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Tag: uttarakhand

Jai Ram Thakur now part of NextGen Saffron

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

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MoEF defers clearance for Indo-Nepal project

After a Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change sub-committee raised issues regarding the project affected people and environmental impact assessment report of the Pancheshwar dam, an expert appraisal committee (EAC) of the ministry has deferred green clearance of the project. Last month, the EAC on hydroelectric projects had asked a sub-committee to visit the site of the dam project in Uttarakhand. The sub-committee visited the project site on November 24 and found that issues regarding the modalities of rehabilitating displaced villages were unresolved and thus asked for more information from the project authority.The Pancheshwar multipurpose project is a joint venture of India and Nepal that involves construction of a 315-m tall rock-fill hydropower dam across Mahakali River, 2.5-kms downstream at the confluence of Mahakali and Saryu River. The project would have a total installed capacity of 5,040 MW with the inclusion of a smaller 240MW hydropower dam.After interacting with Champawat officials and project affected people, the sub-committee informed the EAC that a uniform criteria should be adopted for enumerating the project affected in holistic ways. It said that villagers staying below or at 680-m full reservoir level (FRL) shall be displaced and villages located just above at 681-m FRL shall not be displaced.Even as the sub-committee has said that there was no opposition to the project it made no mention of local protests during the statutory public hearings that posed questions on safety, employment and ecological concerns.The EAC also deliberated on objections of civil society. It played down concerns regarding seismic vulnerabilities faced by the region. “Observations such as “a seismically uncertain context” are alarmist because seismic activity is always uncertain. Nothing can be 100 per cent risk free,” the minutes of the meeting stated.

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Assembly elections 2017: Will Himachal Pradesh results throw up a surprise?

While exit polls have already given a sweeping victory to BJP in Himachal Pradesh, locals are keeping their fingers crossed in the hilly state, which has in last 24 years never re-elected an incumbent government.BJP, which made an impressive comeback in adjoining hill state of Uttarakhand early this year replacing the Harish Rawat-led Congress government, is confident to romp home in Himachal as well where Congress’ Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has been battling age and corruption charges.Singh, called Raja by locals is a popular face and it was his popularity, which apparently forced BJP to declare Prem Singh Dhumal its CM face towards the end of the election even as it has earlier decided not to project any face and had in fact given more prominence to Union Minister J P Nadda.While exit polls suggest, Dhumal forming the next government in the state with huge margin, for the locals the outcome will be more based on the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Many feel that it could be close contest this time and Virbhadra Singh may not just sink into oblivion with as poor results as being predicted by the exit polls.While Congress is striving hard for ‘Mission Repeat’ in the hill state this time, BJP is confident that the swing state will live up to its tradition of not returning the ruling party to power. It has also taken steps to check dissension. It’s confidence is also due to the fact that it had won all the four Lok Sabha seats in 2014 Lok Sabha polls.Supporters of Singh say that exit polls had also predicted win for BJP in the last assembly elections in 2012, where Congress won 36 seats in comparison to BJP’s 26.Ask anyone to give two reasons to ousts Singh’s govt and the answers would come on predictable lines… One, no govt has ever been repeated since eighties.Two, the corruption case against sitting chief minister where he could be arrested soon.The Congress government had not rubbed the government employees the wrong way in Singh’s five-year-tenure, which could be the reasons its supporters feel that the employees will back it.Singh led Himachal campaign single-handedly despite falling health and that has also struck a chord with voters to bring him back for one last time before he calls it quits, his supporters argue.They argue that there is no such sympathy wave for Dhumal on the other side who is fighting a tough battle to win own seat Sujanpur, where the former Chief Minister is locked into a tough battle against Rajinder Rana, who has nurtured it for many years. Rana, a protege turned rival of Dhumal had contested the 2012 election as an Independent and defeated his nearest Congress rival Anita Verma by 14,155 votes.It’s an open secret in the state unit that Dhumal, who contested the last assembly polls from Hamirpur assembly segment, was not willing to contest from Sujanpur.BJP had projected Dhumal as its CM face, hoping it could give a boost to the party’s campaign in all five assembly segments in Hamirpur.An old slogan, which does rounds in Himachal is that whosoever wins Kangra valley forms a government in Himachal.Congress had 10 seats from this region while BJP had just three in the last assembly. This time around, the Congress has strong presence in this region and it could be a neck to neck results. BJP state Mahila Morcha chief Indu Goswami, who has openly faced backlash from party workers, is pitted against politically-established Butail family’s son, Ashish Butail.

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Union cabinet clears Triple Talaq bill, 3 years jail proposed for offenders

The Union Cabinet on Friday cleared the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 to criminalise the instant divorce practice. The bill is likely to be tabled in the current session of Parliament. Here is all you need to know about the triple talaq bill:1. Maximum sentence of three years’ imprisonment and fine to men pronouncing ‘talaq-ebiddat’.2. The new proposed law will become a cognizable and non-bailable offence. 3. The bill says that triple talaq in any form either verbal or writing by any means like email, Whatsapp and SMS would be illegal and void.Also readMuslim organisation oppose single-step criminalisation of triple talaq4. The provision of maintenance and custody of minor child has been incorporated to ensure legal and financial protection in case husband forcibly throws the victim out of the house. It would empower women to approach magistrate seeking maintenance and custody of minor child.5. The bill is set to be tabled in the Parliament to be passed by both the houses to finally become a law.Also readTriple Talaq law: Govt mulls 3-year jail term for offenders 6. All states, except Jammu and Kashmir will be part of the law once it is passed in both houses of the Parliament. 7. The states that have supported the proposed bill are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Assam.8. Earlier, the five-judge Constitution Bench had struck down the practice of instant triple talaq in a 3:2 judgment. The top court had called the controversial practice of instant divorce as “arbitrary and unconstitutional”.

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For 18 years, did not feel like resting: PM Narendra Modi in Nadiad

Continuing his tirade against the Congress, PM Narendra Modi on Monday said in Nadiad that unlike Congress, he does not have anyone to think of other than the country.”I am sitting in Delhi since 3.5 years and after I came, I saw that they had emptied the ‘Tijori’. They would just work on how to get work of their relatives done, and then, if time and money is left, they would think about the country. Do I have to collect money for anyone or am I worried for anyone? I do not have anyone except you. You have seen me as a CM for 14 years and as a PM for 3.5 years. There is not even a single day that I felt like resting.”He said, “They have issues with me, Morarji Desai, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, but why against development. Those who have cycle, don’t they wish to have a scooter. Doesn’t a tenant wish to have a house, is this not development?”In their speeches, Congress alleged that there are no good hospitals or roads in Gujarat. I want to ask them, “Have you opened a hospital that I shut down? Did you constructed roads and I made potholes on them?”He said, “My friends in Congress say that Modi works for industrialists. 30 crore poor had never seen doors of the bank under the reign of those who ran votebank in the name of poor. And today, those 30 crore poor have opened bank accounts. While the rich flaunt their debit cards at various places, to empower the poor, we have given debit cards to 22 crore people. Is this not ‘Vikas’?” Reminding people of presence of Congress, he added, “The Congress went out from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Manipur, Arunachal, Sikkim, Goa, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, MP, Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand, UP, Uttarakhand and J&K.” He told crowd, “I will only be happy if lotus blooms in each and every booth. Ready to take responsibility?”

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Day after going missing, Jasprit Bumrah’s grandfather’s body found in Ahmedabad

Indian cricketer Jasprit Bumrah’s grandfather Santokh Singh Bumrah’s body was found in Ahmedabad, a day after his daughter reported a missing persons Complaint. He was 84. According to a report by Ahmedabad Mirror, Santokh was in the city to meet his grandson. An auto driver by profession in Uttarakhand, Santokh was a successful businessman until his son – Jasprit’s father – passed away. The report added that since then, the business went downhill and Santokh had to resort to driving a rickshaw. His daughter Rajinder Kaur, however, alleged that the fast bowler’s mother Daljit Kaur spoke to Santokh, but refused to let him speak to Jasprit. She didn’t even give his phone number. This is when Santokh, determined to meet him, left for Ahmedabad where he went missing. Currently, Jasprit is playing the first ODI between India and Sri Lanka at Dharamshala.

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4.9 earthquake strikes North India, tremors felt in Delhi-NCR

Residents of Delhi-NCR felt strong earthquake on Wednesday evening. People in National Capital Region felt the tremors around 8:50 pm. <!– /11440465/DNA_Mobile_Article_300x250_BTF_1 –>Initial reports suggested that the epicentre of the earthquake was in Uttarakhand. Media reports said that the tremors were felt in many parts of North India, including Chandigarh and Dehradun. According to EMSC, the epicentre was 127 kilometres east of Uttarakhand​ capital Dehradun. The intensity of the earthquake was measured 5.0 at the Richter scale.More details awaited.
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Yogi Adityanath

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UP civic polls result reaffirms people’s support for note ban, GST: Arun Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the results of Uttar Pradesh civic polls reaffirmed people’s support for the GST which has made doing business “easier” for traders.At a media briefing, he also recalled his party’s unprecedented win in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand assembly polls following the demonetisation decision and noted that it had swept “trading hubs” in UP to underline popular support to note ban.”Today’s results (in UP) have only reaffirmed it,” he said.The ruling BJP today forged ahead of its rivals, leading on 14 of the 16 mayoral seats in Uttar Pradesh where the civic bodies polls were held in three phases, according to trends from these seats in the first four hours of counting of votes.The Congress has used GST glitches and note ban to attack the BJP in Gujarat polls.”GST has made doing business and trade very easy. The market size for every trader has grown. Now the whole country is his market,” Jaitley said.He declined to comment on Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s ‘dharam ki dalali’ barb at the BJP. “There is no need to answer to this,” Jaitley said.
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Yogi Adityanath

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NDA topper Shivansh Joshi chooses country over comfort, doesn’t take IIT admission

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a rare move, Shivansh Joshi a 17-year-old youngster from Uttarakhand chose to serve the country by choosing to join NDA over IIT, which would’ve allowed him to spend a lucrative life.Joshi from Uttarakhand topped the NDA entrance exam and told Hindustan Times: “Serving the country has been my objective since childhood. The love for the country runs in the blood of youngsters of Uttarakhand and I feel fortunate to be living my dream now.” From Ramnagar, the bright youngster scored 96.8% in his Class XII and ha also cracked the JEE advanced which all but guaranteed a place in a prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).However, Shivansh’s dream was to join the armed forces and on November 25 he realised that he had topped the UPSC.. Son of Sanjeev Joshi who works at LIC and Tanuja Joshi, a government primary school teacher, the prodigious youngster didn’t undergo any coaching. The schedule included studying, playing football, reading books and an overall well-balanced life.Showing pride in Uttarakhand he added: “I am extremely proud and fortunate to come from a state, which has given the nation people such as national security advisor Ajit Kumar Doval and General Bipin Rawat, the chief of Army staff. I too want to dedicate my life for the security and pride of the country.” His father now wants his younger son to join the defence services as well.

Fortis case fall-out: Health ministry asks states to warn hospitals against malpractices

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Health Ministry today asked all states to issue strict warnings and take action against hospitals, including private ones, which indulge in malpractices such as overcharging and don’t follow standard treatment protocols.The move comes in the wake of allegations that Gurgaon- based Fortis Hospital billed the family of a dengue patient Rs 16 lakh.In a letter to the chief secretaries, Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan said that alleged malpractices by clinical establishments not only compromise patient safety but also raise concerns about accountability in healthcare costs. She asked the states to ensure implementation of the Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010 under which all hospitals can be regulated. “It is time to learn lessons from such incidents and I advise that a meeting with all important healthcare establishments, including private hospitals, of your state be taken and they be clearly sounded not to indulge in such practices, failing which strict action will be taken. “I request you to kindly get the clinical establishment act adopted/implemented by your state also,” Sudan said in the letter.Referring to the recent incident in which a 7-year-old girl died of dengue at Fortis hospital, Sudan said it was alleged that the patient was grossly overcharged and standard treatment protocols were not followed.She also drew attention to the alleged malpractices by various clinical establishments in the recent past. These include exorbitant charges, deficiency in services, not following the standard treatment protocols, etc, resulting not only in compromised patient safety but also concerns about transparency and accountability in healthcare costs, she said.”Such incidents have an extremely deleterious impact on the faith of the general public in the healthcare system of the country. “It is our duty to ensure that such incidents don’t recur, quality care and treatment is provided to those in need and that it is provided at a fair and an affordable price,” she said. She said effective action can be taken against such healthcare establishments indulging in fraudulent and unethical practices under the act.Moreover, there are provisions under other acts, rules and regulations under which action can be contemplated against such activities. The clinical establishments act was been enacted by the Centre to provide for registration and regulation of all clinical establishments in the country with a view to prescribe the minimum standards of facilities and services provided by them.The act is applicable to all types (both therapeutic and diagnostic types) of clinical establishments in the public and private sectors. Till now, five states including Arunachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Assam and all Union Territories except the NCT of Delhi have adopted and implemented the act. States like Sikkim, Mizoram, Bihar, UP and Uttarakhand have adopted the act but are yet to implement it. Under the act, standard treatment guidelines are specified for 227 diseases, including dengue, chikungunya and malaria. The hospitals are supposed to abide by minimum standards in terms of infrastructure, services, staff, equipment and lighting arrangements among others.A technical committee is to be set up to decide on charges for treatment of diseases and procedures at clinical establishments, including private hospitals. Health facilities are supposed to display the charges for each procedure and facility to keep the patient informed in advance. Failure to adhere to these guidelines would result in imposition of penalty.

PM pulls up babus for consumer complaints

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday pulled up top bureaucrats in view of increasing number of consumer complaints. At the 23rd interaction through PRAGATI — the ICT-based, multi-modal platform — with top Central bureaucrats and chief secretaries of various states, he emphasised on the need for improvement in the administrative arrangement to benefit consumers. Some 4.2 lakh cases of consumers are pending in consumer forums across the country, and at least 70 per cent of them are in district forums.Officials briefed the PM on the action taken to ensure speedy and effective disposal of consumer grievances. Citing reasons behind the inordinate delay in disposal of complaints, it was mentioned that inadequate infrastructure at consumer forums had affected their functioning. PM’s initiative of interacting with bureaucrats so far has led review of 200 projects with a total investment of Rs. 9.31 lakh crore.Modi also reviewed the progress of nine infrastructure projects in Railway, road, power, and renewable energy sectors spread over several states including Uttarakhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Nagaland, Assam, Maharashtra, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. These projects are cumulatively worth over Rs 30,000 crore.He also reviewed the progress in implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY). He said that funds accruing to the District Mineral Foundations (DMFs) should be utilized to strategically focus upon and eliminate major development issues or deficits that these districts currently face. He said this should be done in a focused way, so as to achieve the greatest possible, tangible results by 2022, which marks 75 years of independence.

Need to improve administrative arrangements for early redressal of complaints: PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Expressing concern over large numbers of people’s grievances, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday laid emphasis on the need to improve administrative arrangements for early redressal of complaints.At a meeting of ‘Pragati’ where he reviews various projects in different sectors, Modi also took stock of the progress of nine infrastructure projects in the railway, road, power and renewable energy sectors.These projects are spread over several states including Uttarakhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Nagaland, Assam, Maharashtra, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. These projects are cumulatively worth over Rs 30,000 crore, according to a statement.The prime minister also reviewed the progress in the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana, a scheme for the welfare of areas and people affected by mining related operations.He said that funds accruing to district mineral foundations should be utilised to strategically focus on eliminating major development issues or deficits these districts currently face.He said this should be done in a focused way, so as to achieve the greatest possible, tangible results by 2022, the 75th anniversary of Independence.Today’s was the 23rd interaction through the ICT-based, multi-modal platform ‘Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation’ (Pragati).The first 22 meetings of ‘Pragati’ have seen a cumulative review of 200 projects with a total investment of Rs 9.31 lakh crore.

Uttarakhand: Remains of animal resembling dinosaur found, authorities informed

Updated: Nov 19, 2017, 11:08 PM IST, ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Remains of an animal resembling a dinosaur have been recovered in Uttarakhand’s Jaspur city, said police on Sunday.According to the police, they received a call from the locals informing them about the remains of a dinosaur following which they rushed to the spot. “On reaching there, we found remains of an animal resembling dinosaur’s body, but it could be anything. We have informed relevant authorities who will establish what it is,” said a police officer.The remains were recovered while cleaning an old storage room of a power house, which had been lying closed for last 10 years. The police took the remains into their custody and after initial inquiry; the remains were handed over to the forest department. The remains will be sent to Dehradun lab for examination.

Gang involved in 30 cases of duping women smashed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The police on Saturday bust an interstate gang involved in duping women by creating fear of wrath of gods and goddesses among them.The gang was involved in 30 cases of duping in Jaipur and about 150 cases across Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and other places.Giving the information, DCP East Kunwar Rashtradeep informed that six members of this gang were arrested. He said that the accused admitted that they had come from Uttrakhand on different motorcycles and used to frighten the women who were on their way to temples in the morning. Once the women got influenced with what they were saying, the accused used to take the gold and silver ornaments from the women.The accused said that they had been involved in such crimes in various areas of the city including Malviya Nagar, Pratap Nagar, Bajaj Nagar, Jawahar Circle etc. They also disclosed about carrying out such offences in areas like Mansarovar, Shipra Path, Vaishali Nagar, Subhash Chowk , Brahampuri , Jyoti Nagar etc. Apart from this, they accepted that they have been involved in this crime in Bharatpur and other districts on same pattern.Frigtened women on way to templeThe accused admitted that they had come from Uttarakhand on different motorcycles and used to frighten the women who were on their way to temples in the morning. The accused said that they had been involved in such crimes in various areas of the city including Malviya Nagar, Pratap Nagar, Bajaj Nagar, Jawahar Circle etc. They accepted that they have been involved in this crime in Bharatpur and other districts.

A dialogue with JC: Flight of Hans | Change maker Bhargava funds innovations to light up Uttarakhand

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>You are being considered as a brand ambassador of Bhole Baba and Mata Mangla…How do you find yourself in the new role?I don’t consider this… I just complete whatever task is given to me… where they put me on is their lookout. The work we were doing is his invention, in which he said you have to do.What do you think, they are also like demi God or Spiritual Guru?For me they are everything. I have been with them for the last 45 years. I have learnt everything from them. Mataji said you have to do this… you have to reduce problems of India. We have invented such things which can bring a complete turnaround in India in next 5-10 years. How and when did you get aligned with these people?During studies, I felt there are things beyond money. Then I left everything to trudge the spiritual path. Here I came to know how smooth is this business… some one sweeps, others cook and then we earn.What were you studying?What studies… just enjoying and whiling away time.What is Hans Foundation and how it came into being?Mataji said we should not just be spiritual, we have to work towards reducing pains of people… I started a company in America which became big. Our sales crossed Rs 7,000 crore. Then Mataji said that we should do something for people. Then we started giving donations to NGOs. Later, we realised that NGOs are like sand to river. You keep on putting sand in the river and it flows away with waves. Then, I pondered how can we bring difference for the benefit of people. Then we started a company and explored what are the basic requirements of people. We found that power, water and manure are three basic needs. If we fulfill them other things will automatically fall in place. It is said that Internet is the base of education. But if there is no power then how can we get access to internet. And even if we get power, who will foot the bill. Then we invented a device which will charge no bill. It will be your power plant which will give you light and you run mobile, computer, fan everything without any tension of bill. What is the cost of this equipment?The cost of the equipment is Rs 14,500 which comes with a warranty of 12 years and till first 10 years, you will not get any bill.It will be a revolution, if it comes true?We have top engineers who have done trials. We are getting demands from everywhere but we want to give it to India first. Here, either it will work fast or would go slow. Government should also do something.Government is providing free connections under Ujjwala Scheme, then your plant… will it not be a game-changer?Definitely it will make difference… in every part of the world government gives subsidy on household electricity but doesn’t hand over to companies. Power companies don’t give you electricity as they suffer losses. Government spends on subsidy… then if it goes to 80% people then it will be a game-changer in politics as well. They failed to bring power for the last 70 years. I have seen in villages if you show them light, they use their mouths to blow it off. They are not aware what is electricity. If you provide electricity connections to each one, think what difference it would bring in politics.What are you doing in the field of water?If you treat saline water then you are done for several years… we have made a machine which can treat 60,000-litre water in a day… the cost would be around Rs2-3 lakh but one machine can serve water requirements of entire village.What is the quantum of problem related to polluted water…. what do you think?Water is the basic of life… they will cry when there will be no water… if we don’t start trying then the entire country will become like Maharashtra. What will you do… what will you eat… what government can do… it can just come out with schemes, put in money but it can’t do inventions… that is our job.Are you doing anything in the field of agriculture? We may make it big in agriculture. We have come up with an invention in which a farmer can produce manure in just 18 days at zero cost… urea, diesel, seeds and pesticides eat up 98% of farmer’s budget. They can produce such manure in 18 days which can up the production reducing water requirements to half… it will improve the food quality and farmers can earn 70-80% more.Don’t you think, it’s an overambitious plan?Whether it takes 5 or 10 years, if we don’t start anything how can we achieve. We have created concepts which can be scaled up. India will be built on farm revolution.The kind of revolution you are doing, what was the reaction of Bhole Baba and Mangla Mata?They are the inspiration behind whatever I am doing.You are working in Uttarakhand and sorting out basic issues there. Are you also thinking about employment and migration?If you are working at ground level, everything gets sorted out. If a farmer saves money from farming why will he think of migration… if you make education accessible to everyone without schools then there will be progress but then how can it happen if there is no electricity.How do you find the new chief minister?I liked the chief minister because he likes people like him… he started from scratch and worked hard throughout his life.Do you have any plans to promote religious tourism in Badrinath and Kedarnath?Our Indians are intelligent… give them an opportunity they will double the income… when there is dark in the evening then they can’t do anything and if there is light all around then they will earn in evenings also… big schemes are launched but they can’t get executed because you haven’t done anything on ground.Are you contributing in cleaning of Ganga also? The machine which we have made can be used in industries also… we are making such machines which can be operated after assembling it in half an hour… if we have to clean Ganga, we have to clean at the origin of pollution. If they have means for it, they can clean it.You are bringing so many projects and you do lot of charity, how do you manage money at such a large scale?I do business and people say that I know a little bit of it… we earn a lot but what should we do of that money …. Buy a car… construct a building… these are child’s fancy which I have done when I was in X class. Now I want to do big things which can interest me.You are doing charity across the globe, heard that you are collaborating with Indonesian government also?We are not doing anything with Indonesian government. In Indonesia also, there is shortage of power, South America and Jordan too have this problem. You make camps for refugees but if you don’t give them any work, they will indulge in criminal activities. If you give them electricity then they will do job on Internet. I said earlier also, first we will experiment in India then will go to other places. People are buying 1 lakh units of power in Uttarakhand.Prime Minister had visited Kedarnath, do you think his visit will help in the development of that area?If development doesn’t take place at ground level nothing will happen. Prime Minister, during his visit had announced a power pack with 5 lights. I think he must have come to know that wired electricity can’t reach everywhere… and if this happens there will be corruption and you can’t do much.As a citizen, how do you rate the Prime Minister?Honestly, I like one thing about him that he is trying to do something. Whether I agree with him or not but he is trying to do something. Unless one does anything how can you evaluate right or wrong… I like that he is doing something.You are a brilliant thinker and a brilliant person, what do you think about GST and demonetization?One good thing about GST is that the corruption in government will reduce… people ask me why don’t I do business here, I tell them if I do it 25 people will come demanding undue money… people will create problems. demonetization, however could have taken place at a slower pace… but you realise your mistakes only when you commit.

I am ready to face bullets, no one can stop me from expressing myself: Kanhaiya Kumar at Lucknow Literary Festival

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It was a high-decibel opening of the three-day Literary Festival in Lucknow as former JNU student union president Kanhaiya Kumar and RSS student wing ABVP openly exchanged barbs and jibes on Friday. The members of the ABVP, student wing of the RSS and Hindu Yuva Vahini did not Kanhaiya Kumar to speak for 30 minutes.The ABVP and HYV activists jeered and hooted the outspoken JNU leader calling him traitor of the nation and raising anti-Kanhaiya Kumar slogans.A scuffle took place between ABVP-HYU and Samajwadi Party student wing members when the former made an abortive bid to reach the stage during the function organised at Sheroes Cafe, a cafeteria run by acid victims.Finally, the organizers and acid victims working at the Sheroes Cafe appealed to agitated ABVP and HYU workers to let the function begin. They clarified from the stage that Kanhaiya Kumar is not a traitor as alleged by few.“You have governments in 18 states but you cannot suppress an independent voice or stop someone to express his thoughts. I belong to a family of freedom fighter and no one can stop me expressing my thoughts,” blasted Kanhaiya Kumar in his speech.“I am ready to face bullets but will not stop opposing those taking the country to a wrong direction,” he said.Incidentally, as soon as the program began power went off forcing Kanhaiya to pull up Yogi Adityanath government.“Smile that you are in Lucknow under Yogi Adityanath’s Ram Rajya. In Satyuga Lord Ram had left for vanvas but in Kalyuga Yogiji has left vanvas to rule Uttar Pradesh,” he chuckledTo ridicule ABVP, the former JNU president offered his condolences to the RSS worker died in a blast allegedly while making bombs.“I offer my condolences to children died at the BRD Medical College and also condole death of RSS worker died while making bombs,” said he.The former Uttarakhand Governor Aziz Qureshi, Asaduddin Owaisi, Satrughan Sinha, Bollywood actress Divya Dutta, Barun Gandhi, Jayant Chowdahry Jyotiraj Scindia, Sushmita Sen, Suresh Raina, R.P. Singh are some big names who are participating in the three-day literary fest.On the opening day, former Uttarakhand Governor Aziz Qureshi released Divya Dutta’s book ‘Me and Maa’.

AIIMS witnesses massive increase in number of patients with respiratory diseases

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It’s a double whammy for 63-year-old Jashoda Devi who travelled from her hometown in hilly Almora of Uttarakhand to Ghaziabad, two weeks ago.A patient with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), Jashoda’s lungs have completely shrunk.Over the last week, her condition has worsened so much due to the air pollution in Delhi and surrounding towns, that she has to depend on oxygen support round the clock.Jashoda is seen sitting in the open near the Outpatient Department (OPD) of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) with a nasal tube attached inside both her nostrils She heaves as she inhales from 20-kilo heavy metal cylinder which is constantly bubbling oxygen.As Jashoda’s condition worsened over the past two days, her daughter Manju, 42, rushed to a pharmacy and procured a portable oxygen cylinder after making a down payment of Rs 5000 as security.”The doctor has warned us saying that she would not be able to breathe if it were not for the oxygen. We have invested another Rs 80,000 in an oxygen concentrator that runs on electricity. However we need a portable one when we bring her to the hospital for a check-up,” said Manju.Nearly 150 patients were thronging the OPD clinic at AIIMS, young and old alike, patients of COPD, Interstitial Lung Disease, Pulmonary Fibrosis and Asthma among other disorders, all affected due to exacerbating air pollution in Delhi NCR over the week. They were standing out in the open, vulnerable to noxious air, waiting incessantly for their turn to arrive to see the doctor inside the clinic. They had no shelter or a closed waiting area to rest in.The air quality index (AQI) in Delhi was 486, categorized as ‘Very Severe,’ an average reading of 15 monitoring stations over past 24 hours, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) figures. In some individual monitoring stations, AQI had peaked up to close to 1000. The CPCB warns that ‘very severe’ air quality affects even the healthy people and seriously impacts those with diseases.17-year-old Shivani from Moti Bagh hides her tiny face behind a black face mask. Her asthma has worsened over the week and she has had to miss her classes to line up at the AIIMS OPD for treatment. “The steroid pumps made me feel a little better, but I have had constant breathing issues with the air worsening,” Shivani told DNA.As Delhi’s air worsened, Jashoda contracted a high fever, fell unconscious and constantly reeled under stupor due to lack of oxygen supply to her brain.Jashoda wants to go back to breathing fresh air in the hills of Almora, however, Manju advises against this.”There is no one to take care of her there, as also the air is thin in the hills. She is better off here,” says Manju, as Jashoda helplessly looks on and later silently sobs

NTPC disaster to hit PM scheme

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The industrial disaster at Unit 6 of the National Thermal Power Corporation’s (NTPC) Unchahar Thermal Power Plant, which left more than 36 dead and over 100 injured, may lead to a major setback for the Prime Minister’s Saubhagya Scheme (Pradhanmatri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Bijli Yojana) in at least eight states, including Uttar Pradesh.The new 500 MW Unit 6 of NTPC’s Unchahar unit was energised in record time with the aim of providing electricity to about 2.5-crore households in Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi and Punjab under the Saubhagya Scheme.Meanwhile, even though it was yet to reach its installed generation capacity, the Union Power Ministry had already allocated the 500 MW among these eight states, reserving 75 MW to meet any emergency situation. As the home state, Uttar Pradesh got the biggest piece of the pie with 173 MW out of 500 MW allocated to it.Following the disaster though, a general manager at the NTPC, on condition of anonymity, told DNA that it will take more than a year to re-energize the unit. “The entire machinery at Unit 6, including the boiler, is damaged beyond repair. The job to re-energize Unit 6 is nothing less than setting up a new 500 MW unit,” he said.Further, he admitted that Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana and the PM’s ambitious Saubhagya Scheme under electrification program may suffer a setback in the eight states that were allocated power from the Unit 6 of Unchahar Thermal Power Plant. Moreover, it will increase the demand and supply gap in all these states.Uttar Pradesh will be the worst-affected. In August, the state government closed eight old and redundant units in different power stations and to make matters worse, chief minister Yogi Adityanath had set a target to electrify all villages in the states by 2018.Though Union Power Minister RK Singh has already assured Adityanath that more power will be made available to the state to achieve its target, sources claimed that the state power department is yet to come out with a blue-print to balance the demand-supply gap to keep the CM’s promises.Other beneficiariesRajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir were the other biggest beneficiaries with 74 MW and 55 MW respectively, followed by Haryana with 37 MW, Uttarakhand with 30 MW, Delhi with 27 MW, Himachal Pradesh with 22 MW and Punjab with 4 MW.

EC clamps down on predictions by astrologers, tarot readers; says it’s a violation of code of conduct

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Predictions about election results by astrologers, tarot readers and others in media when there is a ban on broadcasting exit polls are a violation of law, the Election Commission today said.The EC’s advisory, which was re-issued ahead of elections in Himachal Pradesh tomorrow and in Gujarat in December, asked the media, both electronic and print, to “refrain” from airing and publishing such programmes in future elections during the prohibited period to ensure free, fair and transparent polls.The advisory was earlier issued on March 30 this year in which the poll watchdog pointed to Section 126 A of the Representation of the People Act .The provision states that “no person shall conduct any exit poll and publish or publicise by means of the print and electronic media or disseminate in any other manner, whatsoever, the result of any exit poll during such period as may be notified by the Election Commission….”The March advisory was issued keeping in mind the commission’s experience during the February elections to the assemblies of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur.”…It has been observed that some of the TV channels telecast certain programmes projecting the number of seats likely to be won by political parties. This was done during the period exit polls were prohibited…,” the advisory had said.It pointed out that in one of the channels, the panelists on the show, who were persons from different fields, had put forward the projected number of seats likely to be won by different parties in Uttar Pradesh.”The Commission is of the view that prediction of result of elections in any form or manner by way of predictions by astrologers, tarot readers, political analysts or by any person during the prohibited period is violation of the spirit of Section 126A…,” the Commission said.?The EC had yesterday said that exit poll results for Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat assembly elections cannot be made public before December 14 evening.

Meet Neelmani Raju, Karnataka’s first ever woman police chief

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Neelmani N Raju created history after she became the first ever police chief of Karnataka on Tuesday.The 1983 batch IPS officer was appointed as the top cop after Rupak Kumar Dutta, the incumbent Director General and Inspector General of Police retired today.Apart from Raju, CID chief HC Kishore Chandra and Anti-Corruption Bureau head MN Reddi were also in the fray. But Chief Minister Siddaramaiah reportedly chose Raju as she was the senior-most among the three.Amid reports of his extension, Dutta was given a grand farewell at the KSRP grounds in Koramangala on Tuesday.A native of Uttarakhand’s Roorkee district, Raju has also served as the DGP of Fire and Emergency Services, Chief of Home Guards, Civil Defence and the State Disaster Response force.The police veteran is set to retire in 2020 and has been appointed as Karnataka top cop for two years.Siddaramaiah took to Twitter to congratulate her.

PM Modi in Kedarnath: Will build modern infrastructure, ensure environment laws not flouted

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday offered prayers at the Kedarnath shrine in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. The Prime Minister was accompanied by Uttarakhand Governor K.K. Paul and Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.In his speech, the Prime Minister said his visit to Kedarnath renews his commitment to serve the nation. He added that reconstruction of Kedarpuri, with improved facilities for devotees, will be expensive but there will be no dearth of funds.The Himalayan shrine, dedicated to Shiva, will be closed from Saturday for six months owing to winter.Later, he will lay the foundation stone for reconstruction work at the shrine. He is also likely to address a public meeting near the famed temple.This is the second visit of Prime Minister to the shrine this season. He had visited it on May 3 when its gates had been reopened after the winter break.Updates: PM Modi: Discipline is in the blood of people here in Uttarakhand, atleast one person from each family is a soldier:

Doklam effect: In major infrastructure push, India to build roads along China border

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid reports of Chinese infrastructure expansion near Doklam, the Indian government is learnt to have taken steps to boost the connectivity along in the border areas.In what can be called a Dokalm after-effect, the defence ministry has delegated more administrative and financial powers to the Border Roads Organisation for a speedy completion of the projects along the border with China. As part of major infrastructure push, four major passes have been identified in Uttarakhand to be developed by the end of 2020.The roads will connect Niti, Lipulekh, Thangla and Tsangchokla pass over the next three years, sources have told WION.In an Army commanders’ conference, it was decided that “infrastructure and capability development” would be the key focus over the next few years.Shakti Chaudhary, mayor of Gangtok had told WION earlier that roads are necessary so that the military can immediately access the border in times of crisis.The decision to boost infrastructure along the border with China comes at a time when there are reports that Beijing is aggressively building raods in Doklam and other strategic areas.China has resumed building a road on Doklam plateau, latest media reports say.The current road construction is taking place just 10 km from the last stand-off site between India and China.According to media reports, there are about 500 Chinese troops present at the site guarding the construction.India has yet not objected the construction as it is not southwards towards the militarily-sensitive Jampheri Ridge area like last time.The bulldozers and other material that were used last time have been shifted to the new site by China.All this comes almost two months after both India and China agreed to “expeditious disengagement” over Doklam.The diplomatic success came at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to visit China for the BRICS summit.The stand-off started in mid-June when Chinese troops entered Bhutanese territory to build a road, sparking India’s intervention, citing agreements to maintain a status quo in the region. India had deployed about 350 Army personnel in the area.

Alcoholism in India will ruin the country in the next 25 years if it isn’t checked: PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday voiced concern over the growing problem of alcoholism among India’s youth, and said society will be “ruined” in the next 25 years if the menace was not checked.Modi was addressing people associated with the Umiya Sansthan, a socio-religious organisation, in Haridwar through video conference on the inauguration of Ma Umiya Dham Ashram.Praising the Sansthan for according priority to social causes, he spoke of the crucial role it could play in fighting alcoholism among the younger generation and creating awareness about cleanliness and environment conservation.Remembering how the institution had lent him a helping hand in stopping female foeticide and providing succour to earthquake-hit people in Bhuj when he had just taken over as Gujarat chief minister, Modi asked the Sansthan to save the younger generation from falling victim to alcoholism besides inspiring devotees to keep the environment clean.”I am sharing this concern with you as someone who has grown among your midst and not as the prime minister. Don’t you hear news about the younger generation especially our boys falling victim to alcoholism and things our ancestors hated. If we let this tendency grow in 20-25 years our society will be ruined.”Considering your contribution to social causes in the past I shall appeal to you to stop the younger generation from going astray,” the prime minister said.Modi suggested that devotees coming to the ashram should be asked whether or not they had made toilets at home and offered a sapling each to plant and nurture with the same devotion which they show while worshipping Ma Umiya.”It will help get rid of open defecation and keeping the environment clean and green,” he said.He said the ‘dharamshala’ opened by the Umiya Sansthan will tremendously boost tourism in the whole of north India especially Uttarakhand where major pilgrimages like Haridwar, Rishikesh, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri are located.Modi said circuit tourism may be a modern coinage but the concept has been part of India’s traditions for ages as people in this country have long been undertaking long journeys to visit major centres of faith.The prime minister congratulated the Sansthan for setting up such a large dharamshala in Haridwar for devotees, saying people visiting the Himalayan shrines of Uttarakhand will benefit immensely from the facility which will boost religious tourism in the state.He also recalled the enthusiasm with which he used to take part in Ma Umiya Devi festival celebrations as a young volunteer in Gujarat.

India, China’s positive talks helped resolve Doklam standoff, says Rajnath Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said the deadlock in Doklam was resolved because of India and China’s positive approach.Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a tense border stand-off for over two months at Doklam, near the Sikkim-Tibet-Bhutan tri-junction, but on the afternoon of August 28, both China and India agreed for expeditious disengagement of border personnel at the face-off site.Rajnath, who is on four-day visit to Uttarakhand, earlier in the day celebrated Dussehra with Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) jawans at Joshimath.He visited ITBP’s Rimkhim post near India-China border and also met jawans who donated blood at a camp in ITBP Headquarter in Joshimath.”I came here to celebrate Dusshera with the jawans and it should be mistaken or taken into some other context. There was a deadlock in Doklam but we succeeded in resolving issue through dialogue. India and China had positive approach. The perception differences can be resolved through mutual dialogue,” he told media here.”I had decided to celebrate the auspicious occasion of Dussehra with the Para military forces. We offered prayers with ITBP jawans in Jyotirmath and also wished them on auspicious occasion,” he added.He went on to say that no power in the world can stop the ITBP jawans from protecting India’s borders.He further hailed the jawans for performing their duties efficiently despite of unfavourable situation at the border.”We are proud of our jawans. They perform their duties in spite of difficult circumstances here. They have overcome all the difficulties physically and mentally. May God give them more strength to conquer all the difficulties,” he added.The Union Home Minister further urged the jawans to maintain brotherhood and friendship with the Indians residing at borders.”The Indians living at border are not ordinary citizen but strategic assets of our country,” he added.Rajnath started his four-day visit to Uttarakhand on Monday.

Rajnath Singh to visit Uttarakhand to review India-China border situation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Home Minister Rajnath Singh will start his four-day visit to Uttarakhand on Monday. He will also be visiting India-China border area.Various transgressions by China’s People’s Liberation Army have been reported in the area in the past.Rajnath is expected to visit Bara Hoti, which is manned by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police. He will interact with the border security forces to understand the behavior of Chinese troops in the area.In July this year, the Chinese troops had reportedly come into as much as one kilometre in Bara Hoti.Last year, also in July, two soldiers from China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) entered 200 metres into the Barholi area of Uttarakhand.The visit will be a significant one as it will be the first such by a senior minister in the NDA government after the resolution of the Doklam issue.Doklam standoff started when on June 16, 2017 Chinese troops with construction vehicles and road-building equipment began extending an existing road southward in Doklam, a territory which is claimed by both China as well as India’s ally Bhutan. Indian troops objected to Chinese aggression.Finally on August 28, both India and China announced that they had withdrawn all their troops from the face-off site in Doklam.Singh will also visit ITBP border outposts at Rimkhim, Mana, and Auli during the four-day trip.The 3,488 km-long India-China border stretches through Jammu and Kashmir (1,597 km), Himachal Pradesh (200 km), Uttarakhand (345 km), Sikkim (220 km) and Arunachal Pradesh (1,126 km).The Sino-Indian border is not fully demarcated and the process of clarifying and confirming the Line of Actual Control is in progress.

President Kovind visits Kedarnath, Badrinath; prays for India’s prosperity and well-being

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President Ramnath Kovind along with family paid obeisance at the famous Kedarnath and Badrinath shrines in Uttarakhand today and prayed for the country’s prosperity and well being.Accompanied by Governor K K Paul and Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, the president along with his wife Savita and other family members arrived at Kedarnath in a MI- 17 at around 8 AM.After getting down at the helipad located behind the high altitude temple amid overcast conditions, the president and his family members took a round of the newly built Kedarpuri in all terrain vehicles to have a look at the reconstruction work.The shrine had witnessed massive devastation in the June 2013 flash floods.After taking a round of Kedarpuri, Kovind and his family worshipped Baba Kedarnath, one of the 12 ‘jyotirlingas’ in the country. He spent around 20 minutes inside the sanctum sanctorum of the famed temple performing ‘rudrabhishek’ of Lord Shiva.Traditional delicacies of Uttarakhand were offered to the president as ‘prasad’, deputy chief executive officer of the temple committee Anil Sharma said.The president then left for Gauchar where he and his family took rest for a while at the ITBP guest house before setting out for Badrinath.Kovind spent around twenty minutes at Badrinath to offer prayers before leaving for the Jollygrant airport.The president’s visit was smooth even as many parts of Uttarakhand received rain today.Before embarking on his journey to the Himalayan shrines, the president and his wife planted sandalwood saplings at the Raj Bhawan here.The president and his family began their two-day visit to the state yesterday with a visit to the ‘Har Ki Pairi’ in Haridwar.It was the Kovind’s first visit to Uttarakhand after assuming office. Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat later thanked the President for visiting the famous Himalayan shrines despite bad weather saying it will go a long way in sending the message of a safe ‘Chardham Yatra’ to the outside world.

Veteran politician ND Tiwari admitted to a hospital after suffering brain stroke

Updated: Sep 20, 2017, 06:07 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Former Union minister N D Tiwari was admitted today to a private hospital here after he suffered a brain stroke, his son Rohit Shekhar Tiwari said.Sources at Max Hospital in Saket said the condition of 91-year-old Tiwari, a former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, is serious and he is being kept under observation in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). A team of doctors is attending to him, they said.Rohit said his father fell unconscious this morning while having tea at his house here.

NGT paves way for Chardham highway project

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has paved the way for the NH-34 stretch of the PMO’s ambitious Chardham highway widening project, that will connect Uttarakhand’s holy sites, as it disposed of a plea that alleged that the project was violating provisions of Bhagirathi eco-sensitive zone. In an undertaking, the Uttarakhand state government and the Border Roads Organisation assured the green court in an undertaking that the project would be carried out with due compliance of laws in force, especially the Bhagirathi notification of December 2012.They further stated that during the project implementation, they would ensure that no muck is thrown either into the river, water bodies or in the forest or green area down the hill. The NGT bench, headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar, said that in view of the statements made, the application is disposed of. The bench added, “We make it clear that in the event, there is violation of any law or breach of the statement as made before the Tribunal, the applicant would have the right to approach the Tribunal, in accordance with law.”In 2012, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change brought out a notification declaring a 100-km, 4179-sq km area between Gaumukh and Uttarkashi as an eco-sensitive zone to provide it legal protection from environmental degradation. Mining, major development works and large hydel projects are prohibited in the eco-sensitive zone, as per the notification.The plea before the NGT’s chairperson bench was filed by Uttarakhand local Birendra Singh Matura and others. It had raised an alarm about mountain blasting and felling of thousands of trees in the Bhagirathi river valley for widening of National Highway-34. One of the related petitions in the matter also pertained specifically to a nine-km stretch in Bhairon Ghati on the Uttarkashi to Gangotri route. It had said that debris were being dumped into the river valley during the road widening. In fact, during a hearing on May 4, the state government had admitted that BRO dumped muck on the fragile hill slopes.On December 27, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the all-weather Chardham highway project at Dehradun ahead of the Uttarakhand state assembly elections. The project involves developing and widening 900-km of national highways connecting the holy Hindu pilgrimage sites of; Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri at an estimated cost of Rs.12,000 crores. The roads will be widened from 12m to 24m and the project will involve construction of tunnels, bypasses, bridges, subways and viaducts.

Centre to decide minimum ecological flow of Ganga

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre will soon decide on the minimum environmental flow that needs to be maintained in River Ganga between Gaumukh and Haridwar. A three-member expert body constituted by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation presented a draft policy paper on the issue to officials from Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh on September 11. The ministry has now sought comments from the states on the draft policy paper.The three-member expert body consists of Sharad Jain, Director, National Institute of Hydrology, Nityanand Rai of Central Water Commission and Professor AK Gosain, Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. Jain and Rai are also a part of the environment ministry’s expert appraisal panel that clears or rejects river valley and hydroelectric projects.According to top officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, once the e-flow is finalised, the existing hydropower projects in the upper reaches of Ganga, such as Maneri Bhali and Vishnuprayag, may have to reduce their power generation. Maneri Bhali Stage-I is the oldest project commissioned on Bhagirathi river, one of the two headstreams of Ganga, and has an installed capacity of 90MW. The proposed hydel projects, meanwhile, may have to incorporate design changes if they had not accounted for minimum e-flow, top officials said. There are nearly 100 dams proposed on Bhagirathi and Alaknanda, with a total capacity of over 6,000 MW.Environmental flow is the amount of water essential for the river to perform its ecological functions at a given time; it also social and cultural significance. The final outcome of the policy paper will thus have an impact on a host of things ranging from the government’s flagship Namami Gange project, existing and proposed hydel dams in Uttarakhand and irrigation facilities across Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. Aviral Dhara (continuous flow) is one of the key components of the Namami Gange project.

Tourism Minister Alphons Kannanthanam cleans India Gate lawns

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam today landed at the India Gate lawns here as part of the fortnight-long ‘Swachhta Hi Seva’ campaign only to find there was no garbage at the place where he was supposed to kick off the drive.To the surprise of ministry officials and volunteers, mostly college students, who frantically went about “arranging” some garbage for Kannanthanam, the newly appointed tourism minister began collecting litter, including empty water bottles, pan masala sachets, ice cream cups and dry leaves with his hands. Many onlookers did not recognise the minister as he shook hands with them, patted some on the back, while asking people to keep the place clean. He also chatted with those selling street food like golgappas, asking them questions about how much they earned and advising them to ask their customers to throw the leftover food and plates into the dustbin.”How much do you earn per day? Do you tell customers to throw the waste plates and tissues in the dustbin kept with you? Help us in making India clean.”The Minister said though a place like India gate is cleaned everyday, there was a need to improve cleanliness. When asked whether he stands by what he had said yesterday over fuel price hike, the minister did not comment. The India Gate is one of the 15 tourist sites selected by the Ministry of Tourism where the cleanliness campaign will be carried out and popularised by roping in celebrities during the 14-day period, the minister said.”We are out here cleaning India Gate. Cleaning programmes are going on across the country. The message is we have to keep India clean. Everybody and not just government officials will have participate in this. And it has to be an everyday operation, not just once in a year and not just for the camera,” the minister said. The other tourist destinations where cleanliness and awareness activities will be conducted by the ministry include Rishikesh Ghats in Uttarakhand, Juhu Beach in Mumbai, Dakshineshwar Temple and Belur Math in Kolkata, Kovalam Beach in Kerala and Kamakhaya temple in Guwahati.Apart from this, 30 additional sites would also be covered during the campaign, said a senior ministry official.

Uttarakhand: Kidney transplant racket has police on high alert; special team set up

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Uttarakhand Police on Tuesday issuing lookout notices against seven people, including doctors, allegedly involved in the kidney transplant racket here. The police also set up aspecial team to look into the case after it emerged that it may have international links.Police sources here said that illegally removed kidneys at the Gangotri Charitable Hospital were being transplanted to affluent people from Gulf countries like Oman in return for hefty sums of money.Uttarakhand DGP Anil Raturi admitted the possibility of the racket having international links butsaid the investigations are still underway and a clear picture will emerge only after their conclusion.A special team headed by SP (Rural) Sarita Dobhal has been constituted to look into the case in view of its seriousness, the DGP said.Dehradun SSP NIvedita Kukreti said lookout notices have been issued against a total of seven persons including two doctors of the hospital and the man who ran the facility after taking it on lease.The lookout notices have been sent to all airports so that the accused are not able to flee the country, the SSP said.“One person has been arrested in connection with the case so far but police teams have been dispatched to several places to nab hospital staff and other people who could be involved in the racket.Preliminary investigations have revealed that one Dr Amit and his son were running the racket, DGP Raturi said.The role of the hospital owner who had given it on lease to the accused is also being investigated, Raturi said.After the racket was unearthed yesterday, police swiftly arrested a mediator named Javed, who hails from Mumbai, from the forests surrounding Lal Tappad.Javed was involved in negotiating the deal with the alleged donors on behalf of the hospital.The racket was unearthed when two persons from Kolkata, whose kidneys (one each) had been removed at the hospital, were being packed off to Delhi, without being paid the amount they had been promised.The two people whose kidneys were removed were Krishna Das and Sheikh Taj Ali.Two other persons — Sushma from Kolkata and Mauji Bhai from Gujarat — were waiting at the hospital for their kidneys to be removed in return for money.However, the police came to know about the racket before they could be operated upon, the SSP said.

Can ‘top-performer’ Nitin Gadkari clean up river Ganga?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Faced with the herculean task of fulfilling the BJP-led government’s promise of cleaning the Ganga, the Centre needed nothing short of a silver bullet to meet the deadline for the project, which some allege, is being implemented at a snail’s pace.This sluggish implementation is ostensible reason behind Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, considered one of the top- performing ministers, getting the additional charge of water resources ministry, sources say. The ministry is tasked with the responsibility of executing the project dear to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Gadkari replaces Uma Bharti, who has now been given the charge of Drinking Water and Sanitation, in the rejigged Modi Cabinet.The Centre has set a target of 2018 for cleaning the mighty river, which touches lives of millions of Indians in one way or the other.
ALSO READ Cabinet reshuffle: From international diplomat to MoS, Hardeep Singh Puri has had a worldly-wise journeyAccording to sources in the water resources ministry, a total of 160 projects, worth around Rs 12,500 crore, have been approved under the Namami Gange Mission — a Rs 20,000-crore project for cleaning the river. These include developing river fronts, setting up sewage treatment plants and construction of ghats and crematoria, among others. Till now, only 40 projects have been completed, the sources said. The BJP coming to power in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, two of the five key Ganga-basin states, in March did not help the project gain the expected momentum, they added.Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand are other three Ganga- basin states. In Bihar, the BJP returned to power only towards the end of July. “The reason offered until six months ago (i.e, prior to UP and Uttarakhand assembly polls) that barring Jharkhand the remaining four states had non-BJP governments, too, seems specious,” a source in the water resources ministry said, requesting anonymity. “Because, even though the BJP came to power in UP and Uttarakhand, things haven’t changed much. This could be the reason that there is a change in guard in the ministry as the deadline pressure mounts,” the source added.
ALSO READ From rewarding Ministers with message to snubbing allies: 6 big takeaways from PM Modi’s third cabinet reshuffle Gadkari has been associated with the Namami Gange Mission in his capacity as the Transport & Shipping Minister to develop waterways in the 2,525-km river. Sources said this might have worked in his favour.”Since he is aware of the project in some or the other way, he may not eat into much of the crucial time left to understand the project’s nitty-gritty. “Plus, he is considered as a go-getter, a minister who prefers to hear answers from officers only in either ‘yes or no’,” the sources added.Apart from Namami Gange, the Water Resources Ministry is implementing the key Ken-Betwa river-linking project, first project aimed at connecting two rivers to meet water needs of drought-prone swathes of the Bundelkhand region, which falls in both Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The project, too, has been delayed due to environmental clearance issues and also as the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh refused to give its approval for implementing the project. The Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana, an ambitious irrigation programme, is another scheme the ministry is executing.

Former Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat admitted to Delhi’s Ganga Ram Hospital

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat was on Friday admitted to Delhi’s Ganga Ram Hospital.The 69-year-old former CM was rushed to hospital after he complained of pain in his leg.According to sources, he is being treated for blood clotting in a leg.On Tuesday, he was admitted to Combined Medical Institute in Dehradun. Surendra Kumar, spokesman of the former CM had said that he was admitted for a check up after he complained of leg pain.

Furnish report on workplace harassment case: HC tells IB

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In what can be deemed victory of a lone man’s fight against the system, the Delhi High Court (HC) has instructed the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to provide information sought by Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi, after the latter put up a long legal fight to obtain his records.The HC quashed IB’s writ petition for not making available Chaturvedi’s “confidential” report and had sought exemption from providing the report under Right to Information Act, as sought by Chaturvedi. It also upheld Central Information Commission’s (CIC) order and said that the report pertained to issues of corruption and human rights violation as faced by Chaturvedi and should be supplied to him.The HC states, “There appears to be truth in contention of Chaturvedi regarding alleged harassment meted out to him by the Haryana government. His request for change of cadre from Haryana to Uttarakhand merits consideration.”HC further noted that IB cannot stonewall RTI requests indiscriminately and has to make information pertaining to corruption and human rights violation available. In 2014, after Chaturvedi started exposing alleged corruption cases in All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, in the capacity of Central Vigilance Officer, the central government has asked the IB to submit a report on Chaturvedi.In December 2015, Chaturvedi filed an RTI with Ministry of Environment and Forests seeking documents on his deputation and transfer including the IB report. MoEF declined to provide the report, citing that IB was exempt from the ambit of RTI.Chaturvedi challenged the refusal in the CIC in 2016, which passed an order in his favour. IB later took the case to the HC in 2016. Judgement was pronounced on August 23, 2017, in favour of Chaturvedi.Chaturvedi has exposed corruption cases of illicit poaching and felling of trees, construction of a government-run herbal park on private land, a scam of a fake plantation in Jhajjar running into up to Rs 15 crores among others.THE CRUSADERAn IFS officer of 2002 batch, Chaturvedi exposed a bevy of alleged corruption cases in Haryana. He has also filed 200 cases of corruption in AIIMS.
He faced twelve transfers in five years, poor appraisal reports, two charge-sheets for dismissal from services and four interventions from the President as he faced harassment.

Decriminalise homosexuality, penalise marital rape: Activits urge SC after Triple Talaq verdict

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the Supreme Court on Tuesday banned instant triple talaq, activists urged the apex court to also take steps to decriminalise homosexuality and penalise marital rape.The triple talaaq verdict should open people’s minds to more progressive laws, gay rights activist Harish Iyer said. “Any step in the direction of liberty for the most marginalised should be seen as a wave that all allied causes could ride on. The verdict should open our minds to more progressive laws, including on Section 377,” Iyer said. While the issue of Section 377 of the IPC, which criminalises homosexuality, is pending before the top court, it has been reluctant to make marital rape a criminal offence. “SC rightly held instant triple talaq unconstitutional, didn’t pass the buck to Parliament. Isn’t it a shame SC didn’t do the same on Section 377 (of the Indian Penal Code),” tweeted Kavita Krishnan, Secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association.”Dear SC, after this will you please hold marital rape, including of minor wives, unconstitutional, undo regressive verdict on it,” she said. The SC ruling today was pronounced on a petition filed two years ago by Shayara Bano, a woman from Uttarakhand whose husband of 15 years sent her a letter with talaq written three times on it and left her. Similar petitions filed by four other women were heard with Bano’s petition. “We welcome the SC judgement. Triple talaq is a discriminatory practice that violates women’s right to equality, and has devastated the lives of many Muslim women,” said the programmes director at Amnesty International India, Asmita Basu.She urged the government to repeal all religious family laws that violated women?s right to equality. Earlier in the day, in a landmark verdict, the SC by a majority of 3:2 ruled that the practice of instant divorce through triple talaq among Muslims was “void”, “illegal” and “unconstitutional”. The apex court said the practice went against the tenets of Quran. “This is a positive step in the right direction. Now is the time to raise the issues of marital rape and Section 377. It is the time to focus on gender-just laws across communities,” said women’s right activist Jagmati Sangwan, former general secretary, the All India Democratic Women’s Association.

SC asks govt how it will implement, monitor mid-day meals

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today asked the Centre and states how were they monitoring the implementation and hygiene of the mid-day meal schemes in government schools across the country. A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud sought the response of the Centre and the state governments while noting that two committees at the national and state level were suggested to be set up to monitor various aspects like maintaining hygiene in the mid-day meal schemes in schools. “How will the implementation of the scheme take place? Tell us and we will crystalise it (in the form of an order),” the bench said and posted the matter for hearing on August 24. The court was hearing a PIL, filed by NGO ‘Antarashtriya Manav Adhikaar Nigraani’ in 2013, on the issue of mid-day meals. It had issued directions to prevent incidents like the one that occurred in a government primary school in a Bihar village where 23 children died after eating contaminated food in 2013. The apex court had on March 23 asked state governments and union territories to upload information including the total number of students getting benefit of the mid-day meal scheme within three months on their websites. The court had approved the “proforma” for providing the details and requirements of the mid-day meal scheme, noting that 25 states agreed to give information as per the format. The Cente had informed the court that 11 other states, which have not filed their reply, were also “not averse” to providing the requisite information as required under the proforma, which contains heads under which information is to be uploaded on the website of the state education department. Information like the total number of schools covered under the scheme, number of beneficiary students, quality and nutritional value of food grains and vegetables, eggs and other supplements served, have to be provided by state governments. The proforma also seeks states to provide information as to whether there is any monitoring mechanism to check the quality of food served to the children in government schools. Earlier, the apex court had issued notice to the Centre and 12 states seeking their response on the steps taken to ensure cleanliness in the midday meal scheme and prevent incidents like the one that occurred in the Bihar village primary school. The states were Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, Assam, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Jharkhand. In over 12 lakh government-run and aided schools across the country, children receive free, cooked lunch every day but “they are constantly exposed to the risk of food poisoning and related health hazards due to a lack of mid-day meal infrastructure and proper monitoring of the scheme,” the PIL said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

High-level meetings between NIA, state agencies crucial to win over terrorism: Adityanath

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday highlighted the significance of the National Investigative Agency (NIA) towards national security, and proposed the idea of holding high-level meetings between the agency and state agencies once in every six months to win over terrorism. Adityanath also informed that four northern states namely Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Bihar shall be affiliated to the Lucknow office, while speaking at the inauguration of the NIA office and residential complex at Lucknow. The Chief Minister said that the launch of the office ?represents the government?s commitment towards the development of India, which inspires (all) to do quality work in a time bound manner.? ?I was told that this work was to be completed within 24 months, but it took only 18 months. For this, I congratulate and convey my best wishes to the respective task agency and the NIA DG along with all his officers,? he added. The NIA was constituted in 2009 with the view to combat incremental terror attacks. Hinting on problematic ?neighbouring countries who have adopted terrorism as a foreign policy”, Yogi said that India would be successful in breaking the back” of terrorism with an institution like the NIA. Adityanath proposed to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who was present for the inauguration, that a high-level meeting be held between the NIA and the state agencies once every six months so that better communication helps them to work effectively on ?such crucial issues as national security? with better coordination, and without delays. He also suggested that if the NIA, besides coordinating with the state agencies, also works towards its aim with modern technology and team spirit, a country like India will win over terrorism. Adityanath concluded his address by ensuring the support of the UP Government and its associated institutions to agencies like the NIA and every initiative taken by the Union Government that strengthens the unity and the security of the nation. The NIA office and residential complex was inaugurated by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, on Sunday.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Utkal train derailment victims recall ordeal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> ?Some were rescued out of the coaches, while some were stuck; some lost their legs and a few lost their hands, while some suffered fractures,? said Dilip Singh Yadav from Gwalior. Yadav is among the many people who were injured in the derailment of Puri-Haridwar-Kalinga Utkal Express that took place yesterday evening in Khatauli near Muzzafarnagar, about 115 kilometres from Delhi. 23 people lost their lives, while at least 97 passengers were injured after fourteen coaches of the high-speed Utkal Express jumped the rails, with one of them crashing into a house adjacent to the track near Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh. Another passenger, Kavita Sen, from Gwalior, who is admitted in a hospital along with her daughter, called the incident “horrifying.” ?I reached for my daughter when I got into my senses, but she was trapped. When I looked around, more people were lying there,? she recalled. Talking about the incident, a relative of a wounded passenger detailed the moment when the news was broken to his parents, saying that the duo started crying after receiving the phone call near 6.30 pm. Ram Singh Sarwar, who suffered fractures in his ribs, said that he was travelling in S1 coach when there was a ?sudden loud jerk? and four-five men near him died on the spot while another said that the derailment appeared like “chain-pulling.” The train was coming from Puri in Odisha and going to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, normally a journey of about 36 hours. The coaches damaged were S1 to S10 sleeper class, third AC B1, second AC A1 coach and the pantry. Muzaffarnagar authorities have set up a control room to assist families of those affected. The numbers are: 0131- 2436918, 0131-2436103 and 0131-2436564.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Water level rises in major reservoirs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The water level in 91 major reservoirs in the country has risen to 75.694 billion cubic metres (BCM) or 48 per cent of their total storage capacity from 43 per cent two weeks ago, the government said today. As on August 4, the stock was 67.683 BCM of the total storage capacity of the dams. The water level in the reservoirs including in the Nagarjuna Sagar, Indira Sagar and Bhakra dams was for the week ending yesterday, 79 per cent of the storage reported during the corresponding period last year, the Union water resources ministry said in a statement. It was 82 per cent of the decadal average, it said. Reservoirs in states such as Rajasthan, Odisha, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu reported lesser storage level than last year. Major dams in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Tripura recorded better storage levels vis-a-vis the previous years.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CM not interested in Lokayukta: Rawat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking a jibe at Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat’s announcement that a separate commission will be set up in Uttarakhand to probe corruption cases, his predecessor Harish Rawat today said it seems the CM was no longer interested in constituting a Lokayukta. The former chief minister also said that he was in favour that all corruption cases unearthed since the creation of Uttarakhand being handed over to the commission if it was created. “It seems the chief minister has no interest now in creating a Lokayukta or bringing in tough laws to eliminate corruption,” Rawat said, commenting on the chief minister’s Independence Day announcement that a separate commission is being constituted in the state to probe corruption cases in a time-bound manner and punish the guilty. “Still if a commission headed by a sitting judge of the high court is constituted and an effective step is taken to put an end to corruption I will welcome it,” the Congress leader added. Creation of a Lokayukta was part of the BJP’s vision document for the assembly elections in Uttarakhand earlier this year which the party contested on a strong anti- corruption plank. The former chief minister also termed the GST package for the state based industries as a “delayed step” saying he had fought for it during his tenure. “We wanted this facility to be extended to the state for ten years. We had fought for it relentlessly at the meetings of the GST Council. If the Centre had conceded our demand at that time the state’s industries would not have suffered. However, better late than never,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

All Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims safe, secure: MEA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the wake of cloudburst incidents in Uttarakhand, the External Affairs Ministry today said that all Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims are safe and secure and Uttarakhand government is in constant touch with them. MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said Uttarakhand government and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) are taking steps to ensure a safe journey to Kailash Mansarovar by pilgrims. “Incident of cloud burst in #Uttarakhand. All yatris safe and secure. Constant watch & contact with Uttarakhand Govt and @ITBP_official Yatris given option to continue yatra keeping weather in mind. Uttarakhand Govt and @ITBP_official ensuring safe & smooth conduct of yatra,” he said in a series of tweets. Kumar said in another tweet, “Batch 16 moved back from Sirkha to Dharchula due to weather conditions while batch 12 return to Delhi tonight.” “Batch 13 arrived in Gunji. Will take helicopter to Dharchula tomorrow on their return journey while Batch 14 completing Kailash parikrama,” he said. “Batch 15 in Taklakot, Tibet after completing Kailash parikrama. Will cross into India tomorrow,” he added. Two cloudbursts hit Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district yesterday. The first cloudburst had occurred near Tawaghat, sending a rivulet, the Mangti Nullah, into a spate and its swirling waters swept away a few shops and three Army tents. The second cloudburst also occurred at around the same time at Malpa and swept away six persons. Rescue teams recovered four bodies from the area while two were still missing.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Floods ravage many parts, over 100 dead

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Weather and water continued to wreak havoc across the country, with at least 100 deaths reported. Besides, as many as 22 lakh people are being feared displaced in Uttarakhand, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Jammu and Kashmir, and Tripura.In Assam, the death toll has gone up to 20, over 1.83 lakh people have taken shelter in over 400 relief camps, while the world famous Kaziranga national park has been submerged. The second wave of floods within a span of 15 days in Assam has caused major damage to the infrastructure. Flood water has damaged roads, bridges, embankments, and huge crop areas. Several rivers, including the Brahmaputra, are flowing above the danger level.In Uttarakhand, at least 22 people are feared killed in a landslide following a cloudburst in the remote area of Dharchula in Pithoragarh district. As many as five bodies have been recovered while 15 people, including Armymen, have been reported missing with only remote chances of survival. According to latest reports, four people were rescued from the debris at Mangti Nala.Besides, some Army vehicles and mules have also been swept away in flash floods.Heavy and incessant rainfall continued to lash the Indo-Nepal Border for the third day, swelling all major rivers, tributaries, and seasonal nallahs in areas monitored by the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). In all, 117 of the 629 Border Outposts established on Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan Borders have been severely affected.Also, Indus river crossed the danger mark in Leh in J&K, submerging several villages. The Air Force station in Leh was also flooded.According to reports, at least 41 persons, including women and children, have been killed in Bihar. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar took stock of the situation on Monday and called for a meeting of state officials. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Kumar about the flood situation and assured him of support from the Centre. The PM tweeted: “My thoughts are with all those affected by floods in parts of Bihar.”In the last two days, over one million people have been affected in the worst-hit districts of Kishanganj, Araria, Purnea, and Katihar. The 23 teams of National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) have rescued a total of 6,062 people in Bihar till now and the operations are still on.The situation remained grim in Arunachal Pradesh as well. Incessant rain disrupted communication at many places in the state. In Dibang valley, two people were reported to have been killed. In Anjaw, food crisis loomed large as the main road connecting the district through Lohit was blocked due to recurring landslides triggered by heavy rainfall. In West Siang district, flash floods have destroyed standing crop and inundated large areas of agricultural land. Landslides have also blocked the NH 415 connecting Itangar with Bandedewa.In Meghalaya, incessant rainfall for the last few days has wreaked havoc in the capital city of Shillong and other parts of the East Khasi Hills district. The Railway Board has decided to cancel all incoming trains from various parts of the country towards the NE Region.In Himachal Pradesh, 48 bodies have been retrieved from the debris after a massive land slide triggered on the Manali-Pathankot National Highway in Kotrupi area of Mandi district on Saturday midnight. One of the state transport corporation buses was shattered into several pieces and there is possibility that some bodies might be under the debris.

Three killed in cloudburst during Kailash Mansarovar yatra

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Four soldiers and three civilians have gone missing after a cloudburst hits the Mangta Nala region of Uttarakhand on Monday. Three bodies have also been recovered in Malpa. Kailash Mansarovar Yatra has been halted due to the floods and landslide caused by the cloudburst on the route. Two bridges were damaged in Mangti and one in Simkhola districts of Uttarakhand. Water level of the river Kali has been continuously rising and reached the danger level. On Sunday, at least 46 people died in a tragic incident in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh, where more than 150 meters of road collapsed. Many houses, two buses and a number of vehicles were buried in the debris. A spokesman of the government said that 46 bodies were recovered in the rescue operation throughout the day and five injured were saved in this incident in Himachal.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Uttarakhand sharpshooter held after bullet injury

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Police has arrested a wanted criminal with a bounty of Rs 1 lakh after a shoot-out left him wounded with a bullet injury on Saturday near Rudrapur in Uttarakhand.The accused has been identified as Jarnail Singh alias Jelly, the main sharp shooter of Jitender alias Gogi gang, who is also carrying a reward of Rs 2 lakh. The gang had rivalry with another local gang led by one Sunil alias Tillu of village Tajpur in Delhi. Police said the two gangs turned rivals after the Delhi University’s student union elections in 2013.Singh was arrested during the early hours on Saturday from village Bichai, Rudrapur in Uttarakhand following a shoot-out, police said.”He was wanted in a number of cases including cases of murder and attempt to murder in Delhi and Haryana. He was also wanted in a case where he along with his associate Gogi had opened fired on a police team. On Friday, information was received that Singh has been spotted in Rudrapur area of Uttarakhand. Acting on this, a team of Special Cell was immediately rushed to Rudrapur and with the help of local police conducted a raid at an identified hideout,” said a senior police officer.When Singh was asked to surrender, he pulled out a pistol and opened fire at the police team, leading to a brief exchange of fire, according to the police.”One bullet hit Singh in abdomen and he collapsed. Subsequently, he was apprehended and a loaded pistol was recovered from him. The injured criminal was immediately shifted to nearby hospital for medical treatment and later on to a Hospital in Haldwani. The hospital at Haldwani referred him to another hospital and he was shifted to a super speciality hospital in Moradabad, UP, where he is undergoing treatment,” the officer said.

Delhi-based gang’s sharpshooter arrested from Uttarakhand

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Police has arrested the alleged sharpshooter of a Delhi-based gang, who was wanted for a broad daylight murder, after a shootout in Uttarakhand. A team of Special Cell officers nabbed Jarnail Singh, carrying a reward of Rs one lakh for his arrest, yesterday from village Bichai in Rudrapur area after a shootout in which he was injured. He had tried to evade arrest by refusing to surrender and firing at the police team which returned fire in self-defence. A .32 bore pistol and three bullets were recovered from Singh who is presently undergoing treatment at a super speciality hospital in Uttar Pradesh, police said. The police had received specific information that the murder accused was spotted in Rudrapur and thereafter, a Special Cell team along with local police had raided the village. However, Singh had sensed presence of the police in the area and tried to flee. According to the police, he belongs to a gang led by one Jitender and was the prime accused in a 2015 murder case. Apart from that he and his gang leader are also accused of and wanted for firing at police officials last year in Haryana. In that incident, while Singh had managed to escape, Jitender was arrested and a huge cache of country-made weapons and ammunition was recovered from the vehicle they were travelling in, police said. Jitender, for whose arrest there is a reward of Rs two lakh, had later escaped from police custody with the help of his gang while being taken to court, police said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Nitish Kumar expresses will for eye donation on International Organ Donation Day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday announced his will to donate his eyes, saying a proactive campaign should be launched for organ donation across nation. ?The way in which the campaign was carried out for the prohibition of liquor, there is a need to run a similar vibrancy for the donation of eyes and other organs,? Kumar said here on the occasion of International Organ Donation Day. He added that by December 2017, all the medical college hospitals in the state along with the eye hospitals will have an eye bank for donation. ?A lot has been achieved in the health sector. Today, around 11 thousand people come to government hospitals for treatment every month,? he asserted. Speaking on the flood issue, the Chief Minister said that due to heavy rain in Nepal and rise in water level in Tapti and Mahananda rivers, Northeastern Bihar is flooded. ?I have been taking stock of the ongoing situation and have requested for the deployment of Army, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) teams at work. I have also spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley,? Kumar added. Meanwhile, Union Home Minister tweeted, ?Spoke to Bihar CM @NitishKumar and discussed the flood situation in the state. The NDRF teams have already reached the affected areas. The Centre is rushing additional NDRF teams to Bihar to help the ongoing rescue &relief operations in the flood affected region of the state.? Following the relentless rain in Nepal, now Bihar is under a threat of facing the danger of flood. An alert has been sounded by the state administration as the river was flowing above the danger mark of Kosi belt. Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Bihar are facing major flood problems caused by the rivers flowing from Nepal to India.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Three dead, two critical after landslide in Uttarakhand’s @ 8/13/2017 8:06:11 AM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Due to heavy rains, at least three people were killed and two critically injured in a landslide in Uttarakhand?s Pithoragarh on Sunday. The injured were rushed to a nearby hospital for medical treatment. The details of the victims and injured are awaited. A family of five seemed to have been under the rubble of their own house. Earlier on August 5, the Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway 58 was closed near Tota Ghati in Uttarakhand due to landslides. Torrential rains for the past few days have wreaked havoc in the state with reports of death every now and then. National Disaster Response Force teams have rushed to the area to evacuate those still trapped in under the debris. Other parts of Uttarakhand like Dehradun and Rishikesh also witnessed rains.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NH 74 scam: Cong to bring privilege motion against U’khand CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Opposition Congress today said it will bring a privilege motion against Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat in the Uttarakhand Assembly for “going back” on his promise of a CBI probe into the NH74 scam. Reminding the chief minister of his statement in the state assembly in which he had assured the House of a CBI probe into the scam, Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly Indira Hridayesh said that Rawat had “misled” the assembly on the issue. “More than three months have passed since the CM recommended a CBI probe into the scam but the Centre continues to drag its feet over the issue and the CM is watching helplessly despite announcing in the state assembly during its last session that a CBI inquiry into the scam was certain,” Hridayesh told reporters in Haldwani yesterday. Accusing the chief minister of misleading the state assembly and breaching a promise he had made to the people of the state, Haridayesh said her party will bring a privilege motion against Rawat when the next session of the state assembly is convened for not honouring his commitment. Hridayesh also warned of launching a jail bharo agitation if the state government did not keep its promise about a CBI probe into the scam. The senior Congress leader who represents Haldwani seat in the state assembly had vehemently raised the issue during its last session in June accusing the state government as well as the Centre of shying away from a CBI probe into the scam as “big” people were involved in it. She had even waved a letter from Union Minister for Highways Nitin Gadkari to the state government advising against such an inquiry, saying it will adversely affect the morale of NHAI officials and the implementation of projects the authority had taken up in the state. Taking cognisance of a report by a state government appointed special investigating team citing financial irregularities in the procurement of land for NH-74 in Udhan Singh Nagar district, the chief minister had recommended a CBI probe into it on March 25 a week after being sworn in. The inquiry had pegged the scam to be worth around Rs 240 crore. It had found that during the land acquisition process for the highway the land use pattern was changed from agricultural to non-agricultural to benefit a few landholders, who are believed to have got 20 times higher compensation than the actual cost. Hridayesh also accused the state government of promoting alcoholism in the state by allowing liquor shops to be opened in residential areas. She said liquor mafia was terrorising women opposing opening of liquor shops in residential localities and threatened to launch a massive agitation over the issue.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Gujarat polls: BJP expects to benefit from Congress defections

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP may have suffered a setback with its candidate’s defeat to Ahmed Patel in the Gujarat Rajya Sabha poll but it believes the defection of many Congress heavyweights to its ranks will help it in the coming Assembly election in the state. The entry of Balwantsinh Rajput, who was its losing candidate, Tejashree Patel, and Ramsinh Parmar, among others into the saffron camp will be a big jolt to the Congress as they are leaders with a strong base and had won against the odds in previous polls, a senior BJP leader said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The Gujarat Assembly polls are likely to be held by this year end. The BJP has been in power in the state since 1995, except for a brief spell when a rebel faction led by Shankersinh Vaghela formed the government with the help of the Congress. Vaghela has now broken ranks with the Congress and is likely to be a BJP ally in the upcoming polls in which the opposition party hopes to cash in on a host of issues against its saffron rival. The BJP leader said many Congress defectors are several- term MLAs and were senior party leaders with certain bases. Rajput was the Congress’ chief whip, Patel too was a whip while Parmar, a seven-term MLA, is also chairman of Amul, a cooperative having state-wide influence. The Congress enjoys considerable influence in the cooperatives in the state. The BJP believes that it can replicate the Uttarakhand formula where it had engineered defections by a number of Congress leaders, laying the ground for a big win in this year’s Assembly polls in the hill state. However, unlike Uttarakhand where it was in the opposition, the BJP has had a long innings in power in Gujarat and the Congress is hopeful of putting up a good show on account of anti-incumbency and perceived anger among Patidars. BJP sources also reiterated that Rajput will go to court against the Election Commission’s order to annul two votes by rebel Congress MLAs, resulting in Ahmed Patel’s victory. The BJP had won 116 seats in the 182-seat Gujarat Assembly in 2012 against 60 won by the Congress.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Development not possible without women empowerment: Trivendra

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat today underlined the need to strengthen women self help groups in Uttarakhand, saying all-round development of the state was not possible without the empowerment of women. “Women self help groups need to be turned into organisations. We need to work not like a crowd but like a disciplined organisation,” the chief minister said addressing SHGs here. Mentioning the important role SHGs could play in the creation of job opportunities and strengthening the state’s economy, Trivendra said they needed to work harder. He said the state government will extend all possible support to strengthen SHGs in Uttarakhand. The state government is working seriously to stop migration from the hills and creating better educational and health facilities in hilly areas, he said adding a series of steps will soon be taken on these fronts whose results will remain effective for a long time to come.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

First public hearing on Pancheswar project held in U’khand

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The first public hearing on the environment impact assessment of the proposed 5,040-MW capacity Pancheswar project, a joint venture between India and Nepal, was held at Barakot block headquarters here today. The project is proposed at Panchesaw on river Mahakali along the border with Nepal in Champawat district of Uttarakhand. “Over 500 villagers from 26 villages have participated in the hearing which was also attended by Pancheswar Development Authority (PDA) and WAPCOS officials,” District Magistrate, Champawat, Iqbal Ahmed said. “Though the hearing was on environment impact assessment but most of the questions were raised on rehabilitation package,” he said. The villagers, on the other hand, said everything was being completed in a “hurry” and they were only being “wrapped in that formally”. “We should have been given sufficient time to discuss the issue at village level only after that concrete opinion from the villagers would have emerged,” said Pushpa Devi, the Gram Pradhan of Zindi village, who had reached the public meeting place with her fellow villagers. Officials from the PDA have assured the villagers that all the categories under compensation will be dealt with new circle rates of state government, and not only as mentioned in the detailed project report (DPR) alone. “Once the public hearing on the compensation and ecological issue is completed, we will sit in Mahendranagar in Nepal to discuss on provisions of the DPR submitted by WAPCOS recently,” said Mahendra Gurung, the chief executive officer of the PDA. The next hearing will be held in Pithoragarh on August 11 where a total of 87 villages are coming under the dam waters of the proposed Pancheswar dam.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Road-making work in Sikkim slows

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in Doklam near Sikkim, only 6.7 km of road construction has taken place near the border areas in the state this year.A military standoff continues between Indian and Chinese forces since mid-June as the Indian Army resisted China’s efforts to build a road in the strategically important Doklam area in Bhutan referred to as Donglong by the Chinese. The area is disputed between China and Bhutan and is close to the strategic Chumbi Valley in Chinese control at a tri-junction bordering India, China and Bhutan.In the last two years, 654 km of roads were constructed in states sharing a border with China. While Jammu and Kashmir that also shares a border with Pakistan recorded the maximum construction of 283 km, Sikkim the point of the ongoing standoff has had only 49 km of roads built since 2015.In Arunachal Pradesh, 200 km of roads was built since 2015-16, 40 km was constructed in Himachal Pradesh and 82 km in Uttarakhand.Minister of State for Defence Dr Subhash Bhamre, in a written reply, informed the Rajya Sabha that out of 519 roads, 61 roads of length measuring 3,417 km have been identified as strategic Indo-China Border Roads (ICBR).Devpt woesWhile Jammu and Kashmir that also shares a border with Pakistan recorded the maximum construction of 283 km, Sikkim the point of the ongoing standoff has had only 49 km of roads built since 2015.

Months on, monkey catchers show no interest in govt job

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Months after the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) announced that it will hire monkey catchers on a payroll, the simian menace is still baffling the civic body as very few people turned up for the job.According to officials, despite giving advertisements and fixing the monthly salary at Rs 15,000, few people showed interest in the job. “We thought if we hired a dedicated team to handle the work, the number of complaints would drop. But hardly four-five people have applied for the positions till now,” a senior SDMC official said.”Earlier, we used to hire monkey catchers on a contract basis and used to pay Rs 1,200 per monkey. But it was extremely difficult to retain any of the catchers for even a year at a stretch,” he added.When DNA contacted some monkey catchers or ‘qalandars’ to understand their side of the matter, most of them said that in the past, activists have taken them to police stations, and people have slammed them for hurting their “religious sentiments”.”It had become really difficult for us to catch monkeys as people in several areas of Delhi took offense. A group of activists once took me to a police station, while I was doing my job in the Parliament Street area,” Salauddin, a resident of north-east Delhi’s Dilshad Garden, said.Echoing the sentiment, monkey catcher Irfan, who hails from Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut district, said: “It becomes so difficult to do our job as a lot of people have their religious sentiments attached with monkeys. I was threatened by a group of residents in north Delhi once. I never visited the area again.”The civic body has been grappling with the simian problem for years now. Not just residential buildings, the monkeys have not spared even government organisations such as courts, office buildings, or the Parliament House itself. Recently, two monkeys had strayed into the multi-storeyed headquarters of the civic bodies and left several Councillors of north and south civic bodies stranded for hours.At the same time, several monkey-catchers have started freelancing. “After 0the government imposed a ban on using langurs to catch monkeys, it became difficult for us to work. We now have to use sound techniques to nab them, which is a tedious process and requires more time. The municipal corporation used to pay me only Rs 850-1,200 for a monkey. Now, I am catching stray monkeys on my own and charging Rs 2,000 for one,” Akram said.No response from other statesThe south corporation officials have said they have made multiple requests to the Chief Wildlife Wardens of the Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, and Rajasthan, to provide then with monkey catchers but there has been no response.

Sikkim stand-off: India building up troops, repairing roads, alleges China

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>China’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday said India has been building up troops and repairing roads along its side of the border amid an increasingly tense stand-off in a remote frontier region beside the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.The stand-off on a plateau next to the mountainous Indian state of Sikkim, which borders China, has ratcheted up tension between the neighbours, who share a 3,500-km (2,175-mile) frontier, large parts of which are disputed.”It has already been more than a month since the incident, and India is still not only illegally remaining on Chinese territory, it is also repairing roads in the rear, stocking up supplies, massing a large number of armed personnel,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
ALSO READ Sikkim stand-off: War not an option, says Sushma; China hopes for India’s ‘good deed'”This is certainly not for peace.” India has denied any such military buildup and, in a statement to parliament on Thursday evening, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj urged dialogue based on a written common understanding regarding the border intersection reached in 2012.”India always believes that peace and tranquillity in the India-China border is an important pre-requisite for smooth development of our bilateral relations,” Swaraj said, according to a transcript of her remarks released by her office.
ALSO READ Amid Sikkim stand-off, Chinese troops transgress into Barahoti in Uttarakhand”We will continue to engage with the Chinese side through diplomatic channels to find a mutually acceptable solution.”FRAMEWORKEarly in June, according to the Chinese interpretation of events, Indian guards crossed into China’s Donglang region and obstructed work on a road on the plateau.The two sides’ troops then confronted each other close to a valley controlled by China that separates India from its close ally, Bhutan, and gives China access to the so-called Chicken’s Neck, a thin strip of land connecting India and its remote northeastern regions.India has said it warned China that construction of the road near their common border would have serious security implications.In a separate statement, China’s Defence Ministry said China had shown goodwill and that its forces had exercised utmost restraint, but warned “restraint has a bottom line” and that India must dispel any illusions.”No country should underestimate the Chinese military’s confidence in and ability to fulfil its mission of safeguarding peace, and should not underestimate the Chinese military’s determination and will to defend the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests,” it said.Despite China’s numerous diplomatic representations, its foreign ministry said, India has not only not withdrawn its troops but has also been making “unreasonable demands” and is not sincere about a resolution.”If India really cherishes peace, it ought to immediately withdraw its personnel who have illegally crossed the border into the Indian side.”Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to visit China early in September for a summit of BRICS leaders.Indian officials say about 300 soldiers from either side are facing each other about 150 meters (yards) apart on the plateau.They have told Reuters that both sides’ diplomats have quietly engaged to try to keep the stand-off from escalating, and that India’s ambassador to Beijing is leading the effort to find a way for both sides to back down without loss of face.Chinese state media have warned India of a fate worse than the defeat it suffered in a brief border war in 1962.China’s military has held live fire drills close to the disputed area, and state television on Friday said more exercises had been conducted recently, though did not give an exact location.The official China Daily said in a Friday editorial that China was not in the mood for a fight, noting how the stand off has been “unusually restrained”.”However, if good manners do not work, in the end, it may be necessary to rethink our approach. Sometimes a head-on blow may work better than a thousand pleas in waking up a dreamer,” the English-language paper added.

Chinese transgression: No clear demarcation in Barahoti area, says Uttarakhand CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days after Chinese troops transgressed into Barahoti in Uttarakhand, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat today said it is a “disputed area” and that there was no clear demarcation of the area in Chamoli district.”I don’t have an exact official information about the transgression. There is no demarcation of which part belongs to India and which part belongs to China as it (Barahoti) is a disputed (area),” Rawat, who was here to visit the RSS headquarters, told reporters. The transgression took place on the morning of July 25 when a group of shepherds was asked to vacate the land by troops of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). “There is one area in Barahoti where carrying of weapons is prohibited for Indian as well as Chinese soldiers. There are instances of Indian soldiers going into their territory and Chinese soldiers coming into our territory,” the chief minister said.Responding to a query on the ongoing stand-off between India and China in the Doklam plateau area of Bhutan, near the tri-junction between the three countries, Rawat said China should abstain from using “provocative language”. “Our Army is very strong and the chief of the Army staff has already said that our troops are capable of and efficient to face any challenge,” he said. Barahoti, an 80 sq km sloping pasture about 140 km from the Uttarakhand capital Dehradun, is one of the three border posts in what is known the ‘middle sector’, comprising Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
ALSO READ Fresh flashpoint: Chinese soldiers transgress in ‘demilitarised zone’ in Barahoti of Uttarakhand It is a demilitarised zone where Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) jawans are not allowed to carry weapons. Asked what was the purpose of his visit to the RSS headquarters and if he will meet Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat, Rawat said he is an RSS swaysmsevak and “Nagpur is our inspiration centre”. “We keep coming here from time to time,” he added. He said he interacted with members of the Vidarbha Industries Association (VIA) and invited them to attend a investors’ meet scheduled to be held in Dehradun in December.

Chinese transgression should not be linked with Doklam, says defence expert

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> In the wake of reports that the Chinese troops had entered Uttarakhand on July 25, defence expert P.K. Sehgal on Tuesday said that this is a mere transgression which should not be linked with Doklam. ?This is a mere transgression. Here no military force is being used. So this is not an incursion. Therefore, it should be looked at in that way only. There should be no linking of this with Doklam. If we do that, it will look alarmist which it is not,? Sehgal told ANI. He added that Uttarakhand?s Barahoti has been under dispute since 1962 and thereafter annually, along the entire border of about 4,000 km, there have been 400-500 transgressions. Earlier, on July 25, in a fresh case of transgression, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) from China crossed into Uttarakhand’s Barahoti in Chamoli district and came upto 200 metres on the other side of the border. The soldiers reportedly came up to 800 m to 1 km into Indian territory. This incident comes amid severe tensions between India and China resulting from the Doklam stand-off. In the past, Chinese troops have been known to cross over and write ‘China’ on rocks in the Chamoli district. This area has also seen aerial transgressions and infiltration by foot patrols in 2013 and 2014. The present standoff between India and China emerged after New Delhi expressed its apprehension over Beijing’s road construction in the Sikkim sector of the border.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Amid Sikkim stand-off, Chinese troops transgress into Barahoti in Uttarakhand

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Chinese border guards entered one kilometre into Indian territory and threatened shepherds grazing cattle in the Barahoti area of Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district, official sources said on Monday. The incident took place on the morning of July 25 when a group of shepherds were asked to vacate the land by troops of the People’s Liberation Army, officials in the know said on the condition of anonymity. The incident comes in the backdrop of a standoff between Chinese and Indian troops at Doklam near Sikkim. National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi on July 27 discussed “major problems” in bilateral ties, the foreign ministry here said after the first high-level meeting between India and China since the military standoff erupted in the Sikkim sector on June 16.
ALSO READ Amid Sikkim stand-off, Ajit Doval calls on BRICS to show leadership on regional issuesThe Chinese foreign ministry, in a brief readout on Doval-Yang meeting, said Yang “elaborated China’s position on bilateral issues and major problems”, which is being seen as an apparent reference to the standoff in the Doklam area. China’s state-run Xinhua news agency also reported that Yang met separately with Doval and his other counterparts from South Africa and Brazil. Though there were no direct reference to the Sikkim standoff in the Xinhua report, it said the talks between Doval and Yang included bilateral relations, international and regional issues and multilateral affairs.Though China had maintained that there won’t be a meaningful dialogue without the unconditional withdrawal of Indian troops, India has been maintaining that the unilateral action by China to build a road in the area was altering the status quo and had serious security implications for India. India has also been pitching for diplomatic solution to resolve the standoff but sought simultaneous withdrawal of troops of both the sides from the tri-junction with Bhutan.
ALSO READ NSA talk: Doval, Yang discuss ‘major problems’ amid Sikkim stand-offHowever, the Chinese official media has been carrying a blistering campaign accusing India of trespassing into the Chinese territory. Doval arrived here yesterday to take part in the Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) NSAs meeting being hosted by Yang, who, like Doval, is the Special Representative for India-China boundary talks.His visit has raised expectations about the likelihood of India and China finding a way-out of the over the month-long standoff. While the media had no access to today’s meetings, it will be allowed to cover tomorrow’s jointmeeting of the NSAs of the five-member bloc. Doval, along with other heads of the delegations, will also call on Chinese President Xi Jinping tomorrow evening.
ALSO READ Sikkim stand-off | 1962 Sino-India war veterans vows to send their sons to wars if neededAbout the BRICS NSAs meeting, the Chinese foreign ministry on Monday said that the meeting on security issues is a major platform for BRICS countries to discuss and conduct cooperation in politics and security fields.”It bears great significance for these countries to strengthen strategic communication, enhance political mutual trust and elevate their impact on global affairs.” As agreed by all parties, those at the meeting will discuss on topics including global governance, anti-terrorism, internet security and energy security, as well as major international and regional hot spot issues and national security and development, Lu said. The military standoff began on June 16 when Chinese troops attempted to lay a road in the Doklam area. Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Doklam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region. India and China share a 220-km-long border in Sikkim section.

‘Benefit chain’ of GST should continue, Modi tells MPs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi today met BJP MPs from several states, including from Haryana, Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir, and emphasised the need to ensure continuance of the “benefit chain” under GST. The prime minister also asked small businesses and traders to register under the recently rolled out goods and services tax, as the Members of Parliament maintained that there was a lot of enthusiasm among small commercial ventures regarding the new law. “GST has been accepted and overwhelmingly supported across the country. Small traders should also register themselves with this new tax law. It should be ensured that the benefit chain of GST be continued,” an official statement quoted Modi as saying. Besides J-K, Delhi and Haryana, MPs from Punjab, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh as well as the party MP from Chandigarh were present during the meeting with the prime minister. Modi asked them to ensure that senior citizens get maximum benefits under various welfare schemes, including a new pension scheme, ‘Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY)’, under which they will get 8 per interest on their deposits. The prime minister also talked about the development of hill regions, noting that the government had implemented various new schemes which had resulted in qualitative changes in the life of people. As a result, tremendous opportunities for jobs and tourism had opened up in the hill states, he added. On closure of the public distribution system (PDS) in Chandigarh and Puducherry, Modi said money was directly transferred into the beneficiaries’ accounts. This model, he added, could be adopted in other states as well. This was Modi’s sixth meeting with BJP MPs at his residence during the ongoing Monsoon session of Parliament. These meetings are coordinated by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Govt mulls involvement of SHGs for maintenance of PMGSY roads

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre is planning to involve local women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in villages for the upkeep of roads constructed under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), a senior official said. So far, more than 5.13 lakh km of road length has been constructed in rural areas under the PMGSY. “Now, the focus is on the maintenance of roads built under the scheme and ensure all-weather mobility and connectivity through these roads,” an official in the Rural Development Ministry said. He said some part of the maintenance works on the roads in rural areas can be carried out at the local level. “For such tasks, we are looking to involve women self- help groups (SHGs) in villages,” the official said. He further said a pilot project was carried out in Uttarakhand “successfully”. “The idea is to maintain these roads. At the same time, it will generate some supplementary income for rural households,” he added. The Centre has been emphasising that all states should have a rural road maintenance policy and so far 19 have framed it, the official said. “The Ministry is hopeful that by March next year, all states will have such a mechanism in place,” the official said. Rural roads is a State Subject and the PMGSY is a one- time special intervention of the Centre to provide rural connectivity by way of single all-weather roads to eligible, unconnected habitations(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sonia Gandhi constitutes new team following Ambika Soni’s resignation from Cong. posts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday appointed former union minister Sushil Shinde and Ranjeet Ranjan as general secretary in-charge and secretary All India Congress Committee (AICC) respectively for Himachal Pradesh. Senior leader Ambika Soni had day before requested to be relieved from her responsibility as in-charge of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand due to reasons of health. She will continue as general secretary AICC of Jammu and Kashmir. Gandhi has also constituted a team of Observers for Odisha and the team will jointly work with AICC general secretary and secretary in-charge of state to assess the political situation. The team of observers constituted for Odisha will include Tamrdhwaj Sahu, Sushmita Dev and Jitendra Singh. The team will submit the joint report to the Congress president at the end of their visit. Sonia Gandhi has appointed Ruchi Gupta as joint secretary of the AICC. On July 21, senior leader Ambika Soni on Friday quit from all party posts. “I’ve requested leadership to relieve me as in-charge of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh due to health reasons,” Soni told ANI. In her political career spanning over a time period of 50 years, Soni held various posts. From 2006 to 2009, Soni served as the Minister of Tourism and Minister of Culture. She held the portfolio of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry from 2009 to 2012. She was re-elected to Rajya Sabha in July 2010.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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