noida Authority powerless in terms of intervention (from the home buyers side).Now, Greater Noida Authority has taken a decision of submitting a caveat — a notice, especially in a probate, that certain actions may not be taken without informing the person who gave the notice — to the NCLT. This would ensure that going forward NCLT cannot declare any real estate firm as insolvent without informing the Greater Noida Authority.This move is particularly pertinent in the current scheme of things. According to officials of the Greater Noida Authority, developers of several projects in the area are not paying their bank installments, and their dues.”There is a strong possibility that the banks shall soon file cases against the defaulting builders in the NCLT. As a safeguard these builders shall file insolvency petitions and a similar situation of helplessness will occur as Greater Noida Authority will then be rendered powerless.”We have a right to question the builders operating in our area and hence we are submitting this caveat per which NCLT shall have to hear our verdict against the builders before declaring their companies insolvent,” officials stated.Greater Noida Authority officials also backed their decision of caveat submission with the logic that since the land for real estate projects are granted by them they become answerable to the buyers.Bal Krishna Tripathi, additional chief executive officer of Greater Noida Authority, said that the authority is taking the help of legal experts. On August 10, the bank had moved NCLT to start insolvency proceedings against Amrapali Infrastructure, Silicon City and Ultra Homes under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

DMRC issues notice to Reliance over defunct street lights on Link Road

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) executing the Dahisar- DN Nagar Metro-2A corridor has issued a notice to Reliance Infrastructure alleging that street lights on Link Road are not functional on the stretch where the Metro construction work is ongoing leading to darkness on the road.The notice comes after public complaints about dark streets on Link Road as most of the street lights are not functional. The notice issued by DMRC to Reliance Infrastructure Limited, with the subject ‘repairing of street light poles between IC Colony at Borivli and Rushi Sankul on New Link Road,’ reads, “The street light poles between IC Colony at Borivli and Rushi Sankul on New Link Road are not working. There are a lot of public complaints of darkness in this portion. It is requested to get the street light poles working so that there is sufficient illumination in the area.”A DMRC official, said, “There were street lights on the median (centre) before the Metro work had started. Later, the contractor shifted the utilities and now it is the duty of Reliance to have the lights working in a proper condition. Our contractor has installed maximum lighting but it is not sufficient during night hours and many motorists have complained of no visibility.”However, Reliance Energy which is part of Reliance Infrastructure said that the light poles have been kept off.”The poles on the roadside have been kept off the network as overhead cables have been severed by miscreants during the day, to draw power illegally at night, creating a public safety hazard. We have filed an FIR with MHB Colony police station and have written to MCGM (BMC) to pay us 50% of the damage charges as a part of the agreement to take these poles into service. We will revert to the DMRC notice accordingly,” said Reliance Energy spokesperson that is part of Reliance Infrastructure.

200 schools await decision on fees

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as the 120 days that the Fee Regulatory Committee (FRC) was given to make their decision on the proposals on fee structure submitted by schools known closes to an end on Sunday (September 24), a major chunk of nearly 200 schools in the city are staring at uncertainty.A total of 252 schools from Ahmedabad had approached the FRC, which was formed under the Gujarat Self-Financed Schools (Regulation of Fees) Act, 2017, on May 4 with proposals justifying their respective fee. Self-financed schools across the state were asked to submit their proposal within 25 days and the FRC was directed to reach a decision on each of the proposal within 90 days of receiving them. However, till date, only 50 schools have received a definitive response from the FRC.Also, the Gujarat High Court’s order on more than 60 petitions filed by schools and other associations challenging the cap on school fees, is awaited. It may be noted that these petitioners are opposed to the fee regulation.It is believed that the FRC may not want to announce their decision when the High Court order is still pending.The upper limit of fees that private schools can charge has been fixed at Rs 15,000 for primary, Rs 25,000 for secondary and Rs 27,000 for higher secondary level through the Act.A gazette notification published on August 24 stated that the Gujarat government through a notification under the Gujarat Self-Financed Schools (Regulation of Fees) Act 2017 stipulated that the fee regulatory committee according to the new amendment will have 120 days to fix fees for schools. The government had earlier fixed a 90-day time frame to fix fees. The government had clearly stated that the fee regulatory committee will declare the new fee structure within 120 days from the date of proposal submission (it was 90 days under the earlier rule).Ajay Bhatt from the state Education Department said, “A total of 252 schools in the city had approached the FRC. While it 50 schools have received a decision, over 200 schools are expected to get a definitive answer soon.”A senior official with the department, requesting anonymity, said, “It is most likely that the FRC will not give its verdict till the High Court passes its order. While the schools that did not approach the HC do not have to wait for the order, certain observations by the court may have an implication for them. Hence, the FRC will want to wait.”FRC CRITERIA TO ALLOW HIKELocation of the school
Investment cost incurred on setup
Infrastructure, quality of education, facilities
Admin expenditure, maintenance of services and utilities
Excess fund generated from NRIs as part of charity
Student strength
Classes and courses of study offered
Qualification of teaching and non-teaching staff
Salary components and yearly increments of staff
Reasonable revenue surplus for development purposes, education and expansion

Cows to planes: Indian ministers who rewrote scientific history

The junior education minister is the latest official to claim unverified Indian scientific inventions.

Mumbai: Metro operator seek help from Mumbai Police after security staff goes on strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Carrying more than 3 lakh commuters daily, the Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) operating Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro-1 corridor has sought help from the Mumbai Police as security staff of the Maharashtra Security Force (MSF) went on strike Tuesday. The security staff from MSF have gone on strike demanding they be made permanent government employees from the current contract employees. The MSF is not staff recruited by MMOPL but by the state government and is also deployed by the state government for the security of Mumbai Metro.The MMOPL, however, said that due to the security staff of MSF going on strike it has sought assistance from the Mumbai Police including the state government and has also deployed its private security guards to secure the entry and exit points of the 12 Metro stations and depot at Andheri. MMOPL has maintained that no services of the Metro-1 were affected due to the MSF security staff going on strike. A MMOPL spokesperson said, “Today some MSF staff has not reported for duty without any notice. Keeping in mind the convenience and security of commuters, Mumbai Metro One promptly deployed the alternative arrangements. We have also apprised the issue to state govt., MMRDA and Mumbai Police for assistance.”The 11.40-km Metro is jointly owned by Reliance Infrastructure-led MMOPL and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).MMOPL, MMRDA, and Veolia Transport SA of France jointly own 69%, 26% and 5% stakes respectively.

Officials stumped when Raje asks names of 5 govt flagship schemes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief minister Vasundhara Raje got a shock of her life when she found that her party officials were unaware of the government schemes. Not even any five of the flagship schemes were on their fingertips. These schemes and benefits associated with them are ostensibly the vehicles the government is relying heavily on to win any voters. Reacting on the ignorance of the party Morcha heads, Raje questioned how the party would win the next elections if the party officials and representatives at the ground level are unaware of the flagship and welfare schemes of the government. CM Raje held a long meeting on Thursday with officials, Mandal and Morcha heads that continued for over five hours and concluded at 12.25 am at night. Besides the seven Morcha Jila presidents heads, 21 Mandal’s presidents, 24 district officials of the party, district party president Mahipat Singh Hada, Kota– Bundi MP Om Birla, local MLA Ashok Dogera, Bundi district minister in charge Srichand Kriplani, Babu Lal Verma and former party president were present in the meeting. Raje while taking feedback on the developmental works and implementation of government’s schemes, asked the Mandal presidents to count any five of the state government’s welfare schemes including the flagships ones and the BJP Mandal presidents failed to do so. ‘The Mandal presidents could not count the names of any five of the state government’s schemes,’ said a party official who was present in the meeting on condition of anonymity. The CM expressed surprise and questioned how the party would win the next elections in such a scenario, the party official added. Moreover, the district party officials expressed dissatisfaction over slowness and inactivity regarding Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in the district and claimed that Bundi city has only in papers secured name by grabbing 171th position in the list of 434 cities surveyed by union ministry of urban development and said ground reality is totally different.CM Raje on receiving feedback on works being carried out by Rajasthan Urban Infrastructure Development Project (RUIDP) in the urban areas, expressed displeasure and said RUIDP works have spoiled and destroyed the cities in the state and assured to find out other options to fix the problems.little progressMoreover, the district party officials expressed dissatisfaction over slowness and inactivity regarding Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in the district. CM Raje on receiving feedback on works being carried out and expressed displeasure & assured help.

Arunachal: Opposition Congress alleges embezzlement of Rs 10,000 crore by BJP govt; demands CBI probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Opposition Congress today alleged embezzlement of Rs 10,000 crore by the BJP government in Arunachal Pradesh and demanded a CBI probe into it.”The Pema Khandu-led government has embezzled funds to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore through Revised Estimate (RE) and Special Infrastructure Development Fund (SIDF) during 2016-17 and through composite schemes in 2017-18 financial year,” Arunachal Pradesh PCC president Takam Sanjoy told reporters here.Armed with an official letter written by Chief Secretary Shakuntala Doley Gamlin to Finance Commissioner Ashis Kundra recently, he alleged criminal conspiracies in embezzling government fund on the pretext of composite sanction by the government.Gamlin’s letter, a copy of which was made available to the press stated, stated The office memorandums ibid are violative of the doctrine of checks and balances and militate against the very principles of financial propriety and the basic tenets of financial prudence.”Therefore, it is imperative that the procedure laid out for financial year 2016-17 is reviewed urgently with a view to address the issues raised in this note,” it said.Sanjoy said that under composite sanction schemes of departments do not have any particular detailed project report (DPR) but sanctions were made for cluster of schemes in one file.”In such a situation how will one scrutinise schemes and who is the appropriate authority to go for expenditure sanction?” he asked.Sanjoy said, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, who is also the finance minister, passed all the composite schemes.Urging the governor, the prime minister and the president for initiating a CBI investigation into the embezzlement, he said that Khandu should own moral responsibility and resign as chief minister.He alleged that Khandu accompanied by Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju had recently met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi and requested him to immediately remove the chief secretary from the state.Congress he said would not “tolerate” such a step.”We will expose all the evil designs of the BJP government in the state before the people. The embezzlement formula is to capture pocket money for the BJP, share of which is being enjoyed by the central leadership of the party,” Sanjoy alleged and added that Congress has full proof of the scam.Lashing out at the Khandu government, Sanjoy alleged that 60 per cent of budgetary allocation went to two Tawang and Namsai districts which are represented by the chief minister and deputy chief minister.He also alleged that the law and order situation in Arunachal under BJP is fast deteriorating and people are living in fear.Sanjoy also criticized the Centre s beef ban policy saying that beef is an integral part of the food of tribal communities and demanded that it be lifted.

Govt gives nod to carry out devp work in unauthorised colonies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government on Wednesday approved a proposal allowing the Irrigation and Flood Control department to carry out development works in unauthorised colonies in addition to the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC).The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday. The move is intended to expedite development works in these colonies in the city.”The Delhi Cabinet, in its meeting, chaired by the chief minister approved the proposal of the Urban Development Department to entrust the development works in unauthorised colonies to Irrigation and Flood Control Department in addition to the DSIIDC,” the government said in its statement.At present, the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) is the only executing agency for carrying out civic projects, including constructing drains and roads in unauthorised colonies.It also stated that the finance department will provide additional funds to the executing agencies for development works. Last month, during the Monsoon session of the Delhi Assembly, several MLAs had complained that there had been a delay in executing civic projects in all 1,700 unauthorised colonies in their respective constituencies.Responding to legislators’ complaints, Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain had then said the government had made a plan to allow the Flood and Irrigation department to look after development works in such colonies along with the DSIIDC.

UP: Adityanath, Rajnath jointly flag off Lucknow Metro, services open to public from Aug 6

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday jointly flagged off 8.5 km stretch of the first phase of metro train in Lucknow.Addressing the gathering at the inaugural ceremony of the Lucknow Metro, Adityanath said, “The wait for travelling in the Lucknow Metro is over. The services will be opened for the public use from tomorrow. The metro service will help reduce air pollution in the state capital in the long run, will contribute to savings in terms of money and time for the passengers.”Adityanath further averred it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi government at the Centre which contributed the bulk of the funds to the project.”The UP Government is working on the lines of Prime Minister Modi to fulfil his every dream for the betterment and development of country. I am thankful to the whole team who made the Lucknow Metro project a reality. I am grateful to Governor Ram Naik, who inspires me to work tirelessly,” he said.Adityanath also apprised that the Government is planning to bring the metro in at least seven other cities in Uttar Pradesh.”We are planning to bring the metro in Kanpur, Agra, Varanasi, Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Jhansi and Meerut also,” the UP Chief Minister mentioned.Rs. 6,00,080 crore have been spent in the Lucknow Metro Project.”We have spent overall Rs. 6,00,080 crore in the construction of the Lucknow Metro. The amount of Rs. 13,000 crore was given by the Indian Government, Rs. 278 crore was spent by the UP Government and Rs. 3,502 was spent by the European Investment bank,” informed Adityanath.Expressing his happiness over the inauguration of the first Lucknow Metro, Rajnath Singh asserted that the dream of smart city has started with the metro and the dream of the Smart City will be fulfilled soon.”Today is a historic day not only for Lucknow, but for the entire Uttar Pradesh. Lucknow ?Metro Ka Shehar? will bring new opportunities for the city,” he said.”Whenever we think of infrastructure we look towards future. Infrastructure should cater to the need of the next 10-15 years,” he added.Singh has dedicated the Metro project to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and thanked Prime Minister Modi for the same.Metro Man E. Sreedharan, MP Kaushal Kishore, Cabinet Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Hardeep Singh Puri, Swati Singh, Basic Education Minister Anupama Jaiswal and Suresh Rana marked their presence at the inaugural ceremony.

Lord Ram’s arrows were like ISRO’s rockets: Vijay Rupani

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani today equated ISRO’s rockets with the arrows of Lord Ram, saying the Hindu deity had done in the past what the space agency was doing now.Invoking the Ramayana, Rupani also praised Ram for his “engineering skills” by having a bridge, the mythological ‘Ram Setu’, constructed between India and Sri Lanka, “with the help of the engineers of that era”.”Each arrow of Lord Ram was a missile. What ISRO is doing right now (launching rockets), Lord Ram used to launch in those days,” the chief minister said while addressing the first convocation ceremony of the Institute of Infrastructure Technology Research and Management(IITRAM), located in Maninagar area, yesterday.Tapan Misra, Director of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s Space Application Centre, was also present at the event.IITRAM is an autonomous university established by the Gujarat government.Rupani said, “If we link infrastructure with Lord Ram, imagine what kind of engineers he had at that time to build that Ram Setu bridge between India and Sri Lanka. Even squirrels contributed in building that bridge. It was Lord Ram’s imagination which was realised by the engineers of that era.”The BJP leader went on to pick more examples from the mythological text to connect to the modern era.According to the chief minister, Hanuman carrying an entire mountain to bring a cure for Lakshman was a story of “infrastructure development”, while Ram eating berries tasted by Shabari was “social engineering”.”When Lord Hanuman could not pick up the right herb which can cure Lakshman, he brought the entire mountain. We wonder what kind of technology existed back then which facilitated the shifting of the mountain. This is also a story of infrastructure development,” he said.”Not just developing weapons and infrastructure, Lord Ram also did social engineering. He brought people from all castes and communities together. By eating berries offered by Shabri, he won trust of adivasis (tribals). Imagine bringing together Sugreev, Hanuman and the army of monkeys, it was social engineering by Lord Ram.”

J&K students disrupt event after tricolour was hoisted

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Students went on a rampage torching tents and disrupting the Jammu and Kashmir Police-sponsored sports festival after a tricolour was unfurled at the venue in the Government Boys Degree College in South Kashmir’s Anantnag on Wednesday.The police have registered a case, however, no one has been arrested so far. The incident occurred when an inaugural T-20 cricket match was being played in the grounds of Boys Degree College Anantnag.Sources said when the tricolour was unfurled, some students shouted slogans and pelted stones on the cops disrupting the match.Later they went around the ground and set the tent on fire and damaged other infrastructure including the stage in the college.Panic gripped the campus after students pelted stones on the police and shouted pro freedom slogans. Police used lathi charge and lobbed smoke shells to quell the mob which pelted stones on the fire tenders who had come to douse the flames.Under pressure the police later brought the situation under control and conducted the sports festival without any hindrance.”The T-20 cricket match, karate, wushu, tug of war were all played in the festival which was conducted without any

PM asks CEOs to partner with govt for New India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday addressed over 200 young CEOs and corporate leaders at the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra and exhorted them to become soldiers of development and partner with the government to make India a cashless society.“You are my team, and we need to work together to take India forward,” the PM told the CEOs, as he also appreciated the ideas put together by the CEOs in their presentations to the CMs last week.This was the PM’s second address in the ‘Champions of Change — Transforming India through G2B partnership’ series organised by the Niti Aayog.Six groups of young CEOs made presentations before the PM on themes such as Make in India, Doubling Farmers’ Income, World Class Infrastructure, Cities of Tomorrow, Reforming the Financial Sector, and New India by 2022.In his address, the PM spoke about various initiatives taken by his government after coming to power. He spoke about decisions taken for urea availability and production — such as gas price pooling, remuneration for excess production etc.INVOKES GANDHIPM Modi urged the young entrepreneurs to make India’s growth a mass movement
In the same spirit as what Mahatma did for the freedom struggle, we need to make India’s growth a mass movement, he said.

Govt plans to abolish physical police verification for passports

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The physical police verification for getting a passport will soon be a thing of the past as the government plans to connect the service with a robust national database of crimes and criminals that will check the antecedents of applicants at the click of a mouse.Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems Project (CCTNS) is expected to link with the passport service of the Ministry of External Affairs and it will replace physical police verification for passport applicants with online verification in a year.”Police in some states are already using CCTNS for passport credentials. Police will be given hand held devices to go to an applicant’s address and his or her details will be uploaded with the network. It will minimise contact with police and reduce time,” he told reporters here.Mehrishi was speaking after Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched a digital police portal under the CCTNS project, which aims to create a national database of crimes and criminals and connect country’s all 15,398 police stations with it. He said with the port, mandate of the CCTNS has been expanded by incorporating citizen centric services tenant verification, which could be done with the consent of the person being verified, quick registration of FIR in any crime and connecting the network with criminal justice delivery system.Asked about the safety of the database, the home secretary said possibility of hacking was always there but enough safeguards have been put in place and the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre has been roped in for the task. The home minister said the digital police portal will provide citizens, facility for online complaint registration and request for antecedent verification.”The police portal will provide 11 searches and 46 reports from the national database for state police and central investigation agencies. Central investigating and research agencies have also been provided logins to the digital police database to access crime statistics,” he said after launching the portal. Singh said the CCTNS has enabled 13,775 out of 15,398 police stations to enter 100 per cent data into the software.He said as of now the CCTNS national database has around 7 crore data records pertaining to past and current criminal cases. Singh said the CCTNS project will help in realising the Prime Minister Narenda Modi’s dream of ‘Minimum Government Maximum Governance’. A home ministry official said the CCTNS will facilitate pan-India search on complete national crime and criminal database that is accessible to the investigating officers throughout the country.The CCTNS project will interconnect about 15,398 police stations and additional 5,000 offices of supervisory police officers across the country and digitise data related to FIR registration, investigation and charge sheets in all police stations. The project has been extended by the government for one year till March 2018.The one-year extension will help the government to comprehensively achieve the remaining goals of the CCTNS, which was conceived by the former Home Minister P Chidambaram when the UPA was in power. With a total budget of Rs 2,000 crore, a sum of Rs 1,550 crore has been spent till 2016-17. The inter-operable criminal justice system aims to integrate the CCTNS project with e-courts and e-prison data bases in the first instance and with the other pillars of the criminal justice system, another official said.The integration will be achieved by providing access to the judiciary, police and prisons through a desktop dashboard to facilitate expeditious and informed decisions and aid investigations. The full implementation of the project with all the new components would lead to a central citizen portal having linkages with state-level citizen portals that will provide a number of citizen-friendly services, the official said. These include services like police verification for various purposes like issuance of passport, reporting a crime and online tracking of the case progress, online reporting of grievances against police officials, accessing victim compensation fund and legal services etc.

Despite increase in ridership, Metro-1 incurring loss

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BEST buses are not the only loss-making public transport system in the city, data obtained by DNA under Right To Information (RTI) Act, reveal that despite a steady increase in ridership, Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro-1 corridor is facing a huge revenue deficit and is running in losses with the operator spending more than double the amount compared to the income.Reliance Infrastructure-led Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL)’s expenditure to operate Metro-1 stood at about Rs 1,500 crore between June 2014 and June 2017. However, the latter could merely earn about Rs 640 crore in the form of ticketing and non-ticketing revenue in that period.In a RTI reply dated August 10, 2017, MMOPL revealed its gross income via ticketing revenue between June 2014 and June 2017 stands at Rs 5,79,71,45,418 crore followed by Rs 66,42,30,629 crore through non-ticketing revenue between the same period.The reply further revealed that the gross expenditure for the operation of Metro-1 in that period stood at Rs 15,72,70,47,735 crore, which means it is spending more than double the amount compared to its income through ticketing and otherwise.Non-ticketing revenue of Metro-1 is via real estate at the station as in renting of space to a third party for commercial operations or allowing a third party to conduct film or advertisement shooting inside Metro stations.One of the reasons anticipated behind the loss could be its daily ridership, according to the detailed project report (DPR) available on Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) website, it was anticipated that Metro-1 would carry 4.28 lakh commuters per day by 2011 followed by 6.65 lakh by 2021 and 8.83 lakh by 2031.But Metro-1’s record ridership announced last month stood at 3.8 lakh commuters on July 17, 2017 followed by 3.71 lakh on June 28, 2017, and on September 21, 2016, it had carried 3.68 lakh commuters.The Metro-1 corridor is the eight densest Metro corridor in the world with 12 Metro stations. It is the first Metro corridor constructed on public private partnership (PPP) model in India in which MMOPL has 69 per cent stakes followed by 26 per cent stakes of MMRDA and 5 per cent of Veolia.FARE FIXATIONSince the inception of Metro-1, MMOPL and MMRDA are tangled in court case over increase of fares to avoid losses for the mass transit system.
Fare fixation committee set up by the state government had also recommended a fare of Rs 10-110, up from the current Rs 10-40.

PM to lay foundation stone of Zojila Tunnel: JK BJP chief

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of the Zojila tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir after August 15, state BJP chief Sat Sharma said today. The project aims at providing all-weather connectivity between Kashmir valley and Ladakh, which remains cut-off from the rest of the world during winters due to heavy snowfall. Zojila pass is situated at an altitude of 11,578-ft on Srinagar-Kargil-Leh National Highway which remains closed during winters (December to April) due to heavy snowfall and avalanches cutting off Leh-Ladakh region from Kashmir. The prime minster is very focused for the development of this frontier district, Sharma said at a function in Kargil to mark three years of the NDA government. IL&FS Transportation, which won the tender for Zojila tunnel project in re-bidding, had said on July 28 that it has emerged as the lowest bidder for Rs 4,899 crore Zojila pass tunnel. On March 1 last year, the Road Transport and Highways Ministry had ordered re-bidding for the project awarded to IRB Infrastructure. Sharma, while thanking PM Modi and Union Minster for Surface Transport Nitin Gadkari, requested the Centre for ensuring the completion of the Zojila Tunnel, a long pending demand of the locals, at the earliest so that Kargil could also flourish like other parts of the country. The BJP’s state unit chief, however, expressed dissatisfaction over the reach of flagship schemes of the NDA government in Kargil and there proper implementation. Sharma said schemes should reach to every nook and corner of the country particularly in this frontier district which remains cut off for more than six months.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Delhi flood & irrigation dept may carry out works in

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain today said the AAP government has planned to carry out development works in unauthorised colonies through the Flood and Irrigation Department. Replying to a question in the House, Jain said at present, only, the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) carries out civic projects in unauthorised colonies across the city. “The government has made a plan to allow the Flood and Irrigation department to look after development works in around 1,700 unauthorised colonies along with the DSIIDC,” Jain told the House during the Question Hour. The reply comes after some MLAs complained that there has been a delay in executing development works in unauthorised colonies in their constituencies. The minister also said developmental works have been affected due to the delay in regularisation of unauthorised colonies by the Centre. Jain also asked BJP MLA Jagdish Pradhan, who said that around 99 per cent of colonies are unauthorised in his constituency, to take up the issue of regularisation of all colonies in Delhi with the central government.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Puducherry govt focussing on infrastrcuture improvement: CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister V Narayanasamy today said his government was concentrating on providing improved infrastructure facilities like roads. Rise in population coupled with the increase in vehicles and density of traffic prompted the government to revisit the infrastructure facilities, he said. He was speaking after inaugurating a Road Over Bride on the 100 Feet Road here, built at a cost of Rs 35.72 crore. The project was sanctioned by the Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry. The Chief Minister said a similar road over bridge was now being developed at the Arumpathapuram level crossing in Puducherry-Villupuram route.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

DIAL wins prestigious award for excellence in cost mgmt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) has secured first place under the category of Infrastructure and Construction Services in the 14th National Award for Excellence in Cost Management awarded by the Institute of Cost Accountants of India. The award ceremony was held in New Delhi earlier this week.The award was conferred by Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy, Manoj Sinha, Union Minister of State for Railways, and Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs.Commenting on the win, DIAL CEO I Prabhakara Rao said: “This award is a testimony to our continued effort to be a cost-conscious organisation. It is also a recognition of our effort in areas such as efficient use of tech, on-time performance, shorter aircraft holding and taxiing times, and lower security check times. DIAL is driven by innovation, operational efficiency, and customer-centricity. We have adopted innovative and cost-effective initiatives, such as Collaborative Decision Making. As we go along, we will ensure strong and sustainable delivery of efficient cost management system.”DIAL participated in these awards for the first time in 2016. Last year, DIAL was selected for Good Performance Award under the category of ‘Private–Service Sector (Large)’ in 13th edition of these awards.

Indo-US bonhomie continues: PM Modi and Trump share ‘impromptu chat’ at G20 summit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As G20 leaders continued their Summit discussions for the second day here today, US President Donald Trump today walked up to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “an impromptu interaction”.Arvind Panagariya, sherpa for India at the Summit, tweeted about the “interaction”, along with pictures of the two leaders and others just before start of the second day of working sessions of the G20 Summit ending today. “In an impromptu interaction at the G20 Summit, POTUS (President of the US) waves to the PM, walks to him, other leaders gather around. Gr8 moments,” Panagariya tweeted.He further described the interaction as “some memorable moments just before the second day of the G20 Summit begins”. Panagariya, also the vice-chairman of government think- tank Niti Aayog, is representing India in the negotiations for the leaders’ communique. Besides a series of bilateral meetings, Modi had brief chats with various leaders at the Summit, including with IMF chief Christine Lagarde and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
ALSO READ G20 Summit: PM Modi slams Pakistan, calls international response to terror ‘weak’Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited Norwegian pension funds to invest in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund as he met Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who gifted him a symbolic football.
ALSO READ Game, set and match always: PM Modi and Justin Trudeau bond over Indo-Canada tennis successContinuing his series of bilateral meetings here on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, Modi also met South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Italy’s Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni. He held a bilateral meeting with President of Argentina Mauricio Macri.Modi congratulated in person Moon on his victory in presidential elections while the South Korean President recalled the prime minister’s congratulatory phone call and tweet in Korean language, saying it was warmly received by the people of South Korea.PM Modi with Norway PM Erna Solberg (MEA Twitter Handle)Both leaders expressed their commitment to further develop the special strategic partnership between India and South Korea, particularly through participation in programmes such as Make in India, Digital India and Start up India, the Ministry or External Affairs said.The prime minister invited President Moon to visit India at an early date. The invitation was accepted, the MEA said.Modi’s discussions with Italy’s Prime Minister Gentiloni focused on promoting bilateral relations, particularly trade and investment and people-to-people ties.Prime Minister Modi invited Italy’s participation in World Food India – the food processing exhibition to be held in India in November this year.The two leaders stressed on the significance of promoting interaction between medium enterprises of the two countries for strengthening bilateral economic cooperation. The prime minister of Italy appreciated Indian investments in his country, including in the industrial sector.The two also discussed ways and means to work together for providing sustainable solutions to prevent climate change and promote development in Africa.Modi and Solberg discussed bilateral matters, especially strengthening of economic relations. Prime Minister Modi invited participation of Norwegian pension funds in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund.The prime minister of Norway invited India to participate in the Oceans’ Conference on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA). In a gesture symbolising cooperation for attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Prime Minister Solberg presented to Prime Minister Modi, at the end of the meeting, a football with SDGs inscribed on it.Yesterday, Modi held bilaterals with Japan’s Shinzo Abe and Canada’s Justin Trudeau.

PM-Modi-discusses-bilateral-relations-with-S.-Korea,-Italy,-Norway

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday held discussion with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. During the meeting, both leaders expressed their commitment to further develop the special strategic partnership between India and South Korea, particularly through participation in programmes such as ?Make in India?, ?Digital India? and ?Start up India?. Prime Minister Modi also extended an invitation to President Moon to visit India, which the latter accepted. Prime Minister Modi also held discussions with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentolini and Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg. The Indian and Italian leaders focussed on promoting bilateral relations, particularly trade and investment and people-to-people ties. Prime Minister Modi invited Italy’s participation in World Food India – the food processing exhibition to be held in India in November this year. The two leaders stressed on the significance of promoting interaction between medium enterprises of the two countries for strengthening bilateral economic cooperation. The Prime Minister of Italy appreciated Indian investments in his country, including in industrial sector. The two leaders also discussed ways and means to work together for providing sustainable solutions to prevent climate change and promote development in Africa. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi and the Prime Minister Solberg discussed bilateral matters, especially strengthening of economic relations. The Indian leader invited participation of Norwegian pension funds in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund. Prime Minister Solberg on his part invited India to participate in the Oceans’ Conference on the sidelines of the UNGA. In a gesture symbolising cooperation for attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Prime Minister Solberg presented to Prime Minister Modi, at the end of the meeting, a football with SDGs inscribed on it.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NGT orders status quo on Basai wetland in Gurugram

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal today stayed the work on a waste treatment plant, being built in the catchment area of Basai wetland in Gurugram, after noting its adverse impact on the water body. A bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim passed the order after the counsel for Haryana government undertook before the tribunal that it would maintain “status quo” on the construction site till July 27, the next date of hearing. During the hearing, the tribunal was informed that the boundary wall of the plant, being developed by IL and FS Environmental Infrastructure and Services Ltd, was adjacent to the rich biodiversity of bird species. The Haryana government, however, said that the area was a not a notified wetland. The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by NGO Delhi Bird Foundation seeking a stay on the project contending that the Basai wetland, though not declared as a wetland under the Wetland (Conservation & Management) Rules, 2010, was a valuable water body. “The construction and debris plant which is under process of establishment shall have an adverse impact upon the water body due to various activities connected with the plant,” the plea had said. The plant, according to the Gurugram municipal corporation, will be spread over 3.5 acres of land and process 500 tonnes of waste a day. The NGT had earlier issued notices to the the environment ministry, the Haryana government, the Gurugram municipal corporation and the IL and FS Environmental Infrastructure and Services Ltd after the NGO alleged that the Basai wetland was in a critical condition due to the project.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CS appointment triggers major bureaucratic reshuffle in state

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Whenever a new chief secretary is appointed in the state, a list of IAS transfers is issued subsequently. This tradition was not broken on Friday too when along with the appointment of Ashok Jain as the new CS, the state government transferred 18 IAS officers in a mjor but important overhaul.ACS Infrastructure DB Gupta, who was said to be one of the prime contenders for the topmost post, has been made the head of the finance department & excise and tax department. There was no order by the department of personnel (DoP) till the last reporting over future of current principal secretary PS Mehra but sources said that he is likely to be shifted to state Election Commission where the post of Commissioner is lying vacant.As per orders, Rajhans Upadhyay has been posted as additional chief secretary of higher, technical and Sanskrit education department and school education while Om Prakash Saini has been made the chairman of Rajasthan Civil Service Appellate Tribunal. Mukesh Sharma is named additional chief secretary Urban Development and Housing Department who will work in coordination with departments of energy, public health and engineering and groundwater.Khemraj Choudhary was shunted out from Rajasthan Tax Board and made ACS Revenue. In the PHED department, now the charge goes to Rajat Kumar Mishra who was till now heading labour department. He has replaced JC Mohanty who has now been moved as ACS in the social justice and empowerment department which fell vacant after the elevation of Ashok Jain as Chief Secretary.Principal Secretary Revenue, Alok has been now tasked with Public Works Department (PWD). Rohit Kumar is now principal secretary of rural development, state mission along with commissioner EGS. T Ravikanth who was awaiting posting orders has now been made secretary to the labour department. Other transferred officers with new portfolio include home secretary Manish Chouhan and education special secretary Ashfaq Hussain.LUCKY JAIN SAINT & HIS BLESSINGSNewly appointed chief secretary, Ashok Jain had recently sought the blessings of Jain Muni Sudhasagar Maharaj when he called on the Jain saint at a temple situated in Sanganer area. The saint blessed him saying the almighty fulfil his dreams. Now, Jain has become chief secretary of Rajasthan, the largest state of the country geographically. Recently, chief minister Vasundhara Raje too had been to the temple and sought blessings of the Jain saint.WILL THE NEW CS GET AN EXTENSION?With the appointment of Ashok Jain as chief secretary, the power corridors have already started buzzing about whether he will get an extension or the state government will find a new chief secretary soon. Jain’s service period will be nearly seven months as he retires in January, 2018. This will be the shortest duration for a CS compared to his previous three predecessors, OP Mina, CS Rajan and Rajiv Mehrishi.—Yuvraj Shrimal

From smart buses to toilets, city gets projects worth Rs 500 crore

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Urban Development and Local Self Government minister Srichand Kriplani laid the foundation and launched 11 projects worth nearly Rs500 crore on the second anniversary of Jaipur Smart City Mission, Hridya Yojna and AMRUT mission on Tuesday.Kriplani ordered officials to complete these projects before model code of conduct for Vidhan Sabha elections comes into force next year. The order surprised officials who tried to convince Kriplani that some of the projects have a deadline in 2019 but Kriplani did not listen and said that the projects should be inaugurated before the Assembly polls.On the occasion, Cabinet ministers Kalicharan Saraf, Arun Chaturvedi, mayor Ashok Lahoti, MP Ramcharan Bohra, MLAs Surendra Pareek, Mohan Lal Gupta along with deputy mayor and LSG and Directorate of Local Bodies top officials were also present. Kriplani laid foundation and inaugurated projects digitally.Spanish company Eptisa Servicious De Inginieria SL is the Project Management Consultant for Jaipur Smart City and is the solution architect responsible for the concept, design, planning and rolling out of 12, projects that were inaugurated by UDH minister.Under the Smart Road project, infrastructure work would be carried out in Kishanpol Bazaar, Gangauri Bazaar, Chandpol Bazaar, Tripoliya Bazaar, Sirahdyodi Bazaar, Subhash Chowk, Jorawar Singh Gate, Johari Bazaar, Chaura Rasta and Bapu Bazaar. Besides, revitalization work would be done in Ajmer Gate, Sanganeri Gate and Khande in Badi Chaupar and Chhoti Chaupar.While laying foundation of Rs46 crore Smart Road (Digital Solution) project, Kriplani said Smart Lights would be installed on heritage poles in the major markets of city and Smart Parking facility would also be set up. Cameras would be installed.COPS DETAIN CONG COUNCILLORSCongress councillors staged demonstration at the event protesting against lack of sanitation and event invitations not given to them. Led by deputy leader Dharm Singhania they sat on dharna outside Smart City office and raised slogans against UDH minister and mayor. At the time of flagging off new low floor buses, the police forcibly detained agitating councillors.SOME PROJECTSSmart Classrooms in 15 government schools in Walled City worth Rs90 lakh
Smart toilets to be built at 50 places in city worth Rs4 crore
Smart Road (Infrastructure Work) Project worth Rs146 crore
Smart Road (Digital Solution) Project worth Rs46 crore
Solar Rooftop Project to produce 250 kw power worth Rs6.50 crore

Hosp railing collapse: Vishwajit Rane asks for necessary steps

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days after a woman was injured when the metal railing of the South Goa district hospital came crashing down on her, state Health Minister Vishwajit Rane today inspected the building and directed officials concerned to take appropriate steps. The incident occurred last week when the railing from the second floor fell on the 30-year-old woman, who had come to visit a patient admitted in this hospital in Margao. “I have inspected the building and asked the officials to cordon off the part (of the building) which is in a dilapidated state,” Rane told reporters here today. The officials of the Goa Infrastructure Development Corporation accompanied the minister during the visit. The South Goa district hospital, currently located in the Portuguese-era building, is expected to be shifted to the new premises in December. “All steps are taken to ensure safety of the patients and people visiting this hospital,” he said. Meanwhile, Rane ordered closure of the kidney dialysis unit, being operated by a private firm, located on the second floor of the building. He also directed the authorities to dispose of the unclaimed dead bodies which are lying in the hospital morgue, at the earliest. “Due to these bodies, there is no additional space in the morgue,” he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

IDCO notice to IOC to affect Odisha industrialisation: Pradhan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan today said that Odisha government’s show cause notice to the IOC’s refinery at Paradip would affect industrialisation in the state. “It is like hitting one’s own leg. The state government’s activities will adversely affect the ongoing industrialisation activities in Odisha,” Pradhan said. He was speaking to reporters on Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) serving a show cause notice to IOC’s Paradip Refinery Project, asking it to explain its stand on alleged violation of land lease deed and allocation of terms and conditions. The notice alleged that IOC was thwarting local people from using an approach road connecting NH-5 to IOCL plant site crossing Kujang road. Pradhan, however, rejected the allegation. “It was an after thought of some officers who work for their vested interest and not for the development of the state. The issue was not raised earlier at the RPDAC (Rehabilitation and Periphery Development Advisory Committee) meeting. The local people have no objection.” Ruling BJD chief whip Amar Prasad Satpathy said that IDCO has been working as per law. He said, “IDCO has every right to raise objection when provisions of the land agreement is violated. It is wrong to prevent or criticise any agency which implements law.” When contacted, IOC officials said that they would react to the IDCO’s notice after getting copy of the letter.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

PM Modi meets Chinese President Xi Jinping, discusses bilateral relations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Astana on the sidelines of the 17th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit and discussed bilateral relations where the latter pointed out that the international environment was undergoing profound and complex changes. Prime Minister Modi said that India and China were ancient civilisations with a long-standing friendship. “Against the backdrop of complex and volatile international situation, the sound India-China relations can serve as a stabiliser. The two sides should tap into the potential for cooperation, bolster communication and coordination in international affairs, respect each other’s core concerns and properly handle differences,? he asserted. The Prime Minister further said that India appreciates China’s support for its accession to the SCO and wishes to strengthen cooperation with China under the SCO framework. President Jinping congratulated India on its expected official membership of the SCO and stated China’s willingness to strengthen cooperation with India under the SCO framework and jointly make positive contribution to its sound and steady development. President Jinping said China and India, as the two largest developing countries in the world, should focus more on cooperation, advance side by side, lend support to each other’s development, uphold world peace and promote common development. ?China highly values its relations with India and wishes to work together to enhance political mutual trust, complement development strategies, deepen practical cooperation, maintain coordination and cooperation on major international and regional issues and push for the sustained, steady and sound development of China-India strategic and cooperative partnership,? he added. President Jinping asserted that the two sides should work for closer high-level and institutional exchanges, strengthen strategic communication and synergise their policies. ?The two countries should also enhance trade and investment cooperation for more early harvests in such major projects as production capacity, industrial parks and railway construction. Efforts should be made to promote regional connectivity and common development, align development initiatives, push for substantial progress in the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor at an early date and enhance cooperation under the framework of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank,? he added. President Jinping said that it is also imperative to step up communication in terms of localities, think tanks, culture, media and tourism, strengthen communication and coordination in multilateral field to properly manage and handle differences and sensitive issues.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Work allocation for sea memorial in 10 days

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state government will decide on allocating work on the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj memorial in the Arabian Sea in around 10 days. Work on the statue, which will be the world’s tallest, is expected to start in October.MLC Vinayak Mete, who heads the committee monitoring the project, said three infrastructure majors had bid for it. While Reliance Infrastructure lost in the technical evaluation, Afcons and L&T had quoted Rs 4,779 crore and Rs 3,826 crore respectively for the first stage.”We had estimated the first stage to cost Rs 2,300 crore but the lowest bid is at a much higher cost of Rs 3,826 crore. Hence, we have asked PWD officials and our consultants to examine the reasons for this discrepancy. If L&T agrees to negotiate, the project can be awarded to them,” said Mete.Mete said a decision about the project was likely to be taken in around 10 days. If the project is awarded to the lowest bidder, work is expected to start after the monsoon season.The Shivaji Maharaj statue, which has a 36-month completion period, will come up on a 15.96 hectare rocky basalt outcrop in the Arabian Sea 1.2 km south west of Raj Bhawan. The state government wants the statue to be the tallest in the world by rising it to a staggering 210 meters against the proposed 192 meters. This may push up the costs from the present estimate of Rs 3,700 crore for the two phases.It will have landscaped gardens, two jetties, library, helipad, medical amenities, amphitheatre and a museum.

Delhi govt widens scope of MLA welfare find for SC/ST communities

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to improve the facilities for the SC/ST community, the Delhi government on Thursday has widened the scope of the developmental work that can take place in various areas. The decision was approved in the Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday.Till now, the SC/ST welfare fund could only be used for issues like development of toilets, drainage system, roads etc. But now, the fund can be used for almost 27 issues like construction of libraries, gymnasium, dispensary, hostels for working women, installation of CCTV cameras and development of parks. The government has allocated Rs 50 crore for these developmental activities.”These Rs 50 crore have been lying unused for quite some time. We have been reviewing it and then we realised that there is a need to upgrade the facilities in the area. Earlier, one could direct the funds in only five activities but now it can be used in 27 activities,” said Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.The move will cover around 5,500 blocks in the national capital and this fund can be used by MLAs in the areas where the SC/ST population is more than 33 per cent. According to sources, the move will benefit a large number of residents who have been deprived of these additional facilities.The Delhi government said it will tweak the budget as and when it is required.According to officials, only the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (DSIIDC) or the Flood Control and Irrigation Departments could take up work using the welfare fund, which is around Rs 50 crore in the current financial year.

Embracing an infra boom, but still a lot to do

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Infrastructure has emerged as one of the prominent focus areas for the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre. In the last three years, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has ventured into several new projects spanning diverse ministries. Many of these projects are expected to be completed within the next two years, just as the government finishes its tenure.The government’s attention on the infrastructure sector is evident in the decisions taken during the Union Cabinet meeting held on May 17. Several major projects, including highways and railways, were given a nod during the meet.In addition, last month, the Prime Minister held a meeting with senior officials of the infrastructure-related ministries and Niti Aayog, wherein he directed them to adhere to the deadlines and ensure better coordination among the ministries.DNA lists some of the government’s major achievements in the infrastructure sector.Highways/bridgesThe government is confident that by August 15 this year, the Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPH) would be ready for inauguration. The 135km access-controlled highway, passing through Kondli, Ghaziabad, and Palwal, will decongest Delhi by up to 50 per cent by diverting the traffic headed to other states.The Chenani-Nashri tunnel on the Jammu-Kashmir highway, which cuts short the time taken to cover the distance between the two regions by two hours, was inaugurated last month. The 9.15km Dhola-Sadiya bridge over the Brahmaputra river in Assam near the China border will be inaugurated by Modi on May 26. Longest in India, this bridge will amp up the defence arrangements on the Indo-China border.Other important projects in the pipeline include the Chenab Bridge and the Zojila Pass Tunnel.AviationIn the last three years, India’s aviation sector has jumped from the seventh to third position globally. One of the most important achievements of the Modi government has been the launch of UDAN — a first-of-its kind low-budget scheme to stimulate regional connectivity. The outstanding scheme ensures that tier-3 and tier-4 towns, which were not a part of the aviation sector earlier, are connected.Besides, within a year, as many as 33 new airports came up in the country. Also, India will soon have a ‘no-fly’ list for unruly passengers. The list will have names recommended by not just the security agencies but also people who witness any misbehaviour in the air. For repeat offenders, the duration of the ban will be doubled.ShippingThe cargo-handling capacity of the country’s ports has gone up from 744.91 metric tonnes per annum (MTPA) in 2013 to 1,065 MTPA in 2017. Besides, the government has launched the Sagarmala programme, which looks at port modernisation, new port development, enhancement of port connectivity, and industrialisation of the coastal community. The project also looks at promoting cruise tourism.Another major project commissioned by the government is the Jal Marg Vikas Project, which will augment the capacity of the National Waterway-1 (River Ganga) from Haldia to Varanasi, by facilitating navigation of 1,500-2,000T ships. It will include construction of multi-modal terminals at Varanasi, Sahibganj, and Haldia, and new navigational lock at Farakka.

Manesar land PMLA case: ED raids Jt Secretary in Delhi, others

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ED today raided 10 locations in Delhi and Haryana, including residence of an IAS officer serving in the Union government here, in connection with its money laundering probe in the Rs 1,500- crore alleged illegal land acquisition in Gurgaon’s Manesar. Several farmers and land owners are alleged to have been cheated in this case, in which former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is one of the accused. The ED teams swooped down on various premises of at least eight people, including a retired IAS officer, in Panchkula, Gurgaon, Chandigarh and the official residence of IAS officer Rajeev Arora in New Moti Bagh area in Lutyens’ Delhi. Arora, a 1987-batch Haryana cadre Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, has served as the Managing Director of the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (HSIIDC) between 2005-2011. At present, he is serving as a Joint Secretary in the Union Labour ministry on central deputation. When contacted by(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

DA case against HP CM: LIC agent Anand Chauhan moves bail plea

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>LIC agent Anand Chauhan today moved a special court here seeking bail in a disproportionate assets case filed by CBI against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and others. Special Judge Virender Kumar Goyal posted the matter for arguments on May 29, the next date of hearing, when he will also take up the bail applications of 82-year-old Congress leader, his wife Pratibha Singh and other accused persons. Chauhan, arrested by Enforcement Directorate (ED) on July 9 last year in a separate money laundering case filed in relation to the present matter, is currently in judicial custody in that case. On May 29, the court will also hear arguments on the bail plea of other accused persons — Universal Apple Associate owner Chunni Lal Chauhan, stamp paper vendor Joginder Singh Ghalta, Managing Director of Tarani Infrastructure Vakamulla Chandrasekhar and co-accused Lawan Kumar Roach, Prem Raj and Ram Prakash Bhatia, who were chargesheeted by CBI for alleged offences including criminal conspiracy, forgery and graft. The court had on May 8 summoned them after taking cognisance of the charge sheet filed by the CBI. The CBI charge sheet, running into over 500 pages and containing 442 documents and the depositions of around 225 witnesses, has claimed that Singh had amassed assets worth around Rs 10 crore which were disproportionate to his total income during his tenure as a Union Minister. The matter was transferred by the Supreme Court to the Delhi High Court, which on April 6, 2016 had asked the CBI not to arrest Singh and directed him to join the probe. On November 5 last year, the apex court had transferred Singh’s plea from the Himachal Pradesh High Court to the Delhi High Court, saying it was not expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, but “simply” transferring the petition “in interest of justice and to save the institution (judiciary) from any embarrassment”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ayyappa shrine nets Rs.243.69 cr total revenue collection

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The total revenue collection of the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala for the 2016-17 festival season stood at Rs.243.69 crore, State Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran told the Assembly today. Hundi collection alone comes to around Rs.89.70 crore and sale of ‘appam’ was Rs.17.29 crore, Surendran said in a written reply. Lakhs of devotees from across the country visit the hill shrine during the festival season between November-January every year. The minister said the Centre has sanctioned Rs.46.14 crore for development of the Guruvayur temple under the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spirituality Augmentation Drive (PRASAD). Kerala Tourism Infrastructure Ltd, the implementing agency, would execute the various works under the scheme, he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

President Pranab Mukherjee, PM to attend Essel Group 90 years event today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Sunday, the Essel Group, will celebrate 90th year of its existence. Starting from a grain market in Mandi Adampur set up by Jagan Nath Goenka, with his brothers in 1926, over nine decades, Essel Group has soared to become a multi-billion dollar business conglomerate having diverse business presence across Media, Entertainment, Packaging, Infrastructure, Education, Precious metals, Finance and Technology.The mega event to mark this milestone, which is trending as #YoungAt90, will be held at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Stadium on Sunday. President of India Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will grace the occasion with their presence.Speaking on the Group’s 90-year journey, Dr. Subhash Chandra, Chairman, Essel Group said, “This journey of 90 years has been filled with remarkable successes as well as challenges and obstacles. It has been a journey of creating history, venturing into unknown territories, only to emerge as leaders, capitalising on our pioneering vision and sheer entrepreneurial spirit. Today, Essel Group is a multi-billion dollar diversified business conglomerate, enriching billions of lives across the world. As we look to the future, I am confident that we will carry forward the legacy of the Group with complete passion, dedication and above all, the spirit of #YoungAt90!”

JK govt appoints retired IAS officer as infra advisor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir government has appointed former IAS officer Pradeep Singh as advisor on infrastructure development in the state. “The sanction is hereby accorded to the appointment of Pradeep Singh, IAS (retd.) as Advisor (Infrastructure Development) to the government of Jammu and Kashmir,” Subash Chhibber, additional secretary to the government, said in an order today. Singh has been tasked to advise the government on infrastructure development and implementation of the flagship central schemes such as Swadesh Darshan, Swachh Bharat etc. He will also advise on the critical assessment of long- time utility of projects upon which sufficient resources have already been utilized without any desirable outcome, and exploring all the possible ways of stimulating infrastructural development in the state through Public Private Partnerships (PPP). Singh has been also tasked to work out modalities to attract private sector to strengthen and upgrade existing infrastructure, and any other task, responsibility as may be assigned by the Chief Minister. The Advisor shall operate from the Chief Minister’s Secretariat which will also be his nodal department. Singh is the third person to be appointed as advisor, after Prof Amitabh Mattoo and B R Sharma.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

LDF government has lost collective responsibility:UDF

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Opposition UDF in Kerala today staged a walk-out in the assembly after its demand for a debate on what it alleged lack of ‘collective responsibility’ by the CPI-M led LDF government was rejected by the Speaker. The Congress-led opposition said the alleged criticism made by Public Works Department Minister G Sudhakaran on working of the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) reflected ‘lack of collective responsibility’ in the cabinet, a charge rubbished by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The Chief Minister said UDF was taking up such ‘trivial’ matters based on press reports as they suffer from ‘dearth of issues’ and said his ministry was functioning with unity. Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said they were ready to place in the table of the House a CD containing the speech of Sudhakaran aired by a private television channel as a proof of their charge. Vijayan, however, alleged the channel was under the control of state NDA Vice-Chairman Rajeev Chandrasekhar, a Rajya Sabha member, and been working as per his political agenda. Chennithala termed the Chief Minister’s remark as ‘unfortunate’ and reminded him that M G Radhakrishnan, son of Communist ideologue late P Govinda Pilla, was the channel’s Editor. Quoting Sudhakaran’s clarification statement, Vijayan said the PWD Minister himself had denied talking adversely about KIIFB and the reports attributed to him was false. Sudhakaran had said it was a deliberate attempt to defame the government when it was moving ahead with pro-people’s programmes, he said. Intervening, Sudhakaran said he had not made any adverse comments against the functioning of KIIFB and only mentioned about certain proceedures followed by successive governments while taking up development works. Earlier, the house witnessed protest and slogan shouting by UDF members when Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan rejected their notice for discussing the issue as an adjournment motion. However, the opposition relented and cooperated with the chair when Speaker announced that the issue could be taken up as first submission by V D Sateeshan (Cong). Sudhakaran had courted controversy after he reportedly criticised the functioning of KIIFB while speaking at a function in Alappuzha recently. Sateeshan also said that the views of the Chief Minister and that of Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan on the issue of encroachment were also different.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

J’khand demands air intel, madrasa-mosernisation for tackling

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das has asked the Centre to establish Air Surveillance Unit in Ranchi and modernisation of madrasas in the state to combat naxalism. Speaking at the meeting of the chief ministers of naxal- affected states here, he also said the Integrated Action Plan, which focuses on the creation of public infrastructure and services in naxal-affected regions, should be re-introduced. The CM also raised “issues” which found brief mention in the speech of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. In bulleted-points, Das presented the “issues related to Government of India for effective conduct of anti-naxal operations in Jharkhand”. He sought modernisation of madarsas in Pakur and Sahebganj districts which have been affected by the activities of People’s Front of India (PFI), a naxal group. “Waiver of amount raised by Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) for their deployment in anti-naxal operations, considering the fact that it is a national problem and also keeping in view the financial status of the state,” he suggested. Other points raised by him included support under Special Infrastructure Scheme for upgrading the infrastructure for special forces in Jharkhand. He also sought establishment of full office of Narcotics Bureau of India to tackle increasing problem of poppy cultivation, relaxation in rules for central schemes and establishment of Enforcement Directorate office in Ranchi to expedite seizure of naxal properties.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Goa: Mining corridors to decongest roads to come up in 3 years

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to decongest the main roads of Goa, the state government has decided to set up dedicated corridors in next three years for the transportation of iron ore from the mining leases to the jetties. “The project of mining corridors is huge. We will require minimum three years to complete it,” Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC) Chairman Deepak Pauskar told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Centre’s ‘Chardham’ highway project under NGT scanner

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ambitious Chardham highway project to provide all-weather connectivity to four pilgrimage towns of Uttarakhand today came under the scanner of the National Green Tribunal, which sought responses from the Centre and the state government on the debris being dumped on mountain slopes. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar issued notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Ministry of Road Transport, National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and Uttarakhand government while seeking their replies by May 31. The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Birendra Singh Matura and others alleging that the road widening work to connect Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri in Uttarakhand was being carried in violation of the Bhagirathi Eco Sensitive Zone Notification. It claimed there was continuous blasting of mountains and dumping of debris in the river Ganga in the stretch of NH-34 between Gangotri and Bhaironghati. “It is submitted that huges stones/boulders are thrown on the slopes next to the road which eventually destroy the shrubs/vegetation and also alter/affect the flow of the river when they slide down during monsoon,” the plea, filed through advocate Aaagney Sail, said. The plea has sought time-bound action plan to remove the debris thrown on the slopes next to the road in the stretch of NH-34 between Bhatwadi and Gangnani in Uttarkashi district. According to the plea, the region was already highly unstable with numerous active landslides and any further destabilisation like massive felling of trees would weaken the slopes to such an extent that the smallest of rain would convert them into massive active landslides. A study on slope stability carried out by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) after the June 2013 disaster in Uttarakhand had identified that a number of landslides have been activated on the Ganga river basin. In Uttarkashi, 37 landslide incidents along the NH-34 between Dharasu and Gangotri were recorded by GSI, the plea said. “Hence any further cutting of the mountain base for widening or tree-felling would cause unprecedented activation of landslides, whose impact could block even the existing highway. Thus, being counter-productive even for traffic flow, this would impact adversely the local tourist livelihood, local daily life and transport qf border security vehicles,” the plea said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December last year had laid the foundation stone for 900-km-long Chardham highway development project to be built with an investment of Rs 12,000 crore in Uttarakhand.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India’s infra needs enormous: Modi

Turkey’s expertise in construction is in full display just across the borders, where they have rebuilt a city of Muzaffarabad, the capital of PoK, post the 2005 earthquake <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Addressing the India-Turkey Business Summit, PM Modi said the country plans to build 50 million houses by 2022, metro rail projects in 50 cities and high-speed trains in various national corridors. “I know that Turkish companies have successfully undertaken many construction and infra projects. Our infrastructure requirements are enormous, including core as well as social and industrial infrastructure,” he said.Turkey’s expertise in construction is in full display just across the borders, where they have rebuilt a city of Muzaffarabad, the capital of PoK, post the 2005 earthquake.

GSIDC to reconstruct, renovate panchayat buildings

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation will reconstruct and renovate old panchayat buildings, an official said today. GSIDC, which met recently under the chairmanship of chief minister Manohar Parrikar, for the purpose has decided to conduct a survey of all panchayat buildings across the state and study their condition. “The report would be ready within two months. After that we will take up the work of either renovating them or rebuilding depending on their condition,” GSIDC chairman Deepak Pauskar said. “There are many buildings housing panchayat offices which are in need of reconstruction,” he said. He said GSIDC has decided to use ‘district mineral fund’, collected from mining firms, to take up the repair or re-construction works in the mining belt. “We can also utilise fund released by Centre under its various schemes for local bodies,” added Pauskar.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Nabard sanctions Rs 115 cr loan to Haryana for rural roads

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nabard has sanctioned a loan of Rs 115.36 crore to the Haryana government under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund for 2016-17 for upgrading 27 rural roads in 10 districts. The districts are Bhiwani, Palwal, Hisar, Jhajjar, Mahendergarh, Rewari, Karnal, Panipat, Jind and Kaithal. Nabard’s Haryana Regional Office Chief General Manager Arun Shukla said the aggregate length of the roads is 230.73 km. The roads will be upgraded by way of reconstruction on account of raising, widening and strengthening by increasing the crust thickness and construction of minor bridges so that it can withstand increased traffic load. “Due to increase in intensity of vehicular traffic with varying speeds, the movement of two-way traffic and overtaking of vehicles on existing 3.66/5.5 m wide roads is inconvenient. Therefore, the rural roads and bridges in Haryana need construction and up-gradation,” he said. The project aims to improve facilities in agriculture and rural development and improve the quality of life in the villages by providing round-the-year better connectivity with nearby hospitals, educational institutes, godowns and marketing centres. With this, the cumulative assistance sanctioned to the Haryana government under RIDF has reached Rs 5,910 crore involving 4,296 projects in various areas like irrigation, rural connectivity, water supply, anganwadis, girls’ toilet blocks, veterinary hospitals/dispensaries and solar power plant, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

First major reshuffle by Yogi Adityanath, officers close to Akhilesh Yadav transferred

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday transferred 20 senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers, including Navneet Sehgal and Rama Raman, who were considered influential in the previous regime that was headed by Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav.This is the first administrative rejig by the Yogi Adityanath government. Sehgal was shifted out as Principal Secretary for Tourism, Information and Religious Affairs. He has also been divested of the post of CEO of the Uttar Pradesh State Highway Authority (UPSHA) and the Uttar Pradesh Expressway Industrial Authority (UPEIDA). All his charges have been handed over to Avanish Awasthi, who returned from central government deputation.Anita Singh, who had a five-year stint as Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, has also been transferred.Rama Raman, Principal Secretary in Industrial and Infrastructure Development Department and Chairman of Noida Authority, has also been put in the officers waiting for a new posting. Meerut Divisional Commissioner Alok Sinha has been named as the new Principal Secretary of the Industrial and Infrastructure Development Department. Gurdeep Singh, Principal Secretary of Mining Department, has also been wait-listed. He has been replaced by R.P. Singh. Dimple Verma, Principal Secretary in Child Development Department, has also been shunted out. Anita Meshram has been named the new Secretary of the department.Lucknow Divisional Commissioner Bhuvnesh Kumar and UPSIDC Managing Director Amit Kumar Ghosh have also been removed. Ranveer Prasad has been given the charge of UPSIDC as Managing Director.Mrityunjaya Kumar Narayan has been named as the new Secretary to Yogi Adityanath. The CEO of Greater Noida and Noida authorities, Deepak Agarwal, has also been divested of his position. Amit Mohan Prasad, Investment Commissioner of UP, posted in New Delhi, replaces Agarwal.Vijay Kumar Yadav, Vice Chairman of the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA), has also been shifted out. Two close aides of former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Amor Kumar and Pandhari Yadav, have been removed and posted as Members (Judicial) of the Revenue Board in Allahabad. While earlier governments removed senior bureaucrats immediately after taking power, Yogi Adityanath waited for almost three weeks before making the first major reshuffle in the bureaucracy. The Bharatiya Janata Party won a thumping majority in assembly elections held in February-March.

CM to launch Deendayal Rasoi Yojana in 49 districts of MP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Madhya Pradesh is all set to join the league of those states which have launched populist subsidised meal scheme for poor with the opening of canteens that provides wholesome food at Rs 5 under the Deendayal Antyodaya Rasoi Yojana. This scheme, named after the BJP ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya, is being launched in 49 districts across the state this evening. “Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will inaugurate the Deendayal Rasoi Yojana at Gwalior this evening. In the first phase, the scheme is being launched at 49 district headquarters simultaneously between 6-7 pm,” Urban Development Minister Maya Singh said today. She said the scheme would be launched in Bhind and Umaria districts later due to the by-poll scheduled there on April 9. “Deendayal Rasoi Yojana will be implemented in at least one place in every district. More than one centre would be set up in big cities in accordance to local needs,” she added. Minister said that cheap, good quality, nutritious and delicious food would made be available under the scheme. “Anyone can have a wholesome meal at Rs 5 which includes four chapatis, one vegetable curry and Dal every day between 11 am to 3 pm. The arrangement would cater to at least 2000 persons every day,” she said. Singh said that the district Level Coordination and Monitoring Committee would monitor this arrangement. The wheat and rice would be made available at these canteens at Rs one each through fair price shops. Local municipal bodies will make the water and electricity available free-of-cost, minister informed. The funds for setting up these centres would be made available under Chief Minister’s Urban Infrastructure Scheme.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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