Dabbawalas have written to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal seeking resolution of the issues they face at suburban stations after the Railway Protection Force (RPF) on Monday fined some of them for parking their bicycles outside Grant Road station, stating that “hawkers” were not allowed outside station premises.After a stampede on Elphinstone Road foot overbridge killed 22 people on September 29, the authorities have been driving hawkers out of railway station premises across the city.According to the Mumbai Dabbawala Association, they have been treated as hawkers by the RPF at various stations, such as Kandivali, Borivali and Bhayandar, for the past few months.On Monday, the RPF confiscated eight cycles belonging to dabbawalas that were parked outside Grant Road station and asked them to cough up a fine.Subhash Talekar, spokesperson for Mumbai Dabbawala Association, said, “We have shot off a letter to the railway minister regarding the issue. Cycle is an important means of transport for us. We should not be called hawkers just because we have to park our cycles near railway stations. We keep our cycles there just for some minutes while exchanging tiffin boxes. The authorities should keep this in mind before slapping a fine on us and terming us hawkers. We request the officials to exempt us from these charges.”Earlier, three cycles from Borivali and four from Bhayandar railway station were confiscated; they belonged to dabbawalas. Talekar said this happened a few weeks ago and they had to pay a fine “but on Tuesday the court said we should be let go without being charged a fine.”
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In all likelihood, the Western Railways (WR) will run the much-awaited air-conditioned (AC) local train from December 25, as promised by Union Railway minister Piyush Goyal. On December 19, the WR received permission from the Railway Board to run the 12-car AC local between Churchgate and Dahanu Road.”The dates have not come from the Railway Board, but we are ready to run on any day,” said AK Gupta, General Manager, Western Railway.The Railway Board, in a letter submitted to the WR, have set out a few directives that need to be followed while operating the AC local trains, which are expected to run at maximum speed of 100kmph. Sources said that as the coaches are different from a regular Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) or local trains, the Board has asked the WR to ensure that height of platforms from rail level should not exceed 900mm, Provide CCTVs in every coach of the AC train within a year, install fire alarms, smoke detection system and at least two fire extinguishers in each coach”Technicians have been asked to educate the commuters, apart from standing inside the coaches; to open the doors at the time of emergency,” said a WR official.
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<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A former member of Zonal Railway User Consultative Committee urged Railway Minister Piyush Goyal to blacklist the contractor and to give compensation to the family members of the three women labourers who died on the tracks.Two days after three women labourers were mowed down to death by the Bandra-Indore Holiday Express train between Malad and Goregaon railway stations, a former Zonal Railway User Consultative Committee (ZRUCC) member has now written to the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal demanding strictest action against the contractors for the deaths of the three women labourers on November 18.In the letter, Dr. Manoj Dube, a member of the Railway Pravasi Mitra and a former ZRUCC member states that the labourers risk their lives while working for the railways and must be compensated after the tragedy. “Deaths of women labourers is very unfortunate and the contractor is to be blamed for it. Moreover, the families has to be compensated. Similar such incidents have taken place in the past when the labourers working on the tracks for the railways have lost their lives.”, said Dr. Dube”The railways should conduct an inquiry into the incident and must blacklist the contractor if found guilty. The railways should ensure that such incidents do not take place in the future.”, said Dr Dube.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The jinx that began on the midnight of July 1 with the implementation of GST continues to haunt Surat, the biggest textile hub that accounts for 40% business in man-made fabric in India.“We were assured at various government forums that nearly 80-90% of our demands will be met. But when GST Council meeting met on November 10, our demands were not even touched. We are again at the crossroads,” says Manoj Agarwal, President of Federation of Surat Textile Traders Association (FOSTTA). The main demand of the traders relates to doing away with GST that has been put at every point of the supply chain – from the grey cloth stage till the product reaches the final point of sale. At least 12 jobs such as embroidery lace patti, fall & stitching, charak, packaging etc. are involved once the grey fabric leaves the power looms and reaches the retail shops. But making challans and keeping track and giving details of each and every challan in ITC-04 at each of the 12 points has rendered the trade impossible, complain traders.Apart from FOSTTA, other associations like the Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SGCCI) have given representations at various levels, including Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Smriti Irani, Piyush Goyal and even BJP chief Amit Shah and BJP leader and Secretary General of Confederation of All India Traders Praveen Khandelwal. However, despite assurances, their demands have not been met, complain traders.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Brihanmumbai Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta on Tuesday called for a review meeting of the Bridges department and Removal of Encroachments department of BMC, which was also attended by Railway officials. The meeting took place on a day when Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited Elphinstone Road station and announced that the Indian Army will build foot-overbridges (FOB).Member of Parliament of BJP Kirit Somaiya, who was also present at the meeting, proposed to build pedestrian subways at three railway stations — Ghatkopar, Bhandup and Mulund — instead of building additional FOBs.”BMC chief and railway officials have sanctioned the proposals and Ghatkopar station’s survey plan will be made soon. The subway at the three stations connect all the platforms. The cost will be borne 50-50 by railways and BMC, but work will be carried out by Railways”.”The proposed idea is to build subways at railway stations instead of FOBs like in the case of stations in Navi Mumbai. The additional FOBs and escalators are expensive, and wherever it is feasible, subways can be built which will play a role in diverting the crowd,” a senior BMC officer said.On removal of encroachments, especially hawkers at exits of railway stations, Deputy Municipal Commissioner, Nidhi Chaudhari said, “We have already allotted tenders for deploying additional pick-up vans outside railway stations in city. Plus, I have a review meeting with concerned staff on Wednesday to take decisions on provision of logistics for taking strict action against hawkers. Whatever heavy logistics the staff needs for removing hawkers and other unauthorised structures at exits of railway stations, will be achieved”.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Cricket icon and Rajya Sabha member Sachin Tendulkar has sanctioned Rs 2 crore from his Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) fund for revamp of rail foot overbridges in Mumbai here in the backdrop of the Elphinstone Road station stampede.On September 29, 23 people were killed in the rush-hour stampede on a narrow foot overbridge (FOBs) linking Elphinstone Road and Parel suburban stations during heavy rain.Tendulkar, in a letter to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, said he is requesting the Mumbai suburban district collector to authorise Rs 2 crore for constructions.He said Rs 1 crore each be alloted to Western Railway and Central Railway from his MPLADS fund “towards immediate revamp and construction of FOBs in as many high density, single bridge stations on the Western, Central (Main) and Central (Harbour) lines” that the official may deem urgent.”The recent incident at the Elphinstone Road station on Western Railway where innocent lives were lost in a stampede was devastating and I am moved to offer immediate support for the improvement of services for our Mumbaikars,” he wrote.”For the families RPT families of those affected, it is not a happy Diwali in any sense, we must do all we can as responsible citizens to ensure this never happens again on any network in India,” Tendulkar said in the letter dated October 16.In the letter, also sent to the Mumbai suburban district collector, Tendulkar said he has asked the Railway Ministry, Railway Board and zonal heads “to study the possibility of creating two separate independent zones for the suburban services, a request that has been made by several experts, passenger and civil society groups.””I think there is a merit in this request as it will bring dedicated manpower, funds and focus on the suburban network which ferries millions every single day,” he wrote.Every year, MPs are allotted Rs 5 crore under the MPLAD (Member of Parliament Local Area Development) Scheme, primarily to take up development projects in their respective constituencies.The fund has been increased over time, starting from Rs 5 lakh in 1993-94 to Rs 5 crore at present.
<!– /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.
Jay Amit Shah, the son of party chief Amit Shah, denies a report accusing him of corruption.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mumbai’s surburban railway network had another major glitch on Sunday afternoon after a local train derailed between Chhattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and Masjid station.The incident took place at 1.45 pm when two wheels of the first coach of a Karjat-bound local slipped from the main track.The derailment resulted in several services getting cancelled.The habour line services were also halted, thanks to the weekly mega-block that takes place every Sunday.A DNA reporter said that she had been standing in Vidyavihar station – the station after Kurla – for the past 30 minutes and the announcement of cancellations had been made.The incident comes two days after a stampede on Elphinstone Road Foot Over Bridge resulted in the deaths of 23 people. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had on Saturday announced that there would be no compromise when it came to passenger safety and announced several projects, including constructing bridges at several stations on the Western and Central lines over the next one year.
<!– /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
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days after several commuters complained about difficulties in walking on a foot overbridge (FOB) at Elphinstone railway, at least 22 people were killed in a stampede on Friday.The incident took place amid rains in the city around 10.40 am when the FOB was heavily crowded.Amid anger over the incident, locals have accused police of taking ‘hafta’ for allowing hawkers to sit on an over-crowded bridge.”Hawkers have occupied the space….The public doesn’t have space to walk and police are taking ‘hafta’. Is the bridge for public or for hawkers,” said an angry local.Live Updates: 22 killed, over 30 injured in stampede at Elphinstone railway station in Mumbai; Piyush Goyal orders inquiry “The incident was expected to happen..Look at the size of the bridge and the crowd that travels. The railway is not paying attention at public,” he added.Meanwhile, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal has ordered high-level inquiry into by the Chief Safety Officer of Western Railway.”Saddened and shocked to know about the tragic stampede at #Elphinstone railway station, foot over bridge. My heart goes out to the families who lost their loved ones and got affected,” said Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed his condolences to all those who have lost their lives due to the stampede.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least three people were killed and 25 others injured in a stampede at Elphinstone railway station in Mumbai on Friday.The incident took place at around 10:30 am due to a heavy crowd at the foot over bridge. The incident comes on the day when Railway Minister Piyush Goyal is in Mumbai. He was scheduled to board a local train at 1:00 pm at Vile Parle station.The injured have been rushed to KEM hospital.(More details are awaited)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha’s stinging attack on Narendra Modi government has please the Congress.In a witty reply to Sinha’s opinion piece in the Indian Express, senior Congress leader and ex-Union Minister P Chidambaram said, “We are happy that Mr Yashwant Sinha has echoed our criticism (of the Govt).”“Congress has exposed many weaknesses in the economy and the terrible mismanagement,” former finance minister added.Chidambaram even asked whether ‘power’ would now accept the truth.In a newspaper article headlined, “I need to speak up now”, Sinha said a revival by the time of the next Lok Sabha election was “highly unlikely” and a “hard landing” appeared inevitable.Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi took a dig at the BJP and tweeted, “Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your copilot and FM speaking. Please fasten your seat belts and take brace position. The wings have fallen off our plane.”Yashwant Sinha, who was finance minister under Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government, said in the article that he would be failing in his national duty if he did not speak up.Criticising the BJP government’s handling of the economy, Sinha wrote, “Finance ministry, in the best of times, calls for the undivided attention of its boss if the job has to be properly done. In challenging times it becomes more than a 24/7 job. Naturally, even a superman like Jaitley could not do justice to the task.”Meanwhile, Union Minister Piyush Goyal has defended his government’s economic policies.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>JP chief Amit Shah on Monday criticised Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi over his remarks on dynastic politics and said the BJP believes in the politics of performance while the Congress banks on the “politics of appeasement and dynasty”.In his inaugural address at the BJP national executive, Shah said the current president, vice president and the prime minister had reached their position due to their work, despite their humble origins.Shah said the economy was stronger under this government than it was under the UPA and cited figures to make his point, Union minister Piyush Goyal told reporters while briefing them on the party president’s speech.Shah’s comments came amid the opposition’s criticism of the government’s handling of the economy.He praised the government over its handling of Naxalism and terrorism, saying more terrorists were killed in its three years of rule than any other spell of three years.Shah also attacked the TMC government in West Bengal and the Left government in Kerala for alleged political violence targeting BJP workers, Goyal said.
Updated: Sep 17, 2017, 12:01 AM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the wake of a series of recent train accidents in the country, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday suggested out-of-turn promotions for those staff who take timely action to avert mishaps.Speaking at a review meeting with senior officials of the South Western Railway, he asserted that such schemes will boost the morale of the staff. Terming the recent train accidents as “unfortunate”, Goyal called upon the railway staff to work diligently for ensuring complete safety in running trains, a release by the South Western Railway said.”The minister suggested various schemes such as granting out-of-turn promotion for the staff who take timely action to avert accidents. He said such schemes will go a long way in boosting the morale of the staff,” it said. The BJP leader emphasised that safety shall be given top most priority and track renewal works be taken up expeditiously. He also asked the Railways to develop an action plan for eliminating unmanned level crossing gates in a year’s time, instead of 2019-20 as planned earlier.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the back of three train derailments, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal today asked the Railway Board to divert rails marked for construction of new lines to stretches prone to accidents and where replacement was due.He also directed the board officials to expedite procurement of new rails to complete laying of tracks in pending projects and eliminate unmanned level crossings within a year.Chairing a meeting with top Railway Board officials, the minister asked them to take up track replacement and renewal on a priority, an official said.”The procurement of new rails should be expedited on a large scale with a view to completing construction of new lines in time,” the minister was quoted as having told the officials.Goyal also instructed the board to install anti-fog LED lights in locomotives to ensure unhindered and safe train operations during winter.Goyal, who assumed office after the exit of his prececessor Suresh Prabhu following a string derailments, also said the process of replacing old coaches with modern LBH bogies should be speeded up.”The Minister emphasised that safety is paramount and there cannot and should not be any compromise on this front,” said the senior official.Today, three trains jumped off the tracks while derailment of another was averted in Uttar Pradesh, New Delhi and Maharashtra within a span of nine hours.The hattrick of derailments was the first since Goyal assumed office following Sunday’s rejig in the Union Council of Ministers.On August 20, 14 coaches of the high-speed Kalinga-Utkal Puri Haridwar Express had derailed in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar, killing at least 23 people and leaving scores injured.Three days later, nine coaches of the Delhi-bound Kaifiyat Express had derailed in the Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh after it collided with a dumper, which had strayed on to the tracks, leaving around 100 passengers injured.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A beleaguered Suresh Prabhu, who had taken the “moral responsibility” for a recent spate of train accidents, came in for high praise from his successor Piyush Goyal, who took charge as the new Railway minister today.The new minister said his predecessor was his mentor with whom he had worked on earlier occasions.”It is a very emotional day for me. Suresh Prabhu has been mentoring me, directing me and taking care of me for the past 20 years. From time to time we have had the chance to work together,” said Goyal, whose formal taking over was attended by Prabhu at Rail Bhavan.Prabhu had not attended office after August 23, when he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and offered to resign after the accidents last month.”In the government of Atal Behari Vajpayee, he (Prabhu) worked with my father and at that time he was in charge of the power ministry and the leadership that he had shown then is the reason why our country has such a capable power sector,” Goyal said.He pointed out that Prabhu then headed a task force for interlinking rivers of which Goyal was a member.”I was introduced to his style of work when I worked with him for two years in the task force, and it was a fantastic experience,” said the new Rail minister.Goyal said the “culture of non-stop work” in the government was practised by Prabhu when he headed the force.Recalling his first days as the Power minister, Goyal said initially he had little knowledge of the sector and didn’t know the “P of Power”.”I had just come from Mumbai and I didn’t know the P of Power. Then P for Prabhu, my elder brother, taught me how to combine the three sectors – power, renewable energy and coal and move towards development at a fast pace,” he said.Prabhu’s roadmap, Goyal said, focused on investment, security and consumer utilities.All this, he said, had turned the Railways into a vibrant organisation.”For this, the country will be indebted to him, the ministry is indebted to him. We all have to just follow his track,” said Goyal.Prabhu, while speaking to the media today, said he believed Goyal would do a better job than him in the ministry.”He (Goyal) will play a big role in the progress of the country. I wish him all the best and all the success. I am here to help him in whatever he needs, and I believe that everyone will support him as they did me,” Prabhu said.Prabhu, now in charge of Commerce, however, refused to speak about his tenure as the Rail minister.He had offered to step down after two train accidents in Uttar Pradesh last month, which were followed by two other derailments.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu today rubbished the talk of his demotion in the Cabinet reshuffle, saying he looks at his new task as an opportunity to ensure rapid economic growth of the country.Noting that his new assignment is his ninth as a Cabinet minister, Prabhu said every task is equally important.Prabhu was moved out of the important railway ministry and was handed over the commerce and industry portfolio in the Cabinet recast. The development comes after Prabhu took moral responsibility for the Kalinga Utkal Express train’s derailment near Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district on August 19 that killed 23 people. Two more derailments were also reported last month. Soon after the Khatauli tragedy, Prabhu had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said in a series of tweets that he took full responsibility for the accident but was asked to “wait”. This was seen as an indication that he would be ejected from the key infrastructure ministry.”Every responsibility of the government is important and this is my ninth Cabinet level position,” Prabhu said. There was a buzz that Prabhu could be axed from the Cabinet, but he was replaced by Piyush Goyal and shifted to commerce and industries ministry. “I am extremely happy that the prime minister has asked me to do something in Make in India, Start up India, and ease of doing business in India—all of these are the flagship programmes of the government which have to be implemented and I look forward to doing that in the right earnest,” he said.Prabhu said the task is cut for him in the new ministry, which is to ensure faster economic growth, address the challenge of creating more employment opportunities, work to bring in more investments and increase exports for greater competitiveness. He identified export intensive industries as an area where large number of jobs can be created. “We have a big challenge of improving employment. We need investments in India which have to be supplemented by FDI, we need to increase exports so that competitiveness improves as well as more jobs are created through export intensive industries,” Prabhu said.Soon after the oath-taking ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan ended where Goyal and three other Ministers of State were elevated to the Cabinet rank and nine new faces inducted into the council of ministers, Prabhu tweeted indicating his exit from Rail Bhawan. “Thanks to all 13 Lacs+ rail family for their support, love, goodwill. I will always cherish these memories with me. Wishing you all a great life,” he said.Wishing the fresh inductees to the Council of Ministers, Prabhu said, “Congrats to all members of #TeamModi for new responsibility. Making our country better is our common mission.” He also applauded Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Dharmendra Pradhan, Nirmala Sitharaman and Goyal who were elevated as Cabinet ministers.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi today congratulated all those who joined his Council of Ministers, saying their experience and wisdom would add immense value to it.Nine ministers took oath and four were promoted as Cabinet ministers as part of the third reshuffle carried out by Modi carried out in as many years.The ministers promoted were Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Dharmendra Pradhan, Piyush Goyal and Nirmala Sitharaman.”I congratulate all those who have taken oath today.
ALSO READ Farewell to railways? After Cabinet reshuffle, Suresh Prabhu’s tweet hints at his exit Their experience & wisdom will add immense value to the Council of Ministers,” the prime minister tweeted shortly after the swearing-in ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhawan.All the new ministers were from the BJP as its allies were not part of the exercise. Six ministers of the Union Cabinet had put in their papers, days ahead of the reshuffle.A highlight of the third reshuffle was the induction of people with proven administrative ability, underlining the prime minister’s efforts to give a fresh impetus to governance.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In his third cabinet expansion since coming to power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inducted 9 new faces in his team.But the new roles of these ministers and others is yet to be announced.Here are major developments from this political story:1: Since morning, there is a strong buzz that Suresh Prabhu or Sushma Swaraj can become India’s next defence minister.2: If Sushma Swaraj gets Defence portfolio, it would be the first time since Indira Gandhi that a female minister has held the crucial ministry.3: Uma Bharti, the Water Resource Minister, skipped the reshuffle. According to news agency ANI, Bharti is in Varanasi. It is also being reported that Piyush Goyal is tipped to be the next Railway Minister.4: There are also reports the Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was reportedly unhappy over the rejig. Many say Kumar was miffed over non-inclusion of JD(U) members in the Cabinet expansion.5: Lalu Prasad, the RJD chief and former Nitish Kumar ally, was quick to react to this. “They (JD(U)) didn’t even get the invite. One who leaves his people won’t be taken in by others. It’s Nitish Kumar’s fate,” Prasad was quoted as saying to ANI.6: At the majestic Durbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan, Dharmendra Pradhan was the first minister to the oath.7: Piyush Goyal, Nirmala Sitharaman, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi were among those who came next. All of them have been promoted as Cabinet Ministers.8: Seen as the Brahmin face from Uttar Pradesh, Shiv Pratap Shukla, who is a BJP member in Rajya Sabha took oath as Minister of State.9: Ashwini Kumar Choubey, BJP lawmaker from Bihar’s Buxar; Dr Virendra Kumar from Madhya Pradesh’s Tikamgarh; Ananth Kumar Hegde from Karnataka; former bureaucrat RK Singh from Bihar; Hardeep Singh Puri, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat from Rajasthan’s Jodhpur were among those who also took oath.10: Also on the list were Mumbai’s former top cop Dr Satypal Singh and Alphons Kannanthanam.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP leader Piyush Goyal today accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of letting the situation go out of hand in riot-hit Basirhat area to appease a community for political reasons. Goyal, who is the minister for power, hit out at Banerjee for her “baseless and false” allegations at the central government and claimed she did so to divert attention from her administrative failure in Basirhat and strife-hit Darjeeling. “She let the situation go out of control. A particular community was targeted. Situation was allowed to go out of hand to appease another community for political reasons,” he told a press conference. Though he did not name communities, BJP leaders have gone on record blaming Muslims for violence aimed at Hindus following an objectionable Facebook post. While violence continue to be reported in both the regions of West Bengal, the state government said it did need more central forces after making a request for them, he said. Goyal also attacked the TMC government for not allowing a three-member BJP committee to visit the riot-hit area today. “People of Bengal will not forgive her for appeasing a community for communal reasons,” he said. Asked about allegations that the saffron party was trying to benefit from communal polarisation, he claimed that it does not believe in discrimination on the basis of religion. Asked about the state BJP’s demand that the TMC government be dismissed, he said he had nothing to say on this. Hitting out at the BJP, Banerjee had said it was stoking communal fire but people had not fallen into its trap.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister for renewable power, coal and mines Piyush Goyal on Saturday said that despite the ample coal availability, the country has to import coal mainly to meet the needs of power plants with an installed capacity of 83,100 MW power projects as they are designed to run on imported coal and not on domestic coal which contains 40% fly ash. The union minister of state for power, renewable power, coal and mines Piyush Goyal said “These plants have become an albatross around my neck. The power generated by these plants is costly. The imported coal-based power plants were planned despite India has third largest coal reserves. At the same time, we have to regulate coal production as nearly 55 million tonnes of coal is gathered at the pithead coal mines for low demand especially from states,” he said.The union minister, who was speaking at the sidelines of a conference on the power sector, said the country is also facing another problem where in the power generation plants are purchasing low coal quantity not to block the working capital. “The coal production in the first quarter was brought down by 5% also to avoid fire in coal mines.’’Goyal said the coal shortage has become a thing of past. Besides, the government’s efforts during last three years have paid off as none of the coal based power plants are now facing any coal shortage. He informed that the energy and peak demand shortages too have drastically come down and the states can now even trade on power exchanges. Besides, states can book power through an app launched by the power ministry. “Today, the electricity is priced at Rs 2.52 per unit in the whole country,” he added.Further, India is now power surplus and exporting power to all SAARC countries barring Pakistan. However, he admitted that despite surplus coal, India cannot export it due to 40% fly ash content and the higher transportation cost.On meeting target set by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2015 to electrify 18,000 villages from remote areas in 1,000 days, the minister informed that so far 14,700 have been electrified and the balance 3,800 will be electrified ahead of schedule. On the government’s initiative to promote LED lights, Goyal said as on date 24 crore have been sold out. The target is to sell 77 crore LED lights in five years. “With the use of 100% LED, India can save Rs 40,000 crore and 112 billion units of electricity per year. Efforts are to create a favourable environment for LED use by one and all by 2019,’’ he noted.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India remains committed to the Paris agreement to tackle climate change regardless of what other countries do, the government said on Friday after President Donald Trump announced he would withdraw the United States from the landmark global pact. “India under Prime Minister Narendra Shri Modi’s leadership has taken up renewable energy as an article of faith and is steadfast on its Paris commitments, irrespective of what others do,” Power Minister Piyush Goyal said in a statement. Harsh Vardhan, India’s environment minister, said the world’s third largest greenhouse gas emitter was committed to ensure it did its best to address climate change and global warming.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
Ten new reactors will be built and they will more than double India’s current nuclear power capacity.
<!– /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.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday announced the signing of the Multilateral Convention treaty for smooth implementation of tax related measures, which will prevent base erosion and profit sharing. “It is a move that will help achieve a consensus between the developed and developing nations,” Goyal said while briefing the Cabinet here today. ?Major decision taken today is to amend the tax treaties related to black money. The signing of the convention will assist in preventing base erosion and profit sharing,? he said while highlighting the importance of curbing circulation on black money in the economy said the signing of this treaty is crucial to amend tax treaties. Drawing upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi?s vision of curbing black money through multilateral treaties rather than bilateral ties, as discussed in the G-20 Summit in 2015, Goyal said the move to sign the treaty will help identify loopholes in taxation treaties. ?Profit was being shifted to places with negligible or no tax. This way, the excess money got clearance and thus continued to be in circulation. The fight against black money cannot be solved entirely through bilateral treaties,? said Goyal. Developing on this premise, Goyal said the multilateral treaty is being developed as a means of monitoring such shifting of profit, so that the money can be sent back to where it came from. To this effect, 3,000 treaties have been modified and facilitated the creation of a multilateral instrument to identify loopholes and prevent treaty abuse, he said. Several other initiatives have been discussed during the meeting. On the electrification front, the Cabinet approved the construction of a double-line with electrification between Phephana-Indara and Mau-Shahganj (excluding Indara-Mau) in Uttar Pradesh. The Cabinet also approved the construction of an electrified third line between Manmad-Jalgaon in Maharashtra.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /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.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>road show in Varanasi on March 4 and senior leaders of both the parties are camping there to oversee their strategy in the face of the moves by the saffron party. BJP president Amit Shah has been in constant touch with partymen, making frequent trips and over the past week, he stayed back in Varanasi for five nights meeting finetuning the strategy with Union ministers and party leaders. According to BJP, this is the first time that the party has set up a new media centre near Chawka Ghat in Varanasi, where at least one Union minister addressed mediapersons every day to highlight achievements of the Modi government, the party’s manifesto. The minister also targets the Akhilesh government, its alliance with Congress, and the BSP. Moreover, the party has set up a war room at its headquarters in Kashi region in Gulab Bagh area, where party workers have been assigned the task of publicising BJP programmes through social media. A protocol cell has been set up to look after arrangements for Union ministers visiting Varanasi, while a separate Awas Vibhag (housing cell) has been formed to manage accommodation for visiting BJP leaders. Over the past week, Union ministers who have visited Varanasi include Rajnath Singh, J P Nadda, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Kalraj Mishra, Uma Bharti, Ananth Kumar, Smriti Irani, Narendra Singh Tomar, Piyush Goyal, Mahendra Nath Pandey, Santosh Gangwar, Krishna Raj and Anupriya Patel. BSP chief Mayawati is also touring these constituencies addressing three to four election rallies a day while leaders of her party have been assigned the task of staying in contact with the electorate at the grassroots level.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)