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Twitter users come to rescue of young boy stranded at Jaipur Railway station

One of our worst fears during train journey’s in childhood was the fear of getting lost or stranded in a busy railway station. Unfortunately, some kids inevitably lose their way in busy train stations. Something similar happened with Archit, a boy stranded at Jaipur Railway station. An alert Twitter user on Monday posted a picture of a boy stranded in Jaipur Railway station. He was unfortunately left behind by his family who boarded the 19329 Udaipur Express. The only information Archit could provide was that his father’s name is Bharat Bhushan.After the tweet was retweeted close to 100 times with many tagging the Railway Ministry, help was received. Twitter user Phoenix Fire later tweeted that the boy has met his local guardian in Jaipur station. The boy clearly looked shocked in the picture and one can only imagine what would have happened without the intervention of Twitter’s good samaritans. Here’s how the event unfolded:Twitter user Phoenix Fire later deleted the main tweet after the child found help. In the last few years, there have been increasing number of interventions by Railway Minister after being alerted on Twitter. The practice started with ex-Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu at the helm, but has continued even after change of guard and Piyush Goyal taking over. There have been cases where some Twitter users have even tweeted asking for baby food from the Railway Ministry! But all in all, interventions on Twitter have definitely cut down on number of unfortunate and unforeseen incidents which happen while travelling by train.
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Yogi Adityanath


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

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

Mumbai: Train services briefly disrupted on Harbour line, confused passengers come down on tracks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after railway minister Piyush Goyal inspected Mumbai suburban system, two separate incidents on Tuesday disrupted morning peak hours on Central Railway. Due to the cold weather, yet another rail fracture took place in the morning hours on the Harbour line.A rail fracture was found between Chunabhatti and GTB Nagar stations which led to stoppage of trains. This incident happened around 8.30 am after which crowds swelled at stations on the Harbour line.”The trains were running late by 15-20 minutes and so there was lot of crowd at the platform and inside trains,” said A Bhosale, a resident of Vashi.
ALSO READ Rly Min Piyush Goyal proposes global transport museum at CSMTThe CR authorities said that the fracture was rectified by replacing the track by 8.56 am. Many disgruntled commuters also took the social media platforms for pointing out the technical failure.”During winters due to the sudden change in temperatures, cases of rail fractures occur,” said a CR official. Couple of days back there was rail fracture near Sion and Matunga stations on CR which led to delays. Apart from this rail commuters came down on tracks at Asangaon station at around 8.30am. The CR officials said that it was not a rail roko but confusion whether a long distance train or local train would leave the platform first. “The station master was asked to announce that local train would depart first which was standing next to the long distance train,” said J Vishe, a resident of Asangaon. People assumed that as usual the long distance train will be given first preference and so in order to trespass, they stood on tracks without realising that the local train standing on the same track was supposed to leave first. Finally the train services resumed by 8.45am.

Mumbai: Piyush Goyal hospitalised after complaining of severe stomach pain

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Railway Minister Piyush Goyal was hospitalised here today after he complained of uneasiness and severe pain in the stomach.Goyal, who was to address a press conference at the Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus at around 6:30 PM, was rushed to the private hospital here when he complained of uneasiness.His office in Delhi said that he had a “minor kidney stone” but is “okay now”.He will not undergo surgery, but is being kept under observation, his office said. Before hospitalisation, Goyal visited suburban Elphinstone Road and Currey Road stations to take stock of the ongoing construction of the Foot Over Bridges (FOBs) by the Army.
ALSO READ Piyush Goyal fires back at ex-PM over bullet train remarkGoyal complained of uneasiness after addressing a review meeting of senior Central and Western Railway officials at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus.”After holding a review meeting with the officials, the minister complained of uneasiness due to acidity. An ambulance was called as part of protocol though he was fit enough to walk and preferred to travel in his own vehicle,” a senior railway official said.”He (Goyal) has been admitted to a private hospital and is fine now,” he said.”Visited Elphinstone Road railway station and reviewed the progress of foot overbridge’s construction. The Army has been working tirelessly to build the infrastructure within the given timeline,” Goyal said in a tweet tonight.

Gujarat elections 2017: ‘Chai pe Charcha’ returns with ‘Vikas’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP has planned a programme called Mann ki Baat, Chai ke Saath to enthrall voters in poll-bound Gujarat. The programme will be held on Sunday across more than 50,000 booths in the state, wherein BJP leaders and workers will listen to PM Narendra Modi’s programme Mann ki Baat on radio and TV over a tea party and will discuss development agendas of the Centre and Gujarat government. BJP national president Amit Shah will remain in Dariapur in Ahmedabad city.Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Smriti Irani, Dharmendra Pradhan, Uma Bharati, Piyush Goyal, Juel Oram, Parshottam Rupala, Mansukh Mandaviya Hari Chaudhary and Jaswantsinh Bhabhor will remain in Gujarat for the event. Other leaders of BJP at central and state level will also participate in the programme at different places across Gujarat.Gujarat BJP spokesperson Jagdish Bhavsar said, “Leaders of national level including Amit Shah, Union ministers and BJP will attend this even and talk to voters here. Leaders and ministers from other states ruled by BJP also will participate.”“Apart from the programme, our carpet bombing campaign will kick start on the same day, inaugurated by Amit Shah from Shuklatirth in Bharuch. He will address a rally here. The carpet-bombing programme will be held on November 26 and 27, in which our leaders will hold rallies in different places in Gujarat. This will cover all 89 seats, in which polls are to be held on November 9, “ added Bhavsar.The leaders who are going to address rallies besides Shah are, UP CM Yogi Adityanath, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadanvis, Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh, Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Dharmendra Pradhan, JP Nadda, Piyush Goyal, Juel Oram, Uma Bharati, Hansraj Ahir, Radha Mohan Singh and others like Rupa Ganguly, Manoj Tiwari and Paresh Rawal.PM Narendra Modi will address rallies on November 27 and 29 in Saurashtra-Kutch and south Gujarat.RALLYING FOR VICTORYOther leaders of BJP at central and state level will also participate in the programme at different places across Gujarat.
BJP national president Amit Shah will remain in Dariapur in Ahmedabad.
Leaders like UP CM Yogi Adityanath, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh will also address rallies.

Piyush Goel green signals Vasundhara Raje plea

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Railway minister Piyush Goel on Friday waived off haulage charges on all royal trains, including the Palace of Wheels. The move came during chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s meeting with the minister in New Delhi.The decision will lower the operative cost and the fare and directly benefit the passengers. Meanwhile, Raje also discussed the coal crisis with Goel which was deepened in October around Diwali.The state governments, including Rajasthan, that operate luxury trains and the Indian Railways were at loggerheads over haulage charges imposed on such trains, citing high operative cost. During the meeting, the minister said: “In future, no haulage charges will be applicable by the Indian Railways on royal trains. Also the ministry will help Rajasthan to operate new trains.”According to a statement released by the government, the CM had requested the minister to give relaxation in recovery of hauling charge for Royal Rajasthan Wheels train, operation of Palace on Wheels as a heritage train and not to uproot 70km old heritage railway track between Dholpur- Sarmathpura while laying a parallel broad-gauge line.The severe power crisis happened due to shortage of coal in Rajasthan in October was also part of the discussion between Goel and Raje. The CM asked the minister to increase railway racks so coal in adequate amount could be supplied to the power projects in Rajasthan. “This will be helpful to provide power supply 24/7 to people and farmers will get power without disruption for irrigation,” Raje said.Meanwhile the minister appreciated Raje for adoption UDAY scheme to overcome power companies from losses.OPIUM POLICYThanking union finance minister Arun Jaitely for reduction of GST on marbles, granite and Kota Stone, the CM requested him to change ‘Centre Opium policy’ and sanction a processing unit for opium in Rajasthan. In her proposal Raje explained that opium policy 2017-18 mandates 56kg opium harvesting per hectare average while the average of harvesting hangs between 49 and 52kg average in Dholpur and Jhalawar. She sought amendment in these norms.

Mumbai: Western Railway to spend crores on cleaning garbage!

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Next time you see someone throw a sachet of pan masala, or plastic bottle on rail tracks, remember that public money is getting wasted on cleaning and removing them. Following complaints made by various passenger associations over cleanliness to the Western Railway, the latter has told that they will be spending more than Rs 2 crore only for removing these plastic materials from rail tracks.”We had raised the issue of plastic bottles and covers choking the drains and had asked the rail authorities to clean them,” said Kailash Verma, member, Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh.Senior WR officials said that they will be spending Rs 2.02 crore on cleaning and removing plastic bottles, covers from rail tracks between Churchgate to Virar. “We have called tenders for the same,” said a WR official. On an average night, 10 train coaches of rubbish and muck are carted away from the city.These sachets, bottles and covers are one of the main reasons behind water logging on tracks during monsoon as they choke the drainage system and culverts criss-crossing the rail lines. During the recent high-level meeting chaired by Union Railway minister Piyush Goyal, the civic bodies were asked to co-operate with the Indian Railways as far as prevention of water logging on tracks is concerned for which removing these muck and garbage is essential.Recently the Indian Railways conducted a cleanliness check of 400 stations across Indian Railways where suburban sections of both Western and Central Railways fared poorly.

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

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

Railway officials struggle to keep up with FOB deadline

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After Union Railways Minister, Piyush Goyal, set a one-year deadline for completing the new foot-overbridge (FOB) at Elphinstone Road station, senior railway officials told DNA that the FOB will take over one-and-half years to be built and be functional. They confirmed that they will struggle to meet the deadline.Western Railway ordered an inquiry on Friday when a woman was injured after a piece of granite tile, with cement chunks, fell on her forehead at Elphinstone Road station. A fortnight ago, 23 people lost their lives in a stampede on a FOB at the station.Senior railway officials said that under normal circumstances, a regular FOB takes more than 1.5 to 2 years to complete, and in this case, despite making it their top priority, they would not be able to complete the project within a year.The Western Railway (WR) authorities, meanwhile, have called for private contractors, architects and civil engineers who can help them with the latest technology for building new FOBs and reconstruct the existing ones as soon as possible.Both the Western and Central Railway (CR) are working on this new Rs 11.38 crore FOB connecting Elphinstone Road and Parel stations. It is also part of the proposed Parel terminus — which is being constructed by CR —and is delayed by 5 years or so. The WR officials are also blaming the CR for delaying work on this terminus which is stuck due to internal permissions and clearances.”We have to take care of minute details while constructing this new FOB. There are two different railway authorities involved in building this FOB, while a railway terminus is also planned there, which too has seen delays,” said a WR official.

In a first, West Railway seeks help from outside

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Worried about meeting the stringent deadline for constructing 10 new foot over bridges (FOBs) and rebuilding 14 FOBs, the Western Railway, for the first time, has sought external help. The department scheduled a brainstorming session for October 17.Railways Minister Piyush Goyal has given the railways 12-18 months for completing work on FOBs. Apart from calling in tenders and inviting consultants and builders for the work, the WR officials have said they will have to engage latest technologies to finish the project in such short notice.“As per plans, these consultants will give ideas on how to go about constructing new FOBs at available space and methods to demolish and rebuild existing FOBs,” said a WR official. They shall be discussing proper traffic planning, creating a foundation for pillars between two tracks within limited space, modification to OHE equipment, relocating signalling poles and shifting other utilities. The railway board has also given permission to extend the mega block timings at night from 2hours to at least 4 hours to help to carry out safety works. ON THE AGENDAMeanwhile, Director General RPF, Dharmendra Kumar has sent a letter to Maharashtra Director General of Police Satish Mathur for proper codification of duties between the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP) and avoid any overlapping of duties and roles during crises and exigencies. A committee has been formed to decide standard operating procedures to avoid any overlap.

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

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

Cong asks Modi to sack Shah over his son’s business report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Seeking a commission of two sitting judges of the Supreme Court to probe the allegations of financial irregularities reported against a company owned by Jay Shah, son of BJP national president Amit Shah, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala has demanded the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to remove Shah from party post, or seek his resignation taking moral high ground.“This is a tough call for Modi whether he chooses friend Shah or takes moral high ground to order a probe by a two-member commission of SC judges into the allegation made against his son, Jay,” said Surjewala during a press conference in Jaipur on Monday.“I demand the PM to seek resignation of Shah or remove him from the post without any delay,” Surjewala said referring to a media report in which Shah’s son company was reported to have earned 16,000 times profit in a year. The report had alleged that the turnover of Temple Enterprise Private Ltd, a company in which Jay Shah was a director, rose 16,000 times from Rs 15,000 in 2014-15 to Rs 80.5 crore in 2015-16. It also said that the company received unsecured loans as well.“What magic wand was used to earn so much profit in a company which was running in huge loss in 2012-13 and 20014-15. Why they are shying away from probe if there’s nothing wrong? There is no smoke without fire. The country was waiting for development… but ‘Jai ka Vikas ho gaya’. The most surprising incident happened when the cabinet minister Piyush Goyal appeared to defend Jay who is not an officer-bearer of the party or the government,” said Surjewala, saying there must be transparency and accountability.Meanwhile, PPC chief Sachin Pilot during the conference accused the Raje government of waiting for the state assembly election due next year to announce the loan waiver. “CM is waiting for the state assembly election to announce the waiver. Farmers of the state will not be able to wait for 12 months. She should waive off loans of farmers immediately,” he told reporters at a joint press with Surjewala. Pilot also accused Raje of dividing the society by meeting representatives of different castes separately during her tour of the state. “It leaves a negative impact in the society.”

Audit points at low resolution of CCTVs at CR stations in city

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The multi-agency teams sent out by Central Railway to audit railway stations in Mumbai have found that the resolution of CCTVs installed at these stations is very poor. Sources said the image pixelates and there is little clarity. Moreover, there is need for at least 194 improved version of CCTVs at railway stations on their network.To begin with, railway officials said there are several shortcomings that these CCTVs have which is causing hindrance. Not only do these CCTVs produce grainy images, but the connectivity to the system is also poor. The report at several stations mentions the need to augment the number of CCTVs and its quality.There are around 20 railway stations that are in need of more CCTVs on its premises to cover FOBs, subways and platforms. In fact on October 9, the Director General (DG) of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) from the Railway Board had visited a few of the stations like Parel, Dadar, Kurla, Panvel and travelled inside local trains and made note of the situation.Recently, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal promised that more CCTVs will be placed at railway stations. Also, every single coach of a local train will be covered by CCTVs in the next one year. Sources said this is one of the reasons why the DG visited Mumbai. “We are working towards getting more and better CCTVs into the system,” said a senior railway official on condition of anonymity.Some of the other problems that the CCTVs face is that the wires are exposed and hang precariously on platforms. In Navi Mumbai, the CCTVs are not functioning efficiently and even shut off during loadshedding.The issue of coordination between different agencies is also plaguing the working of CCTVs.JOINT INSPECTIONOn Monday, the BMC and Railways carried out a joint inspection of FOBs falling under the civic body’s jurisdiction. During the visit, assistant commissioner of respective wards and officials from the bridge department were present.

Amit Shah’s son to file Rs 100 crore criminal defamation against website for ‘baseless and malicious’ article

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP on Sunday came out strongly against an article written in news website ‘The Wire’ about party President Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah. Union Minister Piyush Goyal addressing a press conference described the article titled ‘The Golden Touch of Jay Amit Shah’ as ‘absolutely false, baseless, malicious, defamatory, hollow with absolutely no substance’. He said that, “We reject any allegation or imputation against any leader. The article shows no impropriety but through malicious imputes, trying to damage reputation of Amit Shah”. Goyal said that Shah would file a criminal defamation case and also seek damage of Rs 100 crore against the author, editors and owners of ‘The Wire’. The article charts the growth of Jay Shah’s company, Temple Enterprise Private Ltd, from revenues of Rs. 50,000 in 2014-15 to turnover of Rs. 80.5 crore in 2015-16. The case will filed in Ahmedabad where Jay Shah lives. Speaking to themedia, Piyush Goyal said, “Jay Shah carries out fully legitimate and lawful business reflected in account books, income tax returns and all transactions in banks.” About loans taken by son of BJP President Shah, Goyal said that, “There is no bar in taking loans and all loans were taken strictly in accordance with law. The loans taken from NBFCs have been fully paid along with interest after deducting TDS”. Piyush Goyal also explained that ‘Jay Shah had replied with all details to author’s questionnaire’. In the detailed press conference, Goyal gave point-by-point rebuttal to issues raised in the article and said that no laws have been broken by Jay Shah. Opposition parties sought a probe into claims in a media report that a company owned by BJP chief Amit Shah’s son saw a huge rise in its turnover after his party came to power in 2014.The charge was rejected by the BJP and Shah’s son, Jay Amit Shah, who termed the story “false, derogatory and defamatory”.Training their guns at the Modi government by citing the news story’s content, the Congress, the Left and the AAP demanded an investigation, with Congress leader Kapil Sibal alleging that it was a case of “crony capitalism”.CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury claimed that it is the latest in a series of cases of corruption under the Modi government.”Today, we ask a question to the Prime Minister, the pradhan sevak … Now, what do you have to say about crony capitalism? Will you give direction to the CBI to probe the matter? Will you ask ED to arrest these people,” Sibal asked at a press conference here.The demand from the opposition parties came after a media report, citing filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC), said that the turnover of Jay Amit Shah-owned Temple Enterprise zoomed by around 16,000 times during 2015-16 at around Rs 80 crore over the previous year.Sibal, citing the filing with RoC, also alleged that a firm Kusum Finserve LLP, in which Jay Amit Shah had 60 per cent stake, had also got a contract in Madhya Pradesh in wind power sector despite the company being engaged in stock trading.

Dalit youth stabbed himself for publicity, say police

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The police said on Friday that the Dalit youth, who claimed to have been stabbed by members of the dominant caste for bearing witness in another Atrocity case, had stabbed himself for publicity.A case was lodged on Tuesday with the Kalol police station after Digant Maheria alleged that he was stabbed by members of the dominant caste for becoming a witness in another case. During investigation, cops found that he had stabbed himself as a publicity stunt.Maheria is a witness in another case, in which a Dalit youth Piyush Parmar was attacked by members of the dominant caste for sporting a mustache. On Tuesday, when the accused were nabbed by police, Maheria and his two minor friends planned the crime and stabbed himself with a blade.Cops revealed that they questioned some of the locals at the spot, who said nothing of that sort had happened there.Maheria’s friends admitted that they had created the scene to gain publicity in media. The plan was Maheria’s.Virendra Singh Yadav, Gandhinagar SP, said, “The crime scene was made up by the youth. His parents didn’t even know about it. We came to know of the entire thing during investigation.”SELF-INFLICTED WOUNDS FOR ATTENTIONMaheria is a witness in another case, in which a Dalit youth Piyush Parmar was attacked by members of the dominant caste for sporting a moustache.
On Tuesday, Maheria and his two friends planned the scene after the case was lodged and he stabbed himself to gain the attention of the media
This has put Dalit activists in the state on a back-foot

Mumbai’s lifeline turns fatal

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

Safety is priority of the Indian Railways; there is no limit to the rail safety fund: Piyush Goyal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government will “very soon” float a global tender to procure tracks for modernising the railways, which can create a million jobs within a year through various areas across its ecosystem, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said on ThursdayHe further said that safety will be priority for the railways and there would be no limit to funding it.The comments of the new railways minister come after a spate of rail accidents in the last few month leading to loss of lives.”I have diverted all available tracks to track renewal so that we can make the existing tracks safer. We are looking to go in for global procurement of rail tracks…this will help fast track the doubling of lines and new projects,” he told reporters at the India Economic Summit of the World Economic Forum (WEF).Asked by when the global tender for tracks modernisation would be floated, Goyal said “very soon, it’s under process”.”There is no limit to safety expenditure. Safety will be the priority of Indian railways. I have also categorised pedestrian foot-over bridges, platforms, entry and exit points as safety items.”I have turned around 100 year old tradition which used to consider all of this as amenities,” he said.He further said that monetising the real estate assets as well as fast tracking some of the existing investment plans would generate a lot of employment opportunities in the railways and the ecosystem around it.”My own sense is, may not be directly jobs in railways, but certainly through engaging people and working in variety of areas across the ecosystem, not less than a million jobs can be created in less than 12 months — only railways and ecosystem around the railways,” Goyal said.The government’s moving aggressively on the rail track and safety maintenance programme alone would create 2 lakh jobs, he added.Besides, leveraging the amount of railway real estate by monetising those assets will help to generate resources without burdening passengers.”If I look at the amount of investment in pipeline and activate that, it will create 2-2.5 lakh jobs in existing projects,” Goyal said.He said India has huge investment potential but a change in mindset is required to transform the country.Goyal said that with sectors like coal, power showing turnaround, it’s the turn of the railways now.On the need for the country rebranding itself, he said the narrative of India is changing.”Over the years India was well known for yoga, Ayurveda, cricket or Bollywood. Narrative is changing, Brand India is being built. India is being now recognised as a country which is honest in its dealings, where technology drives growth,” Goyal said.Stating that mega-structures cannot be built on a weak foundation, he said if India has to prepare itself for global challenges of tomorrow, there is a need to develop a framework that will ensure decades of prosperity.”I think there is no better place in the world today to invest in, no larger market than the Indian market and there is no pole which is going to be more important than India,” he said.

Youth who witnessed attack on Dalit stabbed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Dalit youth of Limbodara village in Kalol taluka was attacked on Tuesday. This is the third incident of Dalits being attacked in the village in a week. Sources said Digant Maheria was stabbed while returning from school on Tuesday.Incidentally, Maheria is a witness in another case in which a Dalit youth Piyush Parmar was attacked by members of the dominant caste for sporting a moustache recently. One more youth was attacked for the same reason some days after Parmar was attacked.VN Solanki, DySP, Kalol Taluka, said investigations are on and it is too early to comment on the case. According to the complaint, Maheria was returning from a school in the village which was an exam centre. On his way back, he was stopped by two youths, one of whom held him while the other stabbed him in the back. Maheria was rushed to a hospital for treatment.Meanwhile, Dalit activists in the state plan to march to Gandhinagar to protest the rising incidents of attack on Dalits in the state.

PM Modi at Red Fort Ground, 5 new Governors, Mumbai Stampede and Mohan Bhagwat: DNA evening must reads

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1: Elphinstone stampede: Piyush Goyal says spend whatever is necessary on safetyA day after Elphinstone train station stampede, Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday held a high-level meeting on railway safety in Mumbai. In a series of tweets, Goyal said that ‘We are turning a 150-year-old convention on its head’ making foot over bridge mandatory. dnai.in/f5Sk2: President Kovind appoints 5 new GovernorsPresident Ram Nath Kovind, on Saturday, appointed five new Governors on Saturday. However, hours after the appointments were announced, Tamil Nadu’s Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) expressed its dissatisfaction. Speaking to media, DMK Rajya Sabha MP and spokesperson TKS Elangovan said, “Governor is going to act according to the wishes of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). I don’t think there will be any change in approach.” dnai.in/f5S43: ‘Gau rakshaks’ work within legal framework: Mohan BhagwatRSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat yet again came in support of gau rakshaks (cow vigilantes) in his Vijaydashmi speech in Nagpur on Saturday. Addressing the swayamsevaks at the RSS Headquarters, the Sarsanghchalak was seen talking elaborately about cow protection in his over-an-hour long speech. Bhagwat backed the cow vigilantes and said that they worked well within the legal framework and it would be unfair to link them with violence or ‘communal feelings without knowing or neglecting the facts.’ dnai.in/f5S24: At Delhi’s Red Fort Ground, PM Modi calls festivals a way of social educationIn his second ever Dussehra celebrations in Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took part in famed Red Fort event on Saturday. President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu also attended the Dussehra celebration. In his brief address to the crowd, PM Modi said that festivals are a way of social education and that even after thousand years, the stories of Lord Ram give new meaning to the society. dnai.in/f5SL5: Won’t allow single brick for bullet train until Mumbai rail infrastructure is fixed: Raj ThackerayMaharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray raised the pitch for fixing railway infrastructure in Mumbai by threatening to stall work for the Centre’s upcoming bullet train project. “Until the present infrastructure of local railways is made better, not a single brick will be allowed to be placed for bullet train in Mumbai,” said Raj Thackeray. dnai.in/f5RJ

Maharashtra: Will not break alliance with BJP keeping interests of people in mind: Shiv Sena

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It appears that while Maharashtra party Shiv Sena will be critical of its ally – the BJP’s decisions and shout protests over factors such as fuel hike, it won’t break the alliance in order to ‘protect the interests of the people’.The frayed relationship between saffron allies — the BJP and Shiv Sena — had come under fresh strain after Sena MP Sanjay Raut had recently said his party will soon decide on whether to continue in the two-party coalition government in Maharashtra.However, an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ today said “the party would not end the coalition when assembly elections are two years away and will continue to remain in power to protect the interests of people”.
ALSO READ Elphinstone stampede: Maha Govt announces Rs 5 lakh to kin of victims; Piyush Goyal orders high-level enquiryShiv Sena has 12 ministers in the Devendra Fadnavis-led government, including five of the Cabinet rank. Maharashtra has a 39-member council of ministers. The party has one minister in the NDA ministry at the centre.The editorial also hit out at the railways and the central government, alleging that their apathy led to Friday’s stampede at the Elphinstone station that killed 23 people.The Sena also took a swipe at the ambitious bullet train project from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, saying, “what is the use of the bullet train when you cannot provide basic infrastructure to local commuters?”The swipe comes soon after Maharashtra Navnariman Sena Chief Raj Thackeray, who is the first cousin of Sena President Uddhav, said that until the present infrastructure of local railways is made better, not a single brick will be allowed to be placed for bullet train in Mumbai.With PTI Inputs

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

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

Shiv Sena slams PM Narendra Modi for ‘unnecessary’ bullet train project

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiv Sena slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for India’s joint bullet train project with Japan.In the editorial of its mouthpiece, Saamna, the party on Thursday claimed that a bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad is unnecessary when the Indian Railways and the Mumbai local trains are already suffering, and the basic problems of the country are going unresolved.”Even as Mumbai suburb’s local trains suffer daily, a bullet train will be running between Ahmedabad and Mumbai,” commented the Shiv Sena.The editorial also pointed that the bullet train project is being fulfilled over and above the demands of Maharashtra for rail projects for Vidarbha, Marathwada, and Konkan.”The MLAs and the Parliament of Maharashtra are making demands for rail projects for Vidarbha, Marathwada, and Konkan, but they are being ignored. Instead, we are getting a bullet train without having asked for it,” the Sena added.”It is not entirely certain, as to which problem the bullet train is a solution for,” continued the sarcastic attack on the Centre’s latest project.Saamna also questioned if the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train stood among the needs of the country.In the light of farmers’ distress going unaddressed, and no debt relief being provided to them, samna declared that bullet train was unnecessary. It added that the project would require land from Maharashtra.”Without a doubt, the bullet train will be running over the livelihood of farmers,” it commented.The editorial claimed that the Japan Government was supposed to incur the cost of the project, but now the Indian Government will be spending Rs 1,08,000 crore for the project, while the Maharashtra Government will have to spend at least Rs 30,000 crore for no good reason than for the ‘wealthy dream’ of the Prime Minister.”The Prime Minister’s dream is not of the common man, but for the interest of the wealthy and the business class, and this is the reason for making Piyush Goyal the railway minister. The budget for the project will be increasing in the coming days. Goyal is also the treasurer of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), so there must be transparency in this regard,” said the editorial.”Suresh Prabhu resigned because of train derailments, but within 15 days of induction of Piyush Goyal, seven trains have already derailed, and have increased the problems of passengers,” the party pointed out.”Japan will be providing all the resources, including labour. The bottom line here is that, the land and the fund will come from the Maharashtra and the Gujarat governments, while the profits will go to Japan. This is loot, yet we are congratulating the Prime Minister on his dream-fulfilling project,” the Sena further alleged.”The Gujarat elections are round the corner, so the business class must be fed something, right?” concluded the Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece.

Piyush Goyal too gained big in reshuffle

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former power and coal minister Piyush Goyal replaced Suresh Prabhu to take over the influential Railways portfolio. The move, that came amidst a spate of accidents putting the role of Prabhu in question, did not surprise anyone.As the Railway Minister, Prabhu had a disastrous stint with over 370 train mishaps, with over three major accidents within ten days. He even came forward to tender his resignation, which was not accepted by PM Modi. On Sunday, after the reshuffle, Prabhu said he was hopeful that Goyal will take forward “Modi’s dream” to have a functional Railways system at par with major international powers.On the other hand, Goyal’s stint as the power and coal minister has been a fruitful one, bringing in a sea change in the critical power sector.Naqvi’s elevation comes after Najma Heptulla’s exit from the Cabinet after she became the Governor of Manipur, when there was no Muslim face.Pradhan’s elevation was backed by the success of some of the key schemes of Modi’s government — the ‘Give It Up’ for LPG subsidies and the direct benefit transfer of the PAHAL scheme.

Cabinet reshuffle: PM Modi prefers low profile, result-delivering ministers for his core team

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi has affected a change governmental leadership by the cabinet reshuffle and portfolio reallocation. He had inherited a team in Delhi, which was mentored by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and former deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani.In 2014, he chose to work with few but rest were kept out of the government positions. The seniors like LK Advani, MM Joshi, Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie, and Shanta Kumar were sent to cold storage masquerading as Margdarshak Mandal.Since the first cabinet reshuffle, PM Modi has worked tirelessly to create his own team at Centre. With Amit Shah as the party president and middle moving into the Cabinet, Modi’s core team has been settled. The reshuffle not only affects the composition of CCS, CCPA and CCEA it also shifts power away to the faces closely associated with Vajpayee’s dispensation. If one puts Arun Jately, Sushma Swaraj and Rajnath Singh aside, the Cabinet has been re-casted in Modi’s image. The above three have not been superseded but their colleagues have changed. The top three ministers will now work with people who have been politically and administratively authored by Narendra Modi. Administratively, they become equals and the future leadership of BJP. This is the fundamental feature of the Cabinet reshuffle but not the only one.The elevation of Nirmala Sitharaman who was just a spokesperson before the elections as the Defence Minister is also a sign that Modi privileges performance, loyalty and low-profile work culture from the ministers.It is for this reason Smriti Irani was shifted from a high-profile ministry like HRD to Textiles. But she clawed her way back into Modi’s good book has been able to retain both Information and Broadcasting and Textile Ministry for herself. The message is clear that low profile functioning by ‘ministers’ is the preferred Modi way.The same goes for Prakash Javdekar who was elevated to the Cabinet last time around. He too retains the portfolio. The fact that Piyush Goyal has been rewarded with Railways and Dharmendra Pradhan has been given additional charge of Skill Development reaffirms that Modi is completing the process of building a post 2019 core team. Both of them have also been elevated as Cabinet Ministers thereby moving them into the core decision making process. The skill development is a project very close to the Prime Minister but Rudy, failed and hence was removed from the ministry. Nirmala on the other hand becomes the 2nd woman Defence Minister of the country after Indira Gandhi. Uma Bharti could only save her job because of her old association with RSS and for this reason her ministry was changed and important projects like Ganga rejuvenation and river inter linking which were part of her ministry was handed over to Nitin Gadkari. Even MA Naqvi has been elevated as a Cabinet Minister who earlier replaced Najma Heptulla. Despite public criticism, PM didn’t let go of Suresh Prabhu. He has been given a second chance as Commerce Minister. Rajyavardhan Rathore too has been elevated by giving him the independent charge of the Sports Ministry which was earlier held by Vijay Goel who has been shifted to Parliamentary Affairs.Another big takeaway of this reshuffle is that Modi has inducted lot of technocrats into the ministry. Politically empowered Prime Ministers have done it in past, as, they don’t require political capital from their colleagues. It is for this reason RK Singh, Alphons Kannanthanam and Hardeep Puri were inducted as minister of states with independent charge. All of them have been career bureaucrats and entered BJP laterally before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The biggest challenge for the Prime Minister is delivery and for this reason portfolios went the certain way. RK Singh got independent charge of power though coal remains with Piyush Goyal for the sensitivity of the portfolio. Puri and Alphons too have been handed ministries which were found wanting on the delivery side. The former has landed with Urban development and latter with ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. It shows that Prime Minister understands that policy formulation in India is easy but delivery becomes next to impossible because of the nature of Indian administrative structure.The current restructuring is more in line with Indira and Rajiv Gandhi who were in complete control of the government and could move ministers and groom new as per their preferences. This was missing for past 25 years because of the compulsion of coalition politics. Modi today has the same advantage. The only miss seems to have been allies and bifurcation of portfolios which were put together earlier. For example, now coal and power have been given to different ministers. Lastly, the absence ministerial induction from JDU and ADMK shows that these two projects are still unfinished business and would require more time.

Return of scrapped notes endorses success of demonetization: Piyush Goyal

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

A Dialogue With JC: Jagdeesh Chandra analyses the prospective cabinet reshuffle

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This week in his show A Dialogue with JC, Jagdeesh Chandra, CEO Regional Channels’ of Zee Media will be analyzing the prospective Cabinet Reshuffle of Modi Government. Quoting his trusted sources, Chandra said that the expansion could take place on the 2nd of September. PM Modi and BJP President Amit Shah had a long discussion on this three days ago. Chandra said that he is expecting a change in at least two dozen ministries. He also said that many ministries can be merged.Talking on the nuances of the expected expansion he said that Shiv Sena’s position will not be the same after AIADMK’s entry into the cabinet. Chandra said the only parameter of the reshuffle wil be the performance and 2019 elections. He is also expecting that seven new governors are to be made and for the same ministers can be relieved from the ministries. Talking on state’s representation Chandra said that those states can get more representations where elections are due like Karnataka, Gujarat and Himanchal. He said, Uttarakhand can get one more minister. But according to Chandra Uttar Pradesh will lose some names because there are no elections in the state.He said two MPs from JDU can become ministers. Praising Dharmendra Pradhan, Chandra said that he has done good work in Ujjwala Yojna and Modi is expecting the same from this scheme as Narega in UPA government. He also hoped that if BJP wins in Odisha, Pradhan can be given charge of the state. Chandra in his analysis said that other than Pradhan Piyush Goel, Rajyawardhan Singh and Jayant Sinha can also get promotions.Talking on the ‘Last’ expansion of Modi government, Chandra said that Ram Madhav and Bhupendra Yadav would also be included in the team Government. Chandra referred to Smriti Irani as a fire brand leader of BJP and said she would continue to be the I&B minister and would also lead the party in Raebareli and Amethi, the congress bastions in UP. Chandra also said that other than Amit Shah RSS would also play a key role in deciding the names for the cabinet. Chandra also declined the possibilities that CMs like Shivraj, Raman or Vasundhara could be brought into the cabinet from their respective states. Talking on possible names which can be dropped from the cabinet, he named Radha Mohan Singh, Uma Bharti and Rajiv Pratap Rudi. Referring to Arun Jaitley the second man after Shah, he said he could continue as the Defense minister and the finance could go to Piyush Goel. Chandra also hoped that ministries relating to transport like road, Water, Railways and Civil Aviation could be merged and the charge could be given to Nitin Gadkari. Chandra said, this would be the last expansion of the Modi Government before 2019 elections and this team would lead BJP to the next elections.Telecast Time Saturday 26/08/17 0930PM and Repeat Sunday 2.30PM

BJP condemns Anantnag terror attack, pays condolences

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday condemned Monday?s terror attack in Anantnag and paid their condolences to the families of the deceased. Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal described the attack as very dastardly and cruel. ?I severely condemn it and pay my condolences to the families of the deceased. I wishes for the speedy recovery of the injured?, Piyush added. Talking about the incident, Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir criticised it, and described the terrorists as ?cowards?. ?They are acting coward by attacking innocent people. My condolences with the people who died?, Ahir said. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath dubbed the terrorist attack on Amarnath pilgrims as a ‘cowardly’ one. At least seven people were killed and 15 injured, after a group of terrorists had earlier opened fire at the bus carrying the pilgrims on Monday in Jammu and Kashmir?s Anantnag district. The incident occurred at 8.20 p.m. today when the bus, carrying 17 pilgrims was travelling from Baltal to Mir Bazar.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Power sector in Rajasthan to be profitable in one year: Goyal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal today exuded confidence that the power sector in Rajasthan would be profitable in the next one year. Speaking at a programme organised by India Today group here, the minister said that the BJP government in the state had inherited loss-making discoms, adding, the power sector was making annual losses of Rs 15,000 crore but the losses have been recovered significantly. “From the situation of Rs 15,000 crore annual loss Rajasthan was suffering in the power sector, the situation has improved and the loss in the last financial year was reduced to Rs 5,200 crore,” he said. Goyal said the Modi government through its efforts and vision brought down the losses and now it targets to make profit in discoms by the next year. He said the government took several decisions and initiatives to accelerate growth. He said decisions on demonetisation or GST should not be seen in isolation but they are a part of a series of reforms the government started with the first Cabinet meeting. Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje said that state government has focused on improving the situation of the state. She said the government introduced Jal Swavalamban Abhiyan to address the issue of water crisis in the state with the cooperation of people, public representatives, organisations and others. She said the move has yielded positive results.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Modi govt has delivered in all fields: Shah to spokespersons

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

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

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

India will build 10 new reactors in huge boost to nuclear power

Ten new reactors will be built and they will more than double India’s current nuclear power capacity.

Cabinet nod for amending law to allow construction near

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

Disaster management should not be seen in isolation: Goyal

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

‘Delay in emission norm compliance will affect public health’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Any delay in the implementation of stricter emission standards for thermal power plants will put public health at “greater risk”, Greenpeace India said today while noting that air pollution claims over a million lives in India every year. Terming air pollution as a “national” problem which costs the economy an estimated three per cent of the GDP, the green body said that in 2015 India has witnessed more number of deaths per day than China. It demanded timely and quick implementation of the new emission standards. “It has been 16 months since the notification (for stricter emission norms) came into force but there is no progress towards controlling SO2 and NOx emission from thermal power plants. “There is no information available on how many power plants have installed or commissioned the installation of the technology to comply with the notification,” said Sunil Dahiya, Campaigner, Climate and Energy, Greenpeace India. Air pollution has become a national problem claiming 1.2 million lives every year in India, it said. The statement of the green body came in the backdrop of a media report which quoted Power Minister Piyush Goyal stating that thermal plants in the country will miss a government deadline to slash their emissions. The report said that the environment ministry had introduced stricter standards for thermal power plants two years ago and had given thermal power plants until December this year to cut particulate matter, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions and reduce their water use. “The pollution emission in the form of SO2, NOx and particulate matter impacts the population across India and need to be controlled as soon as possible to safeguard the rights of the citizens to breathe clean and healthier air,” Dahiya said. Greenpeace India demanded timely and quick implementation of the new emission standards. It also demanded transparent information to be made public on the status of implementation of the emission standards – number of power plants complying to the notification, number of power plants which have commissioned retrofication to comply to the notification or are in any other stages of development and others. “We have right to breathe clean air and implementation of the emission standards of thermal power plants as soon as we can is one step towards that direction,” Dahiya added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Clarify stand on Digvijaya’s comments: Dattatreya to Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister and BJP leader Bandaru Dattatreya today asked the Congress to clarify its stand on its general secretary Digvijaya Singh’s controversial comments on the Telangana Police. The Congress veteran, in a twitter post yesterday, alleged the Telangana Police have set up a “bogus” ISIS website to radicalise Muslim youth and encourage them to join the terrorist outfit. The TRS government denied the charge. “Why is the Congress party silent on Digvijaya’s comments? It should make its stand clear on the issue. A responsible leader like him (Singh) should not have made such comments,” Dattatreya said. “Many police personnel have lost their lives while discharging their duties. I request the Telangana government to act suitably (in the case),” he told reporters here. Following the comments two complaints were filed against the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister. Meanwhile, Dattatreya said the Telangana government has sought over Rs 2,300 crore fund from the Centre for bifurcating agricultural and non-agricultural power feeder lines. Dattatreya, the Lok Sabha MP from Secunderabad, said he will discuss the issue with Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal soon.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Jharkhand: Widow raped and killed, cops say accused ‘just kicked her stomach’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A widow who was allegedly raped and assaulted on April 18 died at a Ranchi hospital. The accused has been arrested, but police has been giving out a different version of the incident.The kin of the victim said she was alone at home as they had gone to attend a marriage.”When we returned on April 19, we were informed that our youngest daughter-in-law has been admitted to a hospital. When we went to the hospital, we were told that she has been referred to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), and that she had died,” said a male member of the family.When asked what the reason for the death was, he said, “Sudarshan Thakur killed her by inserting an iron pipe in her private parts which burst her womb.”He added: “Before dying, she recorded her statement.”The family members of the victim said ‘they have all the documents of the hospital’ to back their allegation.Police, however, gave a different version altogether.Deputy Superintendent of Police Piyush Pandey told media that the victim and one Sudarshan Thakur were having some personal issues which resulted in a scuffle in Banpur on April 18.”During the scuffle, Sudarshan kicked the victim on her stomach. She was first taken to a local hospital, but was later shifted to the RIMS, where she died on Sunday,” said Pandey.He said police immediately arrested Sudarshan after the fight, and now murder charges will be slapped on him. However, if police’s version is to be believed, then the case may turn into a case of culpable homicide.

Power connections to be issued in one week in Haryana: Goyal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal today said that from July 1 onwards, electricity connections would be issued within one week in Haryana. “All documents related to power connection would have to be submitted at the common service centres set up in villages,” Goyal said while speaking at a meeting held here today to review the functioning of the state power utilities. Goyal said both central and state governments were working in tandem in the field of energy saving. “The cost of LED bulb has been reduced by 88 per cent, and is now provided to people at Rs 65 only. The Union Power Ministry would provide 30 lakh LED bulbs to Haryana every month,” he said, according to an official release. Stating that there was no shortage of power, he directed the officers of power utilities to encourage people to pay their electricity bills so that 24-hour power could be supplied to them. Some good schemes are being implemented in the power sector in the state, he said. Under the Mhara Gaon-Jagmag Gaon scheme, 24-hour power is being supplied to villages where electricity meters have been installed outside houses and people are regularly paying their bills. Goyal directed the officers to work honestly and said the government would incentivise them. For the first time in the history of the country, electricity rates have been slashed by up to Rs 1.5 per unit. Power consumers should avail themselves of schemes of the government to get 24-hour power supply, he added. He urged the youth and students to connect with the honest system and encourage people to pay electricity bills and save energy. “Corruption would not be tolerated and if anyone is found guilty at any level strict action would be initiated against him,” he said. Electricity related complaints could be got registered at toll free number 1912, he added. Goyal said that ‘Urja Mitra’ App had been launched where data of every consumer had been uploaded. Through this application, consumers would be provided information about power supply in their areas through SMS.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

INSIGHT-Sold into slavery: India’s lost generation of missing children

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>* Almost quarter of a million children reported missing in 5 years * Up to 70 percent are trafficked and enslaved, say activists * Lack of police training, public apathy hampers drive to change By Nita Bhalla NEW DELHI, April 13 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – It was a balmy August afternoon last year when 11-year-old Piyush Sharma disappeared while playing outside his home in the small east Indian town of Hatia. The skinny little boy, with big brown eyes and an infectious smile, had just returned from school and told his mother he wanted to play outside before lunch. When she called for him 15 minutes later he was gone. “It’s been nine months since I saw him. He was still wearing his school uniform – a pink shirt and blue shorts. Someone must have taken him. He always played nearby,” said Pinki Sharma, 35, Piyush’s mother, by phone from Hatia in Jharkhand state. “My husband has travelled to many places looking for him, but no one knows anything. But I will look for him until I die.” Piyush is one of about 250,000 children registered as missing on the government’s Track Child portal between January 2012 to March 2017 – that’s five children vanishing every hour. But campaigners say these figures are just the tip of the iceberg, as many cases are not registered by parents or the police, and the children dismissed as runaways. Most, however, are sold into slavery in a country where poverty prevails and child labour is normalised, despite being banned. The Track Child data also shows nearly 73,000 children – 30 percent – are still missing despite a raft of initiatives to better protect and find these children. A lack of training of police, child welfare and protection officials, poor coordination between agencies in different states, coupled with massive public apathy is hampering the battle to locate India’s “lost generation”, say campaigners. POVERTY-STRICKEN, THEN ENSLAVED Missing children are so common in India that notices printed in classified sections of India’s daily newspapers are buried alongside tender notices and job vacancies, with blurred black and white photos alongside a description and a contact number. Pintu, 10, last seen at a Delhi railway station wearing a red sweater and black trousers. Shiwani, 16, who vanished outside her home in southern Delhi, dressed in blue jeans. Pooja, 13, in white salwar kameez, last seen in a Delhi market. Each notice ends in the same way: Sincere efforts have been made by local police to trace out this missing girl/boy, but no clue has come to light so far. Campaigners say some of these children are abused runaways. Others are abducted. Some come from poor families duped by traffickers with the promise of a good job. Some are girls in love – lured by boyfriends who sell them into prostitution. Rishi Kant from Shakti Vahini, a Delhi-based anti-trafficking charity, says up to 70 percent of the missing children found are victims of trafficking and slavery. “Most are trafficked by organised gangs who know the system. They know how to lure, transport and sell them on to employers,” said Kant, who is involved in rescuing trafficking victims. “As a result, they end up locked in brothels, wealthy homes and small workshops – making it hard to detect them or for them to escape.” India has one of largest populations of children in the world, with more than 40 percent of its 1.2 billion people below the age of 18, according to its 2011 Census. An economic boom of the last two decades has lifted millions out of poverty yet many children continue to be born into dire circumstances with India home to over 30 percent of the world’s 385 million most impoverished children, according to a 2016 World Bank and UNICEF report. They make easy prey for traffickers, fed promises of a job and a better life but often ending up in forced labour. While some children manage to escape or are rescued in police raids after tip-offs from activists or local residents, others are not so fortunate, trapped for years. “The problem is that in many places police are not trained and not integrated into the existing mechanism to register and trace missing children,” said P.M. Nair, chair professor and research coordinator on human trafficking at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai. “They often do not see the link between missing children and trafficking and may dismiss the case as a runaway child, rather than register it as a crime and investigate it.” There is also little communication between police, government officials and activists – making it difficult for those where the child goes missing to coordinate with counterparts where the child may have been taken, he added. HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT Year-on-year figures are not available to determine whether the number of missing children is rising, but government crime data from 2015 shows an almost 60 percent rise in reported kidnappings and abductions of children over five years. The National Crime Records Bureau data also show related crimes such as trafficking and buying and selling of minors for the purpose of prostitution rising over the same period. The country’s first comprehensive anti-human trafficking legislation is being drafted, providing for a special investigative agency to coordinate between states. Two official web portals have been set up to register missing children. The “Khoya Paya”, or “Lost and Found”, website is for public use, while Track Child allows police, government and charities to better coordinate. Child Line, a 24-hour toll free helpline, has been running nationally for over a decade. Over nine million calls were received in 2015/16 with over 25,000 about missing children. The government has also launched various public awareness campaigns on India’s vast railway network – the main form of transport used by traffickers – while a periodic police drive “Operation Smile” screens children in shelter homes, train and bus stations, and on the streets to find the missing. “There has definitely been a major push by police to find missing children in the last few years,” said a police official from Delhi’s crime branch, who did not want to be named. “Initiatives like Operation Smile in various parts of country has helped us find hundreds of missing children.” But some missing children are in public view despite being enslaved, escalating the need for greater public awareness, say campaigners. They loiter at traffic lights in cities, weaving between cars and knocking on windows to beg, or in make-shift roadside eateries washing dishes, or in fields of cotton, rice and maize, toiling in the heat and exposed to toxic pesticides. In wealthy middle class homes, they clean and care for children sometimes older than themselves, and in brothels they wait with painted faces to be raped by stranger after stranger. “Some of these children are in the open. Just a few weeks ago, for example, we managed to find a missing boy who was trafficked and forced to beg in Delhi,” said Raju Nepali from Duars Expressmail, an anti-trafficking charity based in Jalpaiguri in northeastern India. “No one – not the police or the public – even try to inquire about these children. They have become part of normality, maybe because they are poor. So we don’t question who they are, why they are there and who they are with.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

UP: CM Yogi Adityanath orders 24-hour power in dist centres, 18 hours in villages

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After successfully providing uninterrupted 24-hour power supply at all the ‘shaktipeeths’ during Navratri recently, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday ordered 18-hour power supply in villages and 20-hour at tehsil level and in Bundelkhand region.A meeting of the state cabinet charied by Adityanath, the second since he assumed office last month, also decided that district headquarters will get 24-hour power supply, Power Minister Shrikant Sharma told mediapersons here after the three-hour-long meeting.The chief minister directed the power department to ensure that defective or burnt transformers should be replaced expeditously in rural areas so that agricultural operations do not suffer, he said.Sharma said the ambitious ‘Power for All’ pact will be signed by Adityanath and Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal on April 14 to meet the Centre’s target of making the state energy efficient by 2018.”It was the order of the Chief Minsiter that all Shaktipeeths are supplied 24-hour power during Navratris and we have been successful in it…examinations are on and students should get power during the night so that they do not have to suffer,” Sharma said.The chief minister directed the officials to ensure uninterrupted supply to the villages from 6 in the evening to 6 in the morning so as to help the students prepare for exams.”It is the dream of BJP chief Amit Shah and the Chief Minister that every house, every poor, and every village get power by 2018,” Sharma said.

GSI to use modern aircraft to map mineral stocks in pilot

“Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal will kickstart a pilot project, worth Rs 110 crore, wherein specially-equipped aircraft will fly from Nagpur airport starting tomorrow,” N Kutambarao, Additional Director General (ADG) of the GSI (Central region) told <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For the first time in the country, the Geological Survey of India (GSI) will use sophisticated aircraft to map the mineral stocks located as deep as 20 km in earth in a pilot project beginning tomorrow, officials said. “Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal will kickstart a pilot project, worth Rs 110 crore, wherein specially-equipped aircraft will fly from Nagpur airport starting tomorrow,” N Kutambarao, Additional Director General (ADG) of the GSI (Central region) told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Stop work on open cast mine in Raniganj: Cong MP to Coal Min

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior Congress leader Pradip Bhattacharya today asked Coal Minister Piyush Goyal to stop work for an open cast mine in the Raniganj area of West Bengal till arrangements for drinking water for the locals are made. The Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) has been carrying out excavation to create an open cast mine at the Kenda colliery in the Raniganj coalfield and has taken over a natural pit which was the only source of drinking water for the local people, Bhattacharya told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Govt-Oppn tussle in Lok Sabha over NDA’s performance

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lok Sabha today witnessed noisy scenes during the Question Hour as the opposition sought data on the rulling NDA’s performance in last two-and-half years and the government hitting back with the “list” of Congress’ “failure” in the past. The vociferous scenes arose on the issue of power generation in the country when Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge asked Power Minister Piyush Goyal to inform the House the power projects initiated by the Modi government ever since it assumed office in May 2014 and how much power they were generating now. Goyal said when he took charge of the Power Ministry two-and-half years ago, the power situation in the country was dismal, there were many incomplete projects and no electricity connection to seven crore households. The reply was received with vociferous protests by the Congress members led by Kharge, as they sought statistics about the NDA government’s performance and claiming that the Minister was avoiding a reply. Amid heated exchanges, the Congress members also alleged that the government was trying to take credit for the power projects initiated by the previous governments and there was nothing to show about the Modi government’s performance. BJP MPs said they had prepared a “list” of the Congress’ “failure” in the past. Goyal forcefully contended that several stalled projects, including the 1200 MW Teesta hydro-electric project in Sikkim, Subansiri hydro-electric project in the Northeast, were started by the present government. While the land acquisition process for new projects has been streamlined, electricity connection has been given to seven crore households in the country, he claimed. Replying a supplementary, the Minister said in 2014, the total power generated from solar energy was 2631 MW which has now increased to 10,000 MW and the price of solar power has declined now to Rs 2.97 per unit.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

10 quintal steel rods, plates robbed in UP’s Noida

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Some unidentified persons have robbed 10 quintal steel rods and plates from an under-construction site after thrashing the security guard in Dadri, police said today. The incident took place near burial ground on Kathera road in Dadri late last night, Deputy Superintendent of Police Piyush Singh said. Robbers overpowered security guard Saurabh and robbed five quintal steel rods and five quintal steel plates from the site where a tower was being construction, he said. One Rajiv Aggarwal has lodged an FIR in this connection at the Dadri police station, the officer added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India road victim bleeds to death as bystanders film

Anwar Ali pleaded with onlookers to take him to hospital but they filmed him instead.

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