Online news channel!

Tag: ganga

Ganga cleaning: Trials in 10 cities to begin next month, says Uma Bharti

“);
}
$(‘.social-sticky’).addClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
}else{
$(‘.social-sticky’).removeClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
$(‘.social-sticky’).html(shtml);
}
});
}

Ganga river

The surface cleaning of Ganga, including removal of solid waste such as clothes and parts of dead bodies, will commence in 10 cities from next month, according to a report in an English news daily.Water resources minister Uma Bharti said the surface cleaning exercise would start in Haridwar, Garhmukteshwar, Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Patna, Sahibganj, Kolkata, Nabadwip and Gangasagar under the ‘Namami Gange’ programme.Trails for surface cleaning have already started in Varanasi, said the minister. The work has been assigned to Tata Projects. ONGC and NTPC are also interested, she said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The minister informed the daily that 29 projects have been completed at a cost of Rs 463.58 crore with the treatment capacity of 123 million litres per day (MLD) and sewer network of 666.69 km.A total of 93 projects have been sanctioned at the cost of Rs 1,502.66 crore. This will result in the creation of treatment capacity of 858 MLD and sewer network of 3,623.10 km.Development of 4 out of 20 ghats was completed last month. Work at Chandighat (Haridwar), Chhath Ghat (Delhi) and Sahibganj will begin in January, she said.

Groundwater status alarming across 16 states and 2 UT’s: House panel

“);
}
$(‘.social-sticky’).addClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
}else{
$(‘.social-sticky’).removeClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
$(‘.social-sticky’).html(shtml);
}
});
}

While reviewing the status of groundwater, the standing committee of parliament on water resource, river development and Ganga rejuvenation noted that groundwater across 1071 locations across 16 states and two union territories is being over exploited.

Worried about the indiscriminate extraction of groundwater for irrigation, industries and domestic use and its groundwater contamination, a parliamentary panel has asked the Union ministry of water resources to carry out a study to detail impact of groundwater extraction on farming, health and environment. The panel has asked the ministry to submit the report in six months from now.While reviewing the status of groundwater, the standing committee of parliament on water resource, river development and Ganga rejuvenation noted that groundwater across 1071 locations across 16 states and two union territories is being over exploited. These locations comprise of blocks, mandals, talukas and districts are spread over a total area of 5 lakh square kms of the country and have been termed as ‘dark blocks’. These dark blocks stretch from plus localities such as the capital’s Defence Colony and Hauz Khas to districts in southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The committee are gravely concerned that the country is on the path towards a serious water crisis in the near future due to over-extraction and quality deterioration of groundwater,” the parliamentary panel said. While recommending that a study be carried out, the panel specifically asked the ministry to map agricultural land falling in dark blocks. According to the the data provided on the annual ground water withdrawal, irrigation sector accounted for the maximum share; 90.75%, followed by domestic and industrial sector, whose combined share was 9.25%.The committee noted that states such as Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan saw high levels of groundwater extraction for irrigation. In Punjab, irrigation accounts for 97.9% groundwater withdrawal while in Haryana and Rajasthan, the figures stand at 94.5% and 88.4% respectively.Along with indiscriminate groundwater extraction, high contamination of water in rural habitations was reported in the year 2015. The parliamentary panel was informed that as of May 2015, states have reported that water in 63,282 rural settlements was contaminated by heavy metals or toxic metals such as arsenic, flouride, salinity, iron and nitrate. Some of the states worst hit due to groundwater contamination are Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Punjab, Assam and Tripura.

BJP got donation of Rs 200 crore from beef exporter, alleges Azam Khan

“);
}
$(‘.social-sticky’).addClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
}else{
$(‘.social-sticky’).removeClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
$(‘.social-sticky’).html(shtml);
}
});
}

On the issue of cleaning Ganga river, Azam Khan said that Centre should tell in what time will it be cleaned.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan has alleged that the BJP has taken a “donation of Rs 200 crore” from a “beef exporter”, a charge denied by the party.”BJP plays politics on beef. Ironically, it has taken a donation of Rs 200 crore from a big beef exporter. The party should tell how much money was taken in black,” he said, while talking to reporters here last night.Hitting back at Khan, BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak on Friday claimed he was making “baseless accusations” on his party.”He should first give account of money spent in (Mulayam Singh) Yadav’s birthday celebration in Rampur. Khan has himself said that the money came from Dawood,” he further claimed.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pathak was referring to Khan’s remarks in Rampur last month when he was asked about the funding of the birthday celebrations there.”Why does it matter where the money for celebrations is coming from? Some have come from Taliban, some from Abu Salem, some from Dawood(Ibrahim), some from terrorist…,” he had said in an apparent sarcastic response.”BJP is the only party, which runs on principles and ideals and such allegations are signs of frustration of the SP leader,” he claimed.On the issue of cow slaughter, Khan said that “whether it’s cow or some other animal, there should be no slaughter”. Referring to the controversial Ram Temple issue, Khan said that BJP was only “doing politics” on the issue and asked the party to tell as to how much “donations” it had taken in its name.”The Ram Temple issue is being raked for political gains. There is a temple. The people have however understood this propaganda now,” he said.On the issue of cleaning Ganga river, Khan said that Centre should tell in what time will it be cleaned.”One year have passed and now four years are left. They should tell the time-frame for cleaning Ganga,”, he added.

Narendra Modi, Shinzo Abe attend ‘Ganga aarti’ in Varanasi

The ‘Ganga aarti’ held for the two PMs was far more wondrous and awe-inspiring than what Varanasi citizens had seen every day for the past two decades. The magnitude and grandeur of this event was nothing short of magical.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi attend the evening aarti on the banks of the River Ganges

AFP
Varanasi hosted an audio-visual treat non pareil for PM Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on the banks of the holy Ganga on Saturday, marking a historic occasion in this oldest city of the world.The ‘Ganga aarti’ held for the two PMs was far more wondrous and awe-inspiring than what Varanasi citizens had seen every day for the past two decades. The magnitude and grandeur of this event was nothing short of magical.Union Minister Kalraj Mishra was heard telling reporters later that even though he belonged to Varanasi, such a magnificent experience was beyond his imagination.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The extravaganza was not limited to sights and sounds, lights and music, prayers and chants. It transcended into the divine, holding thousands of onlookers in a deep trance for almost an hour.Both Modi and Abe seemed to be under a spell as they sat together taking in the glory of the Ganga and its ritual worship from a special platform built 20 feet into the water at the famous Dashashwamedh Ghat.The PMs seemed in complete harmony with the goings-on as they offered prayers at the river bank, aided by the holy Hindu priests to the chanting of Vedic ‘mantras’. Modi in a serene ochre ‘kurta pyjama’ was contrasted by Abe in a similar black dress set off by a camel coloured waist coat.The ‘Ganga aarti’ started with the blowing of conch shells. As the chanting of the priests grew to a crescendo, Modi and Abe clapped to the beat of the ‘damru’ (hand-held percussion of Lord Shiva), clearly spellbound by the mystical experience. Modi was seen enjoying a perfect camaraderie with Abe, indulging in a friendly banter. At times, he spoke with a certain earnestness, perhaps explaining the intricacies of Hindu worship and its rituals.The entire ‘ghat’ was luminous with immumerable lamps, ‘diyas’ and candles lighting up the environs with a brilliance difficult to capture in words. Added to this were lights and laser beams which imbued the entire expanse with a million hues.As the priests danced with huge candelabras, as if in a trance, the divine merged into the sublime. The two PMs and everyone present was drenched in spirituality as the riverbank glowed with an ethereal radiance. The Ganga had submerged all in its ethereal spate.

Japan PM Shinzo Abe enjoys ‘Banarasi Thali’ at PM Modi’s banquet in Varanasi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted a banquet for his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe after the two leaders performed ‘Ganga Aarti’ on the banks of river Ganges in Varanasi on Saturday. A grand cultural event, including performances by Grammy nominee Ricky Kej and speed painter Vilas Naik, was also held which enthralled the Japanese delegation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe take part in Ganga Puja at Dasashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh on Saturday.

PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted a banquet for his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe after the two leaders performed ‘Ganga Aarti’ on the banks of river Ganges in Varanasi on Saturday. A grand cultural event, including performances by Grammy nominee Ricky Kej and speed painter Vilas Naik, was also held which enthralled the Japanese delegation.A unique fusion performance of Japanese drums- taiko and Sitar was part of the extravagant evening. A captivating dance performance ‘An ode to the ‘Sari’ through music’ which was choreographed by Daksha Seth was also part of the programme.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that the guests were treated to a pure vegetarian feast.Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Governor Ram Naik were also present at the banquet. Earlier Prime Minister Modi and Shinzo Abe performed the ‘Ganga Aarti’ at the Dashashwamedh Ghat, which is one of the holiest places in Varanasi.Abe, who was dressed in a traditional Nehru jacket, took part in the holy rituals along with Prime Minister Modi amid chants of holy mantras, flanked by priests. India and Japan had signed a pact to develop Varanasi as a ‘Smart City’ when Prime Minister Modi had visited Japan last year. The plan is to develop Varanasi on the lines of Japanese city of Kyoto.With Agencies

‘Popular’ PM Modi mobbed by media for ‘selfie’

He asserted the importance of festivals in the country and said that the celebrations in itself were an example of India’s great unity and diversity.

He waded with folded hands through the sea of scribes as everyone had their cell phones out to click a picture with him.

PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who attended the ‘Diwali Milan’ lunch hosted at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters here, interacted with the journalists and was later mobbed by them for a ‘selfie’. He waded with folded hands through the sea of scribes as everyone had their cell phones out to click a picture with him. Addressing the media earlier, Prime Minister Modi emphasised on the importance of festivals and their celebration in the nation. “I wanted to host this event around Diwali, but I was indisposed. It’s good it’s happening now or else we would have had to wait till Christmas,” he jested.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He asserted the importance of festivals in the country and said that the celebrations in itself were an example of India’s great unity and diversity. “Celebrating a festival gives direction as well as strength to the society. I can’t imagine the number of stories that can be churned if we sit to analyse the impact of our festivals in our society. If you take the Kumbh Mela for example, a small Europe comes and assembles by the Ganga every day. That much is the number of people, who gather at the event. This signifies strength,” the Prime Minister said. The Prime Minister was accompanied by BJP president Amit Shah, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu.Senior BJP ministers Nitin Gadkari, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Nirmala Sitharaman, Smriti Irani were also present at the event. This event comes a day after Prime Minister Modi broke the ice with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and his predecessor Manmohan Singh, whom he invited over for tea, to talk about the landmark Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill and for the smooth running of the Parliament.

PM Modi to take Shinzo Abe to Varanasi on Dec 12

Shinzo, during his one-day visit, is expected to visit the Buddhist site Sarnath and also attend the Aarti on the banks of river Ganga along with Modi, sources said.

Both the leaders also talked about deepening of the Varanasi-Kyoto partnership

File Photo
Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe will visit Varanasi on December 12. Abe is slated to visit India on December 11. Both the leaders also talked about deepening of the Varanasi-Kyoto partnership on the sidelines of 13th ASEAN-India Summit here in the Malaysian capital of Kaula Lumpur. The two cities have been declared as twin cities.Varanasi District Magistrate Rajmani Yadav said, “An initial intimation regarding the proposed one-day visit of Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and PM Narendra Modi on December 12 has been received by the district administration here on Sunday.” “The detailed protocol for their proposed visit is still awaited, but all preparations has already began to host the duo in the temple city,” Yadav said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shinzo, during his one-day visit, is expected to visit the Buddhist site Sarnath and also attend the Aarti on the banks of river Ganga along with Modi, sources said.

Congress ignored Uttar Pradesh, Bihar for 65 years,alleges Suresh Prabhu

The Minister said a bridge on the Ganga river in Bihar would be constructed soon and e-tendering system was being put in place to check corruption

Suresh Prabhu

PTI
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Sunday said that many areas in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are lagging far behind in development as successive Congress governments ignored such states for the last 65 years.”Congress ignored states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.This is the reason many areas of the two states are still backward. Our effort is to bring UP and Bihar forward,” Prabhu said while flagging off a new train, Sushashan Express, between Balrampur and Gwalior. He said the works which were not done in the last 65 years were completed by the NDA government in just one-and-a-half years.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Minister said a bridge on the Ganga river in Bihar would be constructed soon and e-tendering system was being put in place to check corruption. Prabhu said once cash-strapped railways was now cash-surplus. The Minister also inaugurated 107-km long broad gauge between Badhni and Gonda.

As Bihar awaits results, only Lalu Yadav looks confident; Amit Shah not vocal, Nitish says ‘wait’

There were no prominent leaders in the BJP and JD (U) offices, but at the RJD office, there were many. Party supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav claimed that the Grand Secular Alliance will win 190 seats.

Narendra Modi, Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav

Counting of votes for the 243 seats in the high-stakes Bihar assembly elections will start at 8 am on Sunday (today). On Saturday, all attention was on Bir Chand Patel Path, which houses the offices of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Janata Dal -United (JD-U). There were no prominent leaders in the BJP and JD (U) offices, but at the RJD office, there were many. Party supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav claimed that the Grand Secular Alliance will win 190 seats.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The man of the moment, chief minister Nitish Kumar, kept media at bay. He refused to say anything on the exit polls. “Wait till tomorrow,” is all that he would say. His body language showed that he is not as optimistic as Lalu Prasad. BJP president Amit Shah was also not very vocal. However, his party cadres were bubbling with confidence, following an exit poll that gave the party a clear majority and others predicting a neck-to-neck fight. “If you go by caste numbers, we were way behind. But thanks to the hard work by the PM as well as the party president, we have lured young voters across caste lines and all regions,” claimed election in charge for Bihar, Ananth Kumar. Lalu Yadav thundered against exit poll agency Today’s Chanakya for predicting a clean sweep for the NDA-led alliance. “There is desperation in the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The truth is that the Grand Alliance is winning 190 seats. TV channels are confused, but I am not. We will win 190 seats,” he said. He also announced that after forming a government, he will travel to Varanasi to fight the Prime Minister in his own constituency. In another corner of the city, Jatin Ram Manjhi, leader of BJP’s ally, the Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), faces a peculiar predicament. He wants the Election Commission to change his election symbol from a landline telephone to a mobile phone next time. He told dna that several of his Mahadalit voters could not recognise the election symbol of the party. They had never seen a landline telephone and have pressed the wrong buttons. “Many of my voters, who are extremely backward, especially youngsters and women, have never seen a landline phone,” he said. Far away, in another corner of the city, a flurry of activity could be seen at the Sadaqat Ashram, the Bihar Congress headquarters. Staff here is expecting some Diwali bonus, in case the party, whose support base has eroded since 1990, fares well. Verdict for a majority of seats is expected by early afternoon on Sunday. Along the banks of river Ganga, another story emerges. Water in the river is receding considerably. Patches of land makes it difficult for boatmen to ferry daily vegetable supplies to Patna. Navigating their boats in receding waters, they are, however, enthused by Prime Minister Modi’s rejuvenation plans for the river. “We have traditionally been boatsmen, carrying goods and passengers. But the river waters are dangerously receding, hitting out our trade. We have heard a proposal to rejuvenate river transport, using boats to transport. We have voted en bloc not only to assert our social and political clout, but also for the rejuvenation of Ganga Mata,” says Avinish Kumar, while unloading 110 kg of vegetable sack from Hajipur.

Another IIT Madras student ends life, second incident in two months

“He (Prasad) was found hanging in his room in Ganga hostel in a nylon rope tied to the fan. Today he had an exam but he did not turn up and hence his friends came to his room to check and found him hanging,” a police official said.

In the second such incident in less than a month, a 22-year old student of IIT, Madras, allegedly committed suicide in his hostel room on Monday, police said.Rahul Prasad, a final year B Tech student from Kerala, was found hanging from a ceiling fan, they said.The incident comes barely a month after the suicide of IIT-M M.Tech student Nagendra Kumar Reddy in the hostel on September 21.”He (Prasad) was found hanging in his room in Ganga hostel in a nylon rope tied to the fan. Today he had an exam but he did not turn up and hence his friends came to his room to check and found him hanging,” a police official told PTI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police retrieved the body by breaking open the room door and sent it to a government hospital here for autopsy.Prasad hailed from Kollam in Kerala and he was last seen by his friends by around 9 pm yesterday.The student’s family members have been informed and they were on their way here, he said.”No suicide note was found… A case has been registered and further probe is on. As of now, we do not know the reason for the suicide,” he said adding the body had no injuries.Meanwhile, in a statement, IIT Madras said “police are investigating the death and the institute is extending full cooperation to the investigation.””At this time, we have no indication of the reason for death. The institute offers its heartfelt condolences to the student’s family and near and dear ones for the unfortunate and devastating loss.””We urge and request the media to respect and maintain the privacy of the individual out of consideration for his loved ones at this difficult time,” IIT Madras said.

Varanasi violence: Congress condemns invoking NSA against MLA Ajay Rai

Congress today strongly condemned the imposition of National Security Act (NSA) on its MLA Ajay Rai in connection with the violence in Varanasi during the Pratikar Yatra on October 5.

‘Anyay Pratikaar Yatra’ by seers and other local leaders against police action on protesters opposing ban on immersion of Ganesha idols in the Ganga river took place on September 22.

Congress today strongly condemned the imposition of National Security Act (NSA) on its MLA Ajay Rai in connection with the violence in Varanasi during the Pratikar Yatra on October 5.Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader Pradeep Mathur condemned the booking of Rai under NSA, alleging that the SP government in Uttar Pradesh had completely surrendered before Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In a statement issued in Lucknow, Mathur said that the party condemns “jungleraj” in the state.”Why there were no cases registered against BJP MLAs who had also participated in the yatra”, he asked. He alleged that the government was adopting “talibani” attitude.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CLP leader said that the party would raise the issue before the people. Rai was arrested for his alleged role in the violence and arson during a march by seers and other local leaders against police action on protesters opposing ban on immersion of Ganesha idols in the Ganga river.The MLA was arrested on October 6 as soon as he landed at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport in Babatpur (Varanasi) from New Delhi. He was later shifted to Fatehgarh district jail.

National Green Tribunal calls meeting of top officials on Ganga Action Plan

The National Green Tribunal on Monday blamed both the Centre and the states of passing the buck on cleaning of the river Ganga, as it convened a high-level meeting next week to discuss implementation of the first phase of Ganga Action Plan (GAP).

River Ganga

dna Research & Archives
The National Green Tribunal on Monday blamed both the Centre and the states of passing the buck on cleaning of the river Ganga, as it convened a high-level meeting next week to discuss implementation of the first phase of Ganga Action Plan (GAP).”After deliberation, it is clear that we will hold the meeting of officers regarding implementation of Phase-1 of Ganga Action Plan (GAP) as various orders passed by the tribunal are not complied with,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.Blaming the Centre and the states for passing the buck on the issue for a long time, the bench said “it’s a federal structure. Does the Centre owe responsiblity to clear everything or the state should also share the responsiblity.We have to look into this aspect and fix accountability accordingly.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The green panel then directed the secretary or additional secretary of the Environment and Forests Ministry, secretary of Water Resources Ministry, chief secretaries of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, member secretary of pollution control boards of both states and other officials to be present on October 19 for the meeting.The NGT said various issues relating to cleaning of Ganga will be discussed that day as it also directed petitioner advocate M C Mehta to be present in the meeting. During the hearing, government’s counsel said the Centre had approved in principal Rs 328 crore to Uttarakhand since 2008, but only Rs 78 crore has been spent till now.He said several Sewage Treatment Plants are being constructed between Gangotri and Haridwar and alleged that Uttarakhand Pey Jal Nigam was not being able to execute the programmes.”Uttarakhand needs to create a Special Purpose Vehicle to execute the programmes with necessary infrastructure and manpower,” the counsel said. Advocate General of Uttarakhand said a total of 1,083 establishments, including 396 hotels and 436 Ashrams, were operating in Haridwar without environmental clearances and these will be shut down if, they do not take necessary clearances.The bench then asked the Centre to submit a map to show the STPs approved by it from Gangotri to Haridwar and their operational capacities.The NGT had on October 9 taken the government to task and asked it to tell one place where the Ganga was clean and that despite spending huge sums of money, the situation had gone from bad to worse. The green panel, which was asked to act against polluting industrial units on the banks of Ganga by the Supreme Court, had expressed displeasure over the government’s lackadaisical approach towards ensuring cleanliness and uninterrupted flow of the river.Centre had said that almost Rs 4,000 crore has been spent on the rejuvenation of the river since 1985 till last year. It had said that Ganga Action Plan (GAP) Phase-I was launched as a centrally-funded scheme in 1985 and later GAP Phase-II was initiated in 1993 to improve the river’s water quality. In 2009, ‘National Ganga River Basin Authority’ (NGRBA) was setup for pollution control in the Ganga.NGRBA, a World Bank-funded scheme, was aimed at effective abatement of pollution and conservation of Ganga and 70 per cent of the total project cost was contributed by the Centre and the remaining borne by the states, it had said. The green panel had said it intended to take up the issue of rejuvenation of the Ganga stage-wise to clean up the 2,500 km stretch of the river, passing through several northern and eastern states.

Sushma Swaraj asks NRIs to help in ‘Clean Ganga’, ‘Swachh Bharat’

Sushma Swaraj is in Maldives on a two-day official visit.

Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj talks with Maldivian Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon during a welcome ceremony at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport in Male, Maldives October 10, 2015.

Reuters
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday asked Indian-origin people and expatriates abroad to come forward and contribute to the government’s flagship programmes of ‘Clean Ganga’ and ‘Swachh Bharat’.Swaraj, who is in the Maldives on a two-day official visit, said those contributing to the programme can see how their donation is being utilised through the India Development Foundation, an initiative of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.”You have come out to earn livelihood and you are earning good. But you also have to pay your debt to the motherland,” Swaraj said addressing the Indian community in Male. She said that most have studied in India and have played on its soil.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”This is an opportunity for you to set apart a portion of your earning for Clean Ganga. Please take a vow that if the school of the village where you came from does not have toilets, you will make one,” she said.Swaraj said any person of Indian-origin or NRI staying abroad wanting to contribute to Clean Ganga and Swachh Bharat can do so through India Development Foundation and even monitor its progress. She said the person donating will be provided details about the progress and would also be mailed pictures.”You can check it up with relatives or friends back home,” she said.Speaking on other issues, Swaraj stressed that India is making its voice heard in the international fora and the world is listening. She game the example of International Yoga Day in this context.

Tell us one place where Ganga is clean: National Green Tribunal tells Modi govt

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal on Friday asked the government to “tell us one place” where the Ganga is clean and said that despite spending huge sums, the situation has gone from bad to worse.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Expressing open displeasure over the government’s lackadaisical approach towards ensuring cleanliness and uninterrupted flow of the Ganga, it said “we take it that almost nothing has happened in reality.”

The green panel, which was asked to act against industrial units polluting Ganga by the Supreme Court, said the Centre and the states over the years have only been shifting responsibility and nothing concrete was visible on the ground.

“Would you please tell us that is it correct that more than Rs 5,000 crore has been spent on Ganga in making it worse from bad. We don’t want to know whether you have allotted this quantum of money to the states or have spent it yourself.

“Out of the 2,500 km stretch of the river Ganga, tell us one place, where the condition of the river has improved,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked.

The counsel appearing for Ministry of Water Resources told the bench that almost Rs 4,000 crore has been spent on the rejuvenation of the river since 1985 till last year.

He said that Ganga Action Plan (GAP) Phase-I was launched as a centrally-funded scheme in 1985 and later GAP Phase-II was initiated in 1993 to improve the river’s water quality. In 2009, ‘National Ganga River Basin Authority’ (NGRBA) was setup for pollution control in the Ganga.

NGRBA, a World Bank-funded scheme, was aimed at effective abatement of pollution and conservation of Ganga and 70 percent of the total project cost was contributed by the Centre and the remaining expenses were borne by the states, he said.

To this, the bench said, “better be careful of what you say. We take it as almost nothing has happened in reality. It is not suddenly that we are asking for all the information from you.

“We have been waiting for the last one year. But for one reason or the other, you have been delaying the issue. We don’t want to comment on that. But this time we are not leaving it to your discretion, be rest assured. To clean Ganga is your prime responsibility. Days are very short for you,” the bench said.

PTI

Tell us one place where Ganga is clean: NGT to Modi government

0Shares
Facebook
Twitter
Google+
Reddit
Whatsapp
Comments

The National Green Tribunal on Friday asked the government to “tell us one place” where the Ganga is clean and said that despite spending huge sums, the situation has gone from bad to worse.

Tell us one place where Ganga is clean: NGT to Modi government | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis<!– /header –>Error
The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later. <!– /content-content –><!– /content –><!– /main-squeeze /main –><!– /container –><!– /footer –><!– /footer-wrapper –><!– /page –>

Tell us one place where Ganga is clean: National Green Tribunal tells Centre

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal on Friday asked the government to “tell us one place” where the Ganga is clean and said that despite spending huge sums, the situation has gone from bad to worse.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Expressing open displeasure over the government’s lackadaisical approach towards ensuring cleanliness and uninterrupted flow of the Ganga, it said “we take it that almost nothing has happened in reality.”

The green panel, which was asked to act against industrial units polluting Ganga by the Supreme Court, said the Centre and the states over the years have only been shifting responsibility and nothing concrete was visible on the ground.

“Would you please tell us that is it correct that more than Rs 5,000 crore has been spent on Ganga in making it worse from bad. We don’t want to know whether you have allotted this quantum of money to the states or have spent it yourself.

“Out of the 2,500 km stretch of the river Ganga, tell us one place, where the condition of the river has improved,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked.

The counsel appearing for Ministry of Water Resources told the bench that almost Rs 4,000 crore has been spent on the rejuvenation of the river since 1985 till last year.

He said that Ganga Action Plan (GAP) Phase-I was launched as a centrally-funded scheme in 1985 and later GAP Phase-II was initiated in 1993 to improve the river’s water quality. In 2009, ‘National Ganga River Basin Authority’ (NGRBA) was setup for pollution control in the Ganga.

NGRBA, a World Bank-funded scheme, was aimed at effective abatement of pollution and conservation of Ganga and 70 percent of the total project cost was contributed by the Centre and the remaining expenses were borne by the states, he said.

To this, the bench said, “better be careful of what you say. We take it as almost nothing has happened in reality. It is not suddenly that we are asking for all the information from you.

“We have been waiting for the last one year. But for one reason or the other, you have been delaying the issue. We don’t want to comment on that. But this time we are not leaving it to your discretion, be rest assured. To clean Ganga is your prime responsibility. Days are very short for you,” the bench said.

PTI

Varanasi Violence: Curfew lifted, 22 injured and 29 arrested

The curfew in the city of Varanasi was lifted from all areas of Varanasi, even while it was announched that all schools and colleges would remain closed in the city. 22 people were injured during the incident while 29 people were arrested.

ANI
The curfew in the city of Varanasi was lifted from all areas of Varanasi, even while it was announced that all schools and colleges would remain closed in the city on Tuesday. 22 people were injured during the incident while 29 people were arrested. Curfew had imposed in four areas of Varanasi – Kotwali, Dashashwamedh, Chowk & Luxa – after hundreds of Sadhus demonstrated in Varanasi against the September 22 police baton-charge on a procession where they were heading to immerse a Lord Ganesha idol in the Ganga.Hundreds of sadhus turned up for the Anyay Pratikaar Yatra at Town Hall ground, and were joined by others to protest the police action September 22. Moreover, from Maidagin to Bansphatak, demonstrations were being held on roads before police intervened to thwart the rally.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Read: Cops, protesters clash – set police vehicles on fireThe protests turned violent around 4:30 PM when demonstrators reached Godaulia, after the police caned protestors and even burned down a police booth at Godaulia. Incidentally, the Member of Parliament from Varanasi is Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives in India; climate talks, river cleaning high on agenda

Just days after India unveiled its climate action plan targeting to cut its greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 33-35%, climate change negotiations and financing for clean energy will be one the focal points of discussion between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday.

New Delhi: German Chancellor Angela Merkel being received by the Minister of State for Finance,Jayant Sinha on her arrival, at the Air Force Station Palam in New Delhi on sunday.

PTI
Just days after India unveiled its climate action plan targeting to cut its greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 33-35%, climate change negotiations and financing for clean energy will be one the focal points of discussion between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday. For this third inter-governmental consultation, Merkel is being accompanied by her senior federal ministers and a strong business delegation.The German chancellor is no stranger in dealing with climate change talks as she has served as the country’s former environment minister and has led the country through a shift in its energy production from nuclear energy to renewable energy. Ahead of Merkel’s visit German ambassador Martin Ney said, “Germany is among the world’s champions for green technologies and co-operates with India in many related areas such as energy efficiency and green energy corridors.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It is likely that the two countries may ink a deal on cleaning and rejuvenation of River Ganga that has been discussed earlier this year with ministry of water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation. “Germany has already demonstrated its skills in cleaning two of its major rivers, Rhine and Elbe, which were heavily polluted but are now swimmable. Germany has already offered its expertise in cleaning Ganga and Yamuna,” ambassador Ney had said last week.According to officials from the ministry for environment, forests and climate change (MoEF&CC) PM Modi and Chancellor Merkel’s joint statement will include the key take-away’s from their discussion on climate change ahead of the Paris climate summit in December.In its climate action plan, India has set an ambitious target of increasing the share of non-fossil fuel energy up to 40 per cent. India’s overall climate action target require $2.3 trillion and it has made it clear that funding from the developing countries through the green climate fund will be crucial. In this backdrop, Monday’s intergovernmental consultation may also see Germany commit to finance India’s climate action targets and extend co-operation on technology transfers in the field of renewable energy.Earlier this year, environment minister Prakash Javadekar had held a bilateral meeting with his German counterpart Dr.Barbara Hendricks on climate change and sustainable development. Dr.Hendricks had supported India’s stand to adopt both mitigation and adaptation to fight climate change and it was also decided to form working groups on water management and circular economy.

Dadri killing: Arvind Kejriwal barred from entering Akhlaq’s village

The AAP delegation was escorted by the police to Aakash Ganga guest house in Dadri.

Mohammed Akhlaq

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday was barred by the local administration from entering Bisara village, where Mohammed Akhlaq had been lynched earlier over reports of possessing beef.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh, Kumar Vishwas and Ashutosh were also present in Kejriwal’s delegation. “Ask the administration why they have stopped us,” Sanjay Singh told the media on being stopped outside Bisara village.The AAP delegation was escorted by the police to Aakash Ganga guest house in Dadri.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police now have clarified why Kejriwal was not allowed. Union cultural minister Mahesh Sharma on Friday stoked another controversy after he reiterated his stand that the lynching of Mohammed Akhlaq was an accident. Sharma also said that no “communal colour” should be given to the incident.The minister visited the Bisara village in Dadri where he met the family as well as spoke to a Sabha that was attended by nearly 200 people. The sabha was organised inside the same temple which was used to make an announcement on Monday night calling for people to gather outside Mohammed Akhlaq’s home. Akhlaq was later beaten to death by a mob accusing him of eating and storing beef.”This (incident) should be considered as an accident without giving any communal colour to it,” Sharma said. He said there should be an impartial probe by CBI or the state government to punish the guilty.With ANI inputs

Dadri lynching: Union Minister Mahesh Sharma meets victim’s family, says no politics should be played

“Today, I met the mother and the family members of the victim. It is a very sad incident. This is against the ‘Ganga Jamuni’ culture of our nation. There should be no politics about this tragic incident,” Sharma said after the meeting.

Condemning the brutal killing of Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh over alleged rumours that his family consumed and stored beef in their house, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Culture and Tourism Mahesh Sharma on Friday said it was not a pre-planned event and no politics should be played over it.”Today, I met the mother and the family members of the victim. It is a very sad incident. This is against the ‘Ganga Jamuni’ culture of our nation. There should be no politics about this tragic incident,” Sharma said after the meeting.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It just happened. Proper investigation should be carried out whether by CBI or by the state government,” he added.Mix reactions have been coming over the brutal killing of Akhlaq with some politicians saying that it was pre-planned event.All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi, who also met the kith and kin of the victim, maintained that it was a pre-planned event.”Yesterday, senior advocate Prashant Bhushan had also claimed that the lynching of the Dadri victim was a well thought-out plan by vested interests in view of the upcoming panchayat elections.””The manner the rumour was spread and the way the mob had gathered and attacked the victim. The way the police came and started searching the victim’s refrigerator to find whether there was beef in it instead of looking into the murder, it clearly shows that it was a well-planned strategy by those who wanted to create communal strife in the region in view of the upcoming panchayat elections,” said Bhushan.”Fifty-year-old Akhlaq, the father of an Indian Air Force personnel, was beaten to death by the mob on Monday night, over alleged rumours that his family consumed and stored beef in their house.The family has maintained that the meat stored in their fridge was mutton and not beef. Meanwhile, officials have sent the meat samples for a forensic test.

Kanpur: Boat capsizes in Ganga during idol immersion, 9 missing

Three persons, including a woman, were rescued by the locals and they have been sent to a hospital where two are in serious condition, he said.
Representational Image
dna Research & Archives
Nine persons are missing after a boat carrying 12 onboard capsized in Ganga while during the immersion of a Ganesha idol in Kanpur on Thursday evening, authorities said.The incident occurred at about 6 PM at Siddhnath Ghat in Jajmau where 12 persons of Shivkatra colony in Lalbangla area were on a boat which lost balance and capsized, District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma said.Three persons, including a woman, were rescued by the locals and they have been sent to a hospital where two are in serious condition, he said. The DM said nine others are still missing and four women and as many children were a part of the group on the boat.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A team of divers has been deployed in the search for those missing, he said, adding, halogen lights are being arranged to continue the search during the night. He said a steamer has been pressed in service and a net is being placed in the water. He also said ambulances and a team of doctors have been called to the site.Senior districts officials including SSP Shalabh Mathur, ADM Avinash Singh are present at the site to supervise the search operation.

Dengue deaths due to lack of medical facilities in rural Delhi

Lack of access to best medical facilities is leading to a majority of deaths in rural areas of Delhi.

Lack of access to best medical facilities has led to several dengue deaths in rural Delhi
File Photo

A month ago, when 70-year-old SK Gupta was diagnosed with fever, and dengue subsequently, he decided against taking a chance. A retired professional from the tiny Chanakyapuri area of the capital, Gupta got admitted at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, a popular super specialty hospital of south Delhi after his platelet count fell drastically, below 10,000. However, he was fortunate enough to recover in days, albeit paying a hefty amount to get rid of the virus completely.”My treatment went on well, because of which I recovered soon. The entire treatment, however, cost me over Rs 1 lakh that included the tests, the platelet transfusion and the bed charge,” Gupta said. In contrast, Sonu Shukla, 15, who was also diagnosed with dengue recently had to back out of a private clinic in Adarsh Nagar after the bill went beyond Rs 20,000. Sonu and his brother Saroj Kumar, 23, make their living by sorting fruits at the Azadpur mandi. “We both make Rs 10,000 every month. How could I pay so much? So, we decided to pull him out of the clinic here and sent him to our native village near Lucknow for treatment,” Kumar said, adding that he ‘could not take a risk with Delhi’s government hospitals.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi, this year, has seen the worst dengue outbreak in the last five years, with about 2000 cases and 21 deaths reported so far. However, a closer look at the data reveals that a majority of the deaths reported have been from the rural belts and the poverty-stricken areas of the capital, even though there is a near uniform dengue mosquito breeding spots detected across Delhi by the city’s municipal bodies.For instance, the up market Lutyens’ Delhi and its surrounding areas, which is home to several top politicians, bureaucrats, officials and embassies, and several have reported 56 dengue cases so far, according to data collected from the New Delhi Municipal Council. NDMC officials confirmed that they have sent out 3,500 legal notices to residents after finding mosquito breeding spots and larvae at their homes and prosecuted 206 of them for failing to comply with the notices. However, with the affluent class residing there having access to the best medical facilities, no deaths have been reported in that area as yet.”During our checks, we have found more than 11 lakh mosquito-breeding spots across the NDMC area, most of which were found in the ornamental ponds and flower pots in individual houses. The worst-affected is the east Kidwai Nagar area where construction activities are going on, a senior NDMC official said, adding that notices have been recently served to the union government’s NBCC and other officials there after finding breeding spots there.On the other hand, the first dengue death reported in the city this year was that of a woman from rural belt of Narela towards the extreme north of Delhi, which has recorded 260 dengue cases so far, as per municipal corporation of Delhi’s latest figure. Similarly, Sriniwaspuri and Lado Sarai of south Delhi, both of which have reported two child deaths till now again form the mismanaged areas of Delhi. Both the deaths took place because of the families’ inability to get access to a good hospital. Three-year-old Neha Mathur, who also succumbed to dengue recently, was from the Sangam Vihar area of south Delhi, which is known for its unauthorised colonies. All the three families have blamed the MCD and the hospitals for their inaction and negligence.Vinod Mathur, Neha’s father said, he spent nearly Rs 15,000 as he was running pillar to post to get his daughter treated. Vinod, who is the single earning member of a joint family of 10, says it was difficult, but he could have paid more if Neha recovered. “But she passed away because of pure negligence,” he said. South Delhi has reported about 500 dengue cases so far. This aside, Harish Chauhan, a resident of south Delhi’s Deoli village, succumbed to dengue at Batra Hospital. A 34-year-old woman from Kalyanpuri is also suspected to have died of dengue at Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital. Harish’s brother Mukesh had alleged that the Batra hospital charged a hefty amount from the family just to hand over Mukesh’s body.Gupta, admitted, not everyone can pay up Rs1 lakh to get treated. “The municipal bodies should ensure optimum prevention of dengue by carrying out fogging regularly, which they have not done at all this year,” he alleged.A doctor from the central government-run Safdarjung hospital said doctors in government hospitals are overburdened as the beds are already full with dengue patients. “As a result, many are knocking the doors of private hospitals which are much more expensive,” the doctor said. Battling rising number of dengue cases, Delhi government on Sunday ordered that 55 government-run dispensaries be converted into ‘Fever and Dengue Clinics’ from Monday. Both Sir Ganga Ram, BLK super speciality hospitals were not available for comments, despite repeated attempts.

Yamuna rejuevation to be carried out under special plan: Uma Bharti

Apart from tackling the problem of pollution in Yamuna, a a proposal to provide a minimum water level in the river is also under consideration.

Uma Bharti
File Photo

Union Minister Uma Bharti on Sunday said the rejuvenation of Yamuna would also be carried out under a special work plan like the Ganga river. For this, a workplan is being prepared by a special group, comprising Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, the states where Yamuna is most polluted, said Bharti, who was visiting Vrindavan on the occasion of Janmashtami. Apart from tackling the problem of pollution in Yamuna, a a proposal to provide a minimum water level in the river is also under consideration, the Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> She said the orders given by National Green Tribunal would also be followed in this regard and efforts would be made in collaboration with the state governments to prevent encroachments and pollution in the river. Bharti also said the effluent and sewage treatment plants set up to treat household and industrial waste in the three states are not working properly and the government would ensure that they are dealt with strictly.

Bihar Polls: Jairam Ramesh suggests tacit understanding between BJP and SP

Terming Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the “best packaging expert”, Ramesh said the schemes and programmes of the Manmohan Singh-led government are being repackaged by him and marketed as his own.

Jairam Ramesh

Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh has suggested a tacit understanding between BJP and Samajwadi Party for the chasm in the Janata Parivar.”The BJP and SP have always had an understanding and this could be a reason for the friction in the Janata Parivar,” Ramesh told newspersons in Unnao on Friday. “BJP wanted to contest the Bihar Vidhan Sabha elections on the basis of communal polarisation and this move could help in the saffron party’s plans,” Ramesh said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terming Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the “best packaging expert”, Ramesh said the schemes and programmes of the Manmohan Singh-led government are being repackaged by him and marketed as his own. “Modi government has done nothing new. The project to clean Ganga has also been renamed… Even (US President)Obama is learning from him,” Ramesh said. “We had involved IIT experts for cleaning the Ganga whereas this government is trying to achieve the target through sadhus and saints,” he claimed.To a question on the Gujarat model of governance, he said that it has been exposed fully by 22-year-old Hardik Patel, who has been spearheading the Patel community’s agitation for reservations. Attacking the Samajwadi Party government, Ramesh said that though Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had a positive and development-oriented outlook, it was a “misfortune” that the state has “four chief ministers”.On the alleged MNREGS scam in the state, Ramesh said it was strange that the SP government was giving “protection” to those who were found guilty during the BSP government. The Congress leader added that his party will contest the 2017 Assembly elections in UP on its own.

RSS flags concerns on ‘commercialisation’ of education

Common ground: Security issues, education, Ganga discussed as Oppn castigates meet

In its bid to make education available to all, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has underlined concerns on it getting too costly because of increased privatisation and paucity of material for higher education in regional languages.These issues figured on the second day of the meeting of the RSS and its affiliates during a discussion on education in the presence of human resource development minister Smriti Irani.Besides education, which has been on the Sangh’s radar, security related issues like tackling terror, ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir, which is now under PDP-BJP rule, and China border talks came up at the RSS-BJP meeting. Security concerns have also been high on the RSS agenda.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The meeting has come under Opposition fire with the Congress saying the BJP was dancing to the RSS tune. However, an RSS leader said these meetings were held routinely and the only difference now was that some BJP leaders had become ministers, which has brought it under the media glare.The RSS concerns are aimed at the aam admi, while policy-making is in the government’s domain, the leader said.According to sources, there was a view in the RSS that there was dearth of higher education material in regional languages, particularly in science subjects. The HRD ministry in the Modi regime has been focusing on promoting Indian languages. The language committee of the HRD ministry is also of the view that to promote Indian language, study material and teaching faculty should be made available in all possible regional languages.The committee is expected to submit its report by the end of this year.The RSS had also conveyed to the government to keep a check on the fee structure of private education institutes to prevent education from getting too costly. At present, the government has no control overthe such institutions.Human resource development ministry has already initiated the process of drafting a policy to bring private education institution under its control. The institutions will soon be asked to submit their list ofassets and details of fee structure to the ministry.The “Namami Gange” and promoting festivals along the river were also discussed, sources said. The HRD ministry through the National Book Trust will be preparing literature on Ganga while the ministry of tourism will be promoting and organising festivals along the river.Meanwhile Congress leader Manish Tewari said “BJP leadership is dancing to the tune of the RSS. This meeting has exposed that.”Rejecting the charge, BJP leader Ram Madhav said, “All constituent members of Sangh Parivar have been traditionally meeting on issues of national importance for years. There nothing new in it,” he said.

First Lady Suvra Mukherjee’s ashes immersed in Ganga

Suvra was admitted to the hospital on August 7 after she complained of breathlessness and discomfort.

Congress leader Abhijit Mukherjee immersing the ashes of his mother and First Lady Suvra Mukherjee in River Ganges in Haridwar on Wednesday.

PTI photo
The ashes of Suvra Mukherjee, wife of President Pranab Mukherjee, were immersed into Ganga river at Har ki Pairi in Haridwar on Wednesday evening. Her ashes were carried in an urn by her son Abhijit Mukherjee, a Lok Sabha MP from Jangipur in West Bengal, and immersed into the river as per the rituals at Brahmakund Har Ki Pairi at around 6.30 on Wednesday evening, District Administration sources said.Ranjit Rawat, OSD to Chief Minister Harish Rawat, Kumbh Mela in-charge Purushottam Sharma, Ganga Sabha purohits and a host of district administration officials were present when Suvra’s ashes were immersed in the river. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Suvra was admitted to the hospital on August 7 after she complained of breathlessness and discomfort. Since then she was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). She breathed her last on Tuesday. Besides her husband, Suvra leaves behind two sons Abhijit, a Congress MP, and Indrajit and daughter Sharmistha.

Harda twin train derailment: Western and Central Railway cancel 22 and 57 trains respectively

21 trains have been diverted through different routes, a statement issued by CR said.

Twin Train derailment in Harda, Madhya Pradesh

AFP photo
The Western Railway (WR) has cancelled as many as 22 trains, departing from its zonal stations, due to the Harda twin train derailment on the Khandwa-Itarsi section and heavy rainfall in the zones of its Ahmedabad division.Train no 19047 Surat-Bhagalpur Express and 19051 Valsad-Muzaffarpur Shramik Express have been cancelled for Saturday while train no 19045 Surat-Chhapra Tapti Ganga Express, 22937 Rajkot-Rewa Express and 11453 Ahmedabad-Nagpur Prerana Express have been cancelled for August 9, a WR statement said. Train No 19049 Bandra(T)-Patna Express and 19045 Surat-Chhapra Tapti Ganga Express have been cancelled for August 10.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Due to heavy rains in Ahmedabad Division, WR has cancelled six trains – 19151 Palanpur-Gandhidham Express, 19152 Gandhidham-Palanpur Express, 22484 Gandhidham-Jodhpur Express, 59425 Bhuj-Palanpur Passenger, 59426 Palanpur-Bhuj Passenger and 54832 Bhildi-Jodhpur Passenger for today. 19411 Ahmedabad-Ajmer Express has been cancelled till August 10 while 12959 Dadar-Bhuj Express has been partially cancelled today while 22904 Bhuj-Bandra(T) AC Express has partially cancelled today and on August 10.Meanwhile, Central Railways also cancelled 57 trains for Saturday along all the concerned zonal railways due to the derailment which took place at Khandwa-Itarsi Section. 21 trains have been diverted through different routes, a statement issued by CR said.On Wednesday, 29 people were killed as two express trains derailed within minutes of each other on flooded tracks while crossing a railway bridge in Harda district of Madhya Pradesh in the dead of night and plunged into the swollen Machak river.

Enclave Exchange: The road to improved India-Bangladesh ties begins at midnight

The landmark exchange of 162 enclaves (51 in India and 111 in Bangladesh) at midnight on July 31 will be one of the biggest boosts to the bilateral relationship since the Ganga water sharing treaty at Farakka signed in 1996. Over the decades, India-Bangladesh ties have seen their fair share of highs—from the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971 to the Sheikh Hasina government’s crackdown on anti-India terror groups. But it has also had lows—like the anti-India sentiment fomented by former Bangladeshi prime minister Khaleda Zia’s government. Tonight’s implementation of the Land Boundary Agreement signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Dhaka visit in June, will be another high point in the relations between the two countries.

Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina in a file photo. PTI

Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina in a file photo. PTI

This exchange of enclaves will represent an end to the 68-year-long misery of over 50,000 stateless people, reports The Independent . The 37,334 people in the Indian enclaves inside Bangladesh and 14,215 in Bangladeshi enclaves inside India have been deprived of such facilities as electricity, education, road connectivity and healthcare.

New Age reports that in terms of area, this swap will account for 17160.63 acres of land being returned to Bangladesh and 2267.68 acres to India.

Additionally, a 6.5 kilometre-long unmarked border will also be demarcated, as the process of granting a nationality to the tens of thousands living in limbo in the enclaves gets underway.

Naturally, the mood in Bangladesh is buoyant with numerous events planned for midnight, reports The Dhaka Tribune.

The Bangladesh-India Chhitmahal (Enclave) Exchange Coordination Committee has planned a list of festivities that kicks off with the hoisting of the Bangladeshi flag and permanent lowering of the Indian tricolour, at the stroke of midnight. The itinerary includes a candle-lighting ceremony (68 candles for the 68 years of suffering, The Daily Star points out), a torch-lighting ceremony, a flag rally, fireworks displays, a boat race, horse racing and a demonstration of Bangladeshi martial art lathi khela (stick playing).

While significant, this development must be put into context. As think-tank Gateway House had highlighted, the two countries will now need to find solutions to issues like smuggling, illegal immigration and trafficking that a long unsettled border has created, and the problem of sharing the water of the 53 rivers (not including the resolved Ganga) that flow between both countries. For this, Modi will have to balance the interests of Indian states (given the country’s federal structure) and relations with neighbours.

PM Narendra Modi to launch two trains in Bihar tomorrow

Prabhu, who is already in Bihar, said the state was important due to its large population and railways needed to improve its services.
File Photo
PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate two trains and commission a 38km-long new line in poll-bound Bihar on Friday.Accompanied by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, he will flag off Rajgir-Biharsharif-Daniawan-Fatuha passenger train and Patna-Mumbai AC Suvidha Express at Veterinary College ground in Patna. Prabhu, who is already in Bihar, said the state was important due to its large population and railways needed to improve its services.”In Bihar. Reviewing all projects, ways of improving services to help our commuters. Bihar important state with large population. We must improve here,” he tweeted.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prabhu has allocated Rs 446 cr for passenger amenities and facilities in Bihar in this year’s Rail Budget.Expediting projects, railway is likely to commission Patna-Ganga and Munger-Ganga bridges in the current fiscal as money has been sanctioned.A total outlay of Rs 2,393 crore, a 144 per cent jump over last year, has been allocated to Bihar in the Rail Budget 2015-16.Elections are due in the state later this year.

Vyapam scam: Uma Bharti backs Shivraj Chouhan, calls Modi, Amit Shah, Jaitley as ‘Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh’

Bharti, who had created a flutter recently with her reported remarks that she felt “scared” over reports of deaths of people associated with the scam, said she was “fully” with Chouhan on the issue.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is in the eye of storm over the Vyapam scam, on Saturday found strong backing in Union minister Uma Bharti who said there was no reason for him to resign and that he was running the government better than her.Bharti, who had created a flutter recently with her reported remarks that she felt “scared” over reports of deaths of people associated with the scam, said she was “fully” with Chouhan on the issue.Bharti, a former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, had later denied making the statement that she feared for her life or was scared.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Shivrajji is not involved in corruption. Why should he resign? I am fully with Shivrajji and will rather say that he is running the state government better than me. He has more patience than me,” she told Rajat Sharma in ‘Aap ki Adalat’ on India TV, according to a release from the channel.The Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation said she had no ambition of becoming the state’s chief minister again.Asked about BJP leader Arun Shourie’s remark that the ‘trimurti’ of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley were running both the party and the government, she said all three leaders were held in high regards even by their rivals.”If this trimurti will not run (government and party), then who will run? This trimurti must continue. I would rather say, they are Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh,” Bharti said.Known as a firebrand leader, Bharti said she had now mellowed down after being given the task of Ganga rejuvenation and became ‘waterbrand’. “Earlier, I was a firebrand, but now I have become a waterbrand,” she said.Praising Prime Minister Modi, she said he had brought discipline not only among party leaders and ministers but also bureaucrats. “Those who are not in the habit of following discipline, they then start fearing,” she said.

Hundreds of dead fish surface in Ganga river, probe ordered

Hundreds of dead fish were found floating in the Ganga river at Shukhra area on Sunday, promoting district authorities to launch a probe.

Ganga River.

Getty Images
Hundreds of dead fish were found floating in the Ganga river at Shukhra area on Sunday, promoting district authorities to launch a probe.The fish were suspected to have died due to discharge from industries, government officials said here.Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Umesh Mishra told reporters that the sample of the Ganga river water was collected and will be sent for test.Meanwhile, some social and religious activists staged ‘dharna’ and demanded action. They also gave a memorandum to the SDM.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Sanskrit should be propagated to purify minds of people: Sushma Swaraj

Addressing the inaugural session of 16th World Sanskrit Conference here as the Chief Guest, Swaraj also announced that a post of Joint Secretary for Sanskrit has been created in the Ministry of External Affairs.

Sushma Swaraj

Getty Images
Sanskrit scholars from 60 countries began a five-day conference on Sunday with an inaugural speech by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who suggested that Sanskrit should be propagated so that “it purifies the minds of the people and thus sanctifies the whole world.”Speaking entirely in Sanskrit to over 600 Sanskrit experts, Swaraj called it a “modern and universal” language and said its tradition is comparable to the river Ganga.”The Ganga remains sacred from Gomukh, its source, to Ganga sagar where it enters the ocean. It sanctifies the tributaries, which attain the very nature of Ganga. Similar is Sanskrit; sacred by itself, it sanctifies all that come into its contact. “Therefore, Sanskrit should be propagated so that it purifies the minds of the people and thus sanctifies the whole world. You Sanskritists do bathe in the sacred Sanskrit Ganga and are blessed,” she told the gathering.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Addressing the inaugural session of 16th World Sanskrit Conference here as the Chief Guest, Swaraj also announced that a post of Joint Secretary for Sanskrit has been created in the Ministry of External Affairs. “In the present days you are aware that scientists hold the view that Sanskrit can play an important role in developing software for language recognition, translations, cyber security and other fields of artificial intelligence,” Swaraj said.”Knowledge in Sanskrit will go a long way in finding solutions to the contemporary problems like global warming, unsustainable consumption, civilisational clash, poverty, terrorism etc,” she said, adding a new direction and vision is needed in the field of research in Sanskrit to accomplish this task.Citing a Sanskrit shloka, she said that narrow minded people discriminate among people considering some as theirs and some as alien, while the broad minded consider the whole universe as theirs.Noting that today’s need is a healthy amalgamation of the ancient and modern, a meeting of the best in orient and occident, she said, “our efforts are to be directed towards narrowing the gap between the study of Shastras and Science.” This is for the time that a Union Minister of her seniority has attended the World Sanskrit conference outside the country and hence it indicates the importance that the NDA government attaches to the promotion of the ancient language.HRD Minister Smriti Irani, whose ministry is partly funding the event, will attend its closing ceremony on July 2. The World Sanskrit Conference, which was organised first in Delhi in 1972, has been held in different countries since then. It is held once after every three years.Of the 250 Sanskrit scholars participating from India, around 30 were from the RSS affiliate body Sanskrit Bharati this time.Lauding Sanskrit Bharati’s role, Swaraj said that it was propagating Sanskrit by conducting conversation courses not only in India, but also in several countries world over. “Particularly it has pioneered in introducing Sanskrit as a foreign language for students in United States of America. Its efforts are commendable,” she said.The External Affairs Minister urged scholars to strive to improve the quality of its teaching and make it attractive. “It is not sufficient to praise Sanskrit and detail its forte. All Sanskritists should deliberate upon what is to be done for the development of the language. Teaching of Sanskrit should be attractive, its quality should improve, and research in Sanskrit should be more functional,” she said.Linking Sanskrit with modern subjects, developing literature on contemporary issues, a scientific study of the available texts, and such assignments are to be taken up by Sanskritists, she said. “These tasks have to be prioritised. If you focus your discussions in this direction, it would greatly benefit the cause of Sanskrit,” Swaraj told the gathering.She held that only a subject that addresses contemporary concerns will be accepted by people, studied and followed and then only it will be popular and relevant. “For new inventions in science and technology fresh inputs are required. These inputs are available in Sanskrit, but inter-disciplinary research is necessary for achieving this goal. Groups of scholars in modern and ancient subjects have to work together and study Sanskrit texts scientifically. “There should be coordinated programmes by institutions like Indian Institute of Science, IITs in collaboration with Sanskrit universities. Workshops on Sciences and Shastras and special lecture sessions have to be organised. New paths will open up by such efforts,” Swaraj said. Proclaiming that it is not mere a language but a “world view”, the Minister referred to percepts from Sanskrit, which say that universality, characterised by harmony, common welfare, and inclusiveness can only bring together the warring factions in the universe by friendly overtures. “This concept of inclusiveness is unique to Sanskrit, it is its culture. Just as mutual trust, love, harmony, cooperation and other inclusive features are essential for an individual family, so are harmony, trust and cooperation are necessary among different nations, different societies, and different sects and traditions in the family of universe. To achieve this there is the vital necessity of the only excellent device, Sanskrit,” she said.Swaraj said the Indian Council for Cultural Relations has decided to grant International Sanskrit Award to the scholar who has made significant contribution for Sanskrit. The award would carry with it a certificate and USD 20,000.Thai Princess Mahachakri Sirindhon, herself a Sanskrit scholar, is Royal Patron of the conference.

NMC demolishes encroachments around Ramkund for Kumbh Mela

The NMC’s drive in the city has been going on for many months now; the Ramkund area has now come into focus.

Encroachment of the Shree Ganga Godavari Panch Kothi Purohit Sangh’s Nashik office situated along the steps to the Ramkund was cleared.

The Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC), on Monday, removed the encroachments around the Ramkund area in a bid to ensure smooth people movement during the Kumbh Mela.JCB machines demolished the encroachment of the Shree Ganga Godavari Panch Kothi Purohit Sangh’s Nashik office situated along the steps to the Ramkund. According to the NMC, the space on which the Sangh had built its office many years ago by erecting tin sheet walls and a roof belongs to the corporation.The NMC’s drive in the city has been going on for many months now; the Ramkund area has now come into focus.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stall holders, kiosk owners, those putting up shades on the bridge over the river, and all such establishments that have come up illegally had been sent notices and asked to remove their structures. Small-time shopkeepers along the banks of the river, by the wall of the Naroshanker temple, over the bridge and others places along the bank had then removed the encroachments. The Sangh office, however, had not taken any cognisance, NMC officials said.“Ten days ago, I called them up and requested them to remove the office and clear the space. We reminded them repeatedly, but no cognisance was taken. Finally, on Monday, we had to take action,” said RM Bahiram, deputy commissioner, anti-encroachment department, NMC.Sangh president Satish Shukla, on the other hand, claimed that no notice was served to them. “We have been uprooted without any notice. This office had stood by the Ramkund for many years. It is that place where planning of many a Kumbh Mela by the Sangh has been done. How can they remove it?” questioned Shukla.He further alleged that when the JCB machines were razing down their structure many Purohits were hurt. “We were doing pooja there for the pilgrims and the officials disturbed that too,” Shukla said, adding that the Sangh has documents to prove that the space belongs to it. “We are now filing a case against this removal. We will also file a complaint.”

Arunachal Pradesh: Activists slam Centre’s plans to build dams on Siang

In a statement faxed to Bharati and the prime minister’s office, the forum today said the plan to build the dams “is yet another example of Delhi’s step-motherly treatment towards the people of Northeast”. It criticised the Centre’s policy on rivers stating that “on the one hand you are diligently busy in Clean Ganga and Save Ganga and on the other hand you are planning a disaster on Siang sitting at Delhi.”

Uma Bharati

File Photo
Dam activists in Arunachal Pradesh have called the Centre’s plans to build two massive dams on Siang river a case of “discrimination, imperialism and neo-colonialism”. On June 4, Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati told reporters that “the solution on Brahmaputra’s perennial flow lies in middle Siang” and that the river “is the answer for floods in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam”. After Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi claimed that his state had not been informed of any such proposal, the NGO Siang People’s Forum has also joined in to express its opposition.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a statement faxed to Bharati and the prime minister’s office, the forum today said the plan to build the dams “is yet another example of Delhi’s step-motherly treatment towards the people of Northeast”. It criticised the Centre’s policy on rivers stating that “on the one hand you are diligently busy in Clean Ganga and Save Ganga and on the other hand you are planning a disaster on Siang sitting at Delhi.”The forum’s general secretary Oyar Gao also raised the issue of the river’s sanctity saying that the Siang is referred to as Aane (mother) in the same manner as Ganga Maiya. Slamming the plan, the forum questioned the minister “which part of Arunachal did you visit and interact with which stakeholder before making the statement”.Over 40 dams have been planned on the Siang river basin which originates in the Tibetan plateau as the Yarlung Tsangpo river and flows into Assam to become the Brahmaputra. While none of the projects have yet taken off, activists from both Arunachal Pradesh and Assam have been opposing the plans.Last year in February at an election rally in Pasighat – the epicentre of anti-dam protests in the state – Prime Minister Narendra Modi had won the support of dam activists from the area after he stated that he would prefer smaller hydro power projects and honour the sentiments of the region’s people. The irony of Bharati’s statement was not lost on Gao who wrote that such move “creates doubt and confusion”.Gao also said that he is “saddened” by the u-turn on the issue by the BJP since it came to power at the Centre.Questioning its motives, the forum asked if the Centre was attempting to “bail out the state government from financial crisis through mega dams” or if it was working for the benefit of “power developers by bulldozing concerns of affected citizens”.The Siang flows for 294 km in the state and many of its tributaries serve as a lifeline for close to 2.5 lakh people. Gao in his statement said that the forum “will not sacrifice it (Siang) for the benefit of few corrupt politicians.”

Will seek Murli Manohar Joshi’s guidance on cleaning Ganga: Uma Bharti

<![CDATA[#bottom_popup{width:344px;background:url(http://s3.firstpost.in/wp-content/themes/firstpost2.0/images/promo/bottom_popup.gif) repeat-x;border:3px solid #6b6565;position:fixed;z-index:99;bottom:-130px;right:-350px}#bottom_popup .contbox{padding:5px 6px 25px 6px;position:relative;background:#F1F1F1}#bottom_popup .bptitle{border-bottom:1px solid #d3d3d3;font:19px/30px ‘FPfont’;color:#000;text-transform:uppercase;padding-bottom:5px}#bottom_popup .bptitle span{color:#F00}#bottom_popup .bptitle span.dot{color:#F00;font-size:30px}.f_flash_icon{background:url(http://s1.firstpost.in/wp-content/themes/firstpost2.0/images/promo/f_flash_icon.png) no-repeat 0 0;width:29px;height:29px;display:inline-block;vertical-align:bottom;margin-right:3px}.close_bottom_popup{background:url(http://s3.firstpost.in/wp-content/themes/firstpost2.0/images/promo/clost_bottom_popup.png) no-repeat 0 0;width:13px;height:13px;position:absolute;right:5px;top:5px}.bottom_infobox{font:14px Georgia, “Times New Roman”, Times, serif;color:#333;border-top:1px solid #FFF;padding-top:10px}.bottom_infobox a{color:#333}]]> <!– FP CRONTAB –>

3 teenagers drown in Yamuna on Ganga Dusherra day

28 May was celebrated as the Ganga Dusherra in India.

Image for representational purposes.

Three young boys today drowned while taking a holy dip in river Yamuna on the occasion of Ganga Dusherra here, police said.The boys drowned near Bela village under Pachayagaon police station area this morning, ADySP, Sarvanand Singh said.The deceased have been identified as Ankit (11), Sagar(13) and Ram Kumar (11), Singh added. People in Allahabad take holy dips in the river Ganges to celebrate the festival ‘Ganga Dussehra’, which marks the descent of river Ganges on the earth.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

India set to become water scarce country by 2025: Report

“India’s demand for water is expected to exceed all current sources of supply and the country is set to become water scarce country by 2025.

Although India is set to become water scarce country by 2025 due to demand-supply mis-match, the water sector is expected to see investment of US $13 billion from overseas players in the next few years, a new study has said.”India’s demand for water is expected to exceed all current sources of supply and the country is set to become water scarce country by 2025.”With increasing household income and increasing contributions from the service and industrial sectors, the water demand in the domestic and industrial sectors increasing substantially,” says a study conducted by EA Water, a leading consulting firm in water sector.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nearly 70% of country’s irrigation and 80 per cent of domestic water use comes from groundwater, which is rapidly getting depleted.However, overseas players from Canada, Israel, Germany, Italy, United States, China and Belgium sees big investment opportunity worth US $13 billion in the domestic water sector.The industry is expected to receive Rs 18,000 crore in the next three years, the report said.The country provides huge opportunities across the spectrum in infrastructure development for water supply and wastewater management.The industrial market is going to be the big opportunity till 2020, with growth in wastewater recycling and industrial water treatment, the report said.Maharashtra is emerging as a hub for the water sector.Over 12 international companies have already set up design and engineering centers in Mumbai and Pune.At present, there are more than 1,200 companies dealing in water and wastewater treatment in the state, mainly cater to the small & medium sector.Pune and Nashik are going to be large hubs for manufacturing & fabrication industry in pumps, instrumentation & monitoring equipment.A centralised wastewater treatment & recycling plants is under planning stage for Mumbai and Pune city, the report said.With Modi government’s planned investments in the water sector through the Ganga River Cleaning project, the Smart Cities initiative and the Swachh Bharat campaign, the industry is also hopeful of creating over 1 million jobs, it said.

Now, polluting Ganga to be criminal offense; govt to launch pilot project in June

Dazed residents didn’t know what hit them as earthquake jolted Lucknow

For millions of people in the plains of Uttar Pradesh, the April 25 earthquake was the first experience of its kind in their lifetime, and many of them have not yet come to terms with the fact that this calamity can strike anytime again.

The earthquake, which jolted Nepal three days back, was felt quite strongly in Lucknow and many places in western, northern and eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh too. Its intensity in the plains was estimated at 6.7 on the Richter Scale, which is by far the strongest in the last 80 years. In any case, the last big one that shook the ground in Gujarat 14 years ago was felt only as a minor tremor in Uttar Pradesh, which most people did not even take seriously.

The districts bordering Nepal and in the Terai region experience tremors more often, but for these areas too the latest tremors came as a jolt. Next day (April 26) the intensity and duration were a little lesser but it added to the panic. At the end of the second day, the notion of the state’s imperviousness to big earthquakes was gone.

People gather near a collapsed house after major earthquake in KathmanduPeople gather near a collapsed house after major earthquake in Kathmandu

The earthquake, which jolted Nepal three days back, was felt quite strongly in Lucknow and many places in Uttar Pradesh too. Reuters

There was widespread panic in affected cities and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav ordered closure of all schools in the state on Monday and Tuesday as a precautionary measure. While in Agra, Lucknow, Kanpur, Sravasti, Rae Bareli, Sultanpur, Pratapgarh and Amethi the damage was less in terms of casualties and building collapse, the loss was much greater in eastern and north-eastern parts like Barabanki, Faizabad, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Ballia, Maharajganj, Sant Kabirnagar and Kushinagar.

The death toll has risen to 14 with three deaths each in Barabanki, Sant Kabir Nagar and Gorakhpur, and one each in Kanpur Dehat, Badaun, Kushinagar, Shravasti and Balia. Most of the casualties resulted from building or wall collapse and sadly enough, six of the victims were children.

On April 25, Lucknow felt the tremors first at 11.45 am and later around 12.20 pm. People rushed out of homes, offices, malls and market places and roads were filled with men, women and children who refused to go back, fearing the worst. Several high-rise buildings in Lucknow, Kanpur and Varanasi developed cracks.

This includes part of the building that houses the Lucknow Development Authority, a high-rise meant for legislators, houses in government colonies, several old structures in Old Lucknow and more than a dozen private multi-storey flats.

Till Sunday evening, scores of people were not ready to move back into their houses, especially in view of the second quake and the persistent rumours spread over social media that a severe earthquake was likely in the night.

In colonies in Gomtinagar, Indiranagar, Kaiserbagh, Cantonment road and Dalibagh, some families spent the night in their cars parked on the ground floor parking lot, while in Old City areas scores of people preferred to sleep in parks.

For many first-time witnesses, the experience has been unusual since they did not know what was happening. “I thought it was a mild attack of vertigo because of my neck and back pain but it was only when I saw the table in front me swaying from left to right that I realized it was an earthquake,” said Ashish Srivastava, who runs a big software company in Lucknow. In fact, most of the people initially thought it was their head that was spinning and not the ground that was shaking.

By the end of the day, people had devised their own alarm systems – putting a glass of water at the edge of the table being the commonest – and most of them slept with their wallets, mobilephones and even passports at hand. In some multi-storey apartments, people did not even lock their homes from inside, so that they could escape quickly in case of an emergency at night.

According to doctors, the experience has caused several unusual problems like uneasiness, severe headache, stomach upset, dizziness, drowsiness and sleeplessness among many people for whom the earthquake was the first experience.

“It is the reaction to a situation that the body considers life-threatening,” said Dr A Siddiqi of Lalbagh. For many people, the quake aggravated their chronic migraine. There were many men and women who slept for many hours more than their normal sleep without realizing it.

“These are symptoms of stress that is caused involuntarily. It originates from the traumatic experience they had these two days. It will take quite some time to go away from the minds of the people as this is something they felt for the first time in their lives,” said Dr Atul Kharbanda, a physician for whom too it was the first brush with a quake.

According to geologists, Lucknow and most of the Ganga-Yamuna plains are not in the red seismic zone since the deep soil acts effectively as shock absorber to reduce the impact of the earthquake to a significant extent. Prof Dhruv Sen Singh of Lucknow University’s department of geology has been quoted as saying that Lucknow lies in Earthquake Zone 3, a moderate risk area. According to him, the thick alluvium of the Ganga plain reduces the impact of earthquake and only those earthquakes which occur in Himalaya can be felt in this region.

Regardless of the technical comfort, earthquake is no longer a ‘not here, not us’ phenomenon for people in Uttar Pradesh. For residents of multi-storey apartments, the vision of the structure swaying left to right will be hard to forget for a long time.

Environmentalists to send petition to PM Modi for declaration of Ganga as World Heritage site

Lucknow: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking keen interest in cleaning of Ganga, a group of environmentalists will be petitioning him to pursue with UNESCO for declaration of upper region of the holy river as a World Heritage Site.

“I have already written to the Union Ministry for Water Resources and now we will petition the PM to pursue the case. I will write a letter to the PM in this regard,” noted environmentalist Ranjit Bhargava told PTI.

A deceitful purity. Jitendra Prakash/ReutersA deceitful purity. Jitendra Prakash/Reuters

River Ganga. Image by Reuters.

This is important as the PM is himself keen on Ganga river conservation, he said.

Bhargava, who has been associated with Ganga cleaning campaign for the last 20 years and is a Padma Shri awardee, said he had already written to the PMO last year in this regard.

“In my letter, I said that unless there is a fully empowered agency to clean the Ganga, directly under the PMO assisted by Ministry of Ganga Rejuvenation, it will not do any good,” he said.

The Narendra Modi government had last year launched the ‘Swachh Ganga’ campaign to clean the holy river. Bhargava said he suggested that a well structured Territorial Army Division, consisting of Eco Task Force Units of ex-servicemen, should be set up to clean and rejuvenate the Ganga.

“Some measures have been taken, but a key suggestion that is yet to materialise is that powers to take action against deaulters must be absolute and concentrated in the hands of task force unit with a final appeal only to the Green Bench of the Supreme Court,” he said.

Bhargava said he wrote to Union Minister for Water Resource Uma Bharti on the issue of World Heritage site status for Upper Ganga region from Gaumukh to Haridwar in Uttarakhand.

“But in response Minister of State for Water Resources Sanwar Lal Jat said the proposal has to be steered by Utrakhand government,” he said.

“I suggested that keeping in mind Modi’s deep passion for ensuring Ganga her due, his senior minister Uma Bharti may apprise the PM,” he said.

Bhargava said now he has decided to take the issue directly to the doors of the PM. “We want that PM should directly take initiative in this regard. Ganga river is revered by crores of people in India and the issue is not related to one particular state. It
should be ensured that the river is restored to its pristine glory, made clean and pollution free. Even the apex court has
expressed concern over the issue,” he said.

PTI

BJP to tutor new members in party history, traditions

Sources said discipline would mean a sense of commitment to social cause and not aspiring for power or position in the party.

As its membership numbers near 10 crore, the BJP is preparing a list of key movements—right from Shyama Prasad Mookerjee’s Jammu and Kashmir agitation to LK Advani’s Rath Yatra to Ayodhya—to educate its new recruits.The last time the BJP undertook the membership exercise, six years ago, the application form for primary membership had a pledge which included commitment to integral humanism as party’s philosophy, nationalism and national integration, democracy, Gandhian approach to socio-economic issues leading to the establishment of an egalitarian society free from exploitation, positive secularism (sarva dharma samabhava), value based politics, concept of a secular state and nation not based on religion.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This time, after the technology-driven mission of e-membership and missed calls, the party is organising a campaign to connect with the newcomers and familiarise them with at least “elementary knowledge” about the BJP, sources said. Party president Amit Shah has set up a formal training committee, which was announced along with eight other panels at the party’s national executive meeting in Bengaluru, earlier this month. The party leaders have chalked out five key areas—BJP’s history from days of Jan Sangh, agitations, builders of the organisation, integral humanism and overall party discipline—as part of the training programme.Sources said discipline would mean a sense of commitment to social cause and not aspiring for power or position in the party. While addressing the national executive, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had emphasised on converting the force of 10 crore to build a social movement like Swachh Bharat movement, the Ganga Abhiyaan or Yoga.The panel’s coordinator Muralidhar Rao has sent letters to all state units informing about the training programme and seeking their cooperation, the sources said. Besides, which would also include liberation of Goa, anti-cow slaughter campaign, resistance to Pakistan’s claim over Kutch and the Ram Janma Bhoomi agitation, the party is also drawing up a list of leaders at the national and state levels.Going by the membership figures, which have gone up three times from 3,24 crore, around two-third of the party’s primary members are newcomers. The party will train around 15,000 of its workers to train the novices. The exercise will be carried out from the mandal, district, state and national level, simultaneously.The other members of the training committee include V Satish, Ram Pyare Pandey, Mahesh Sharma, L Ganeshan, R Balashankar and Suresh Pujari. Shah will begin the “maha sampark abhiyaan” across the country in May after which the party will begin the training programme called the “maha prashikshan abhiyan”.

Namami Gange: Officials study polluted areas

The project for controlling and treating sewage pollutants that flow into River Ganga may face more delays under the Central government’s Clean Ganga project. The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) is in the process of identifying the most polluted stretches along the river’s 2,525 km length. This exercise, NMCG officials said, would help narrow down the pollution problem to help targeted setting up of sewage treatment plants. But the effort of narrowing down most polluted stretches may turn into a headache as they pass through several districts and most importantly, each district administration has to carry out ground truthing exercises.

The project for controlling and treating sewage pollutants that flow into River Ganga may face more delays under the Central government’s Clean Ganga project. The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) is in the process of identifying the most polluted stretches along the river’s 2,525 km length. This exercise, NMCG officials said, would help narrow down the pollution problem to help targeted setting up of sewage treatment plants. But the effort of narrowing down most polluted stretches may turn into a headache as they pass through several districts and most importantly, each district administration has to carry out ground truthing exercises.
<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> According to NMCG sources, nearly 50 stretches have been identified along Ganga with the help of Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping and the process is near completion. The real task though will begin when the satellite mapped stretches have to be demarcated on ground.
“Shifting of utilities, land acquisition and ironing inter-district issues are all time consuming activities while we move towards setting up of sewage treatment plants,” said an NMCG official on condition of anonymity. Along the Ganga, Kannauj to Varanasi is the most critically polluted stretch as more than 400 tanneries and equal number of industries discharge more than 3,000 million litres of effluents per day. This stretch also draws excessive water from the river for irrigation, power generation and drinking water. Apart from this stretch, in West Bengal, the Dakshineshwar, Garden Reach, Diamond Harbour and Uluberia areas also witness high pollution levels where more than 1,700 million litres of effluents is discharged per day.
NMCG said that the identification of critical stretches was important to also make the project cost-effective as sewage treatment plants are capital intensive. “Treating one MLD (million-litres per day) of sewage would roughly cost around Rs 4 – 5 crore. Earlier we were trying to focus on the entire sewerage network in urban areas, but we have realised that addressing pollution control will be more effective.” The NMCG is now awaiting for cabinet approval for Namami Gange, the flagship programme under the larger Clean Ganga project. The approval is expected in the coming days, sources said.

Delhi is dangerously polluted? Everybody knows, nobody cares

Most of us Indians think we are top dogs and cool cats. But we are instead like an experimental frog in water, on gradual boil to death.
According to a 19th century experiment, when a frog is put in boiling water, it quickly jumps out to save its life. But when it is put in cold water that is heated gradually, it boils to death.

The toxic air around us is unbreathable; the polluted underground water is undrinkable; potable water is disappearing fast; food items are laced with fertilizers; chicken and other bird meat has high levels of antibiotics; vegetables have E-coli and other bacteria; milk has synthetic material and oxytocin; and the noise around us is of such high-decibel that it is freaking us out, frying our brain.

The environment around us is closing in on us like slow-boiling water. But we are not even thinking of jumping out of the cauldron. Like the frog, most of us are not aware of the danger. And those who know, simply do not care.

In our blind apathy and ignorance, we are not just on slow poison; we are also concocting deadlier and higher doses of toxins for the future generations, including the children, on whose ‘better’ future we, ironically, spend so much time, money and effort.
It is all going horribly wrong.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

For the past two days, the Indian Express has been writing about the alarming level of pollutants in the Delhi air, telling us about the impending death by breath. It says Delhi is the world’s most-polluted city, the respirable particulate matter in the air is 17 times the permissible level and the number of patients with asthma, wheezing and other chronic ailments has increased three-fold in seven years. Medical experts the newspaper spoke to have just one advice for people with chronic respiratory ailments: just leave Delhi.

Another report in the Times of India reveals around 40 percent of samples of chicken in Delhi and NCR had high levels of antibiotic content; their consumption is making people resistant to drugs. India consumes around 2100 tonne of chicken every year and its consumption is expected to touch 4000 tonne in 2030, the highest in the world.

Monitoring of water in most Indian rivers has shown high levels of pollution. A report in 2008, found the bio oxygen demand (BOD) in Yamuna canal (247), river Yamuna at the Delhi (70) and river Betwa (58). A water sample with a 5 day BOD greater than 20 mg O/L indicates ecologically-unsafe polluted water.

Even the Ganga has turned into a gutter. A few years ago, Sankatmochan Foundation, a Varanasi-based NGO, assessed the quality of water around the popular ghats. Some of the samples had a fecal coliform count of 62,000 to 2.7 million per 100 ml. And a biochemical oxygen demand of 20-50mg per litre. The permissible level of fecal count for bathing is just 500 per ml. And the oxygen demand (higher the pollution greater is the amount of oxygen required to clean it) should be less than 3 mg per litre.

In 1951, the use of fertilizers in agriculture was less than a metric tonne. It is now well over 25 metric tonne. For years environmentalists and experts have been warning against the high levels of chemicals like nitrogen in food and underground water. Nitrogen fertilizer use and production account for six per cent of our total greenhouse emissions. But their usage keeps increasing, taking the toxic levels higher each year.

Several studies have found dangerous chemicals in water bodies of Punjab, where pesticide and fertilizer use are rampant, that cause various childhood illnesses and a range of cancers. (Areas on the Rajasthan-Punjab border, where water from the Indira Gandhi Canal has brought vast stretches of land under agriculture, have a train that carries so many cancer patients that it has come to be known as ‘Cancer Train.’)

As the Indian Express report reveals, things could have been controlled. In 1998, after a Supreme Court directive for use of CNG in public transport, air pollution came down every year. In 1995, suspended particulate matter in Delhi had hit a high of 409 µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre). In 2000, two years after the CNG verdict, scientists measured the tinier and virtually invisible RSPM for the first time and found the level at 191 µg/m3 — it fell to 161 µg/m3 in 2007. Since then, as the number of diesel vehicles in the city increased and the government turned a blind eye to the rising menace, the levels began to rise again.

Similarly, till 1977, the use of fertilizers in agriculture was limited. But in the absence of government controls and because of a liberal subsidy regime, it went up exponentially. An apt indicator is the government’s fertilizer subsidy burden, which is in excess of Rs 120000 crore compared to just 60 crore in 1976-77.

The solutions are obvious: less cars on roads, increased use of public transport; judicious use of water, less fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture; strict laws against use of chemicals in the food industry; gradual phasing out of subsidies on things that harm the environment; swacch Bharat on roads, clean drains, sewers and rivers.

The government can do a lot, but not everything. Buying a second car, use of public transport, observing ‘no-car’ days, for instance, are all individual decisions. Unless the government brings in tough laws to discourage their use—higher taxes, more fuel costs and steep parking charges—not much would change. Long-term solutions are possible only if the government and the people cooperate. But, unfortunately, the frogs do not even know they are boiling.

World’s first solar-powered plane’s pilot plays down criticism of Indian red-tape by colleague

Varanasi: One of the pilots of the solar powered plane, which is trying to set a world record by flying across the world, on Wednesday sought to play down the the criticism by his colleague who had held the “administration” responsible for the delay in departure from Ahmedabad for want of clearances.

Solar Impulse-2 is the first plane powered by solar energy in the world. Reuters

Solar Impulse-2 is the first plane powered by solar energy in the world. Reuters

CEO and co-pilot of Solar Impulse, Andre Borschberg said there are different sets of rules in different countries and they were unable to understand the “complex” process in Varanasi.

“I think we met with some complex administration which we underestimated. It was certainly our responsibility also there (Ahmedabad). When we get to another county, we don’t always understand exactly what to do, and how to do it.

“And I guess we did something which we should not have done…and then it is very difficult to understand the right way to proceed…but it happens, and we finally get to the solution. So I am very happy here,” Borschberg said.

Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard, who had flown the airplane from Muscat to Ahmedabad, and did not get clearance from the Immigration department, had criticised the red tape in the administration over the delay.

“The delay is…administration, its papers, its stamps. I am not here to accuse anybody. I just say since five days we are trying to get over stamps (clearance) and everyday, it (concerned authority) says it’s tomorrow, and every tomorrow it’s again tomorrow and since five days we are desperate to get over stamps and now we still have stamps missing,” Piccard had said.

Borschberg on Wednesday flew the solar-powered aircraft from Ahmedabad to Varanasi. The plane, which took off from Ahmedabad after a delay of two hours, touched down at the Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport at Babatpur shortly after 8.30 pm, completing an over 13 hour-long journey.

It was slated to hover above river Ganga to spread the message of cleanliness and clean energy, but skipped it due to the delay.

Borschberg said he wanted to see the the ‘aarti‘ on the banks of Ganga, and asserted that he would do so tomorrow before taking off to Mandalay in Myanmar.

“The thing I wanted was to come here (Varanasi) before sunset and see the evening lights (Ganga aarti). Now we will go in the morning to see the ‘aarti’ on the banks of the Ganga (before we take off),” he said.

“The SI-2 will be flown by co-piolot as well as project President Bertrand Piccard tomorrow,” Borschberg said.

He also gave credit for his success of the project to his wife. He said he visited Varanasi 20 years ago with his wife and had learnt about Yoga here and in Rishikesh, adding that Yoga helped a lot in flying the aircraft.

PTI

Modi offers prayers at Mauritius temple

Port Louis: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday visited the Ganga Talao, a Hindu pilgrimage site in the Mauritius capital, and offered prayers at the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Modi, who arrived here on Wednesday as part of a three-nation trip, poured ‘Gangajal’ on the Shivalinga at the temple, assisted by Hindu priests.

Port Louis: Prime Minister Narendra Modi prays at a temple in Port Louis, Mauritius on Thursday. PTIPort Louis: Prime Minister Narendra Modi prays at a temple in Port Louis, Mauritius on Thursday. PTI

Port Louis: Prime Minister Narendra Modi prays at a temple in Port Louis, Mauritius on Thursday. PTI

The Ganga Talao is considered one of the most sacred Hindu places in Mauritius.

Modi also undertook a tour of the site.

Ganga Talao, also known as Grand Bassin, is a sacred lake, situated about 1,800 feet above sea level. The crater lake is one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage sites outside India.

Along the Grand Bassin, there are several temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and other Hindu gods, as well as little shrines and colourful statues. Not far from Grand Bassin, there is also a 33-metre tall statue of the Shiva, which is known as the highest statue in Mauritius, according to the Mauritius Guide website.

Modi will also visit Appravasi Ghat. The temple site and Appravasi Ghat are associated with the arrival of Indian indentured labour to Mauritius over 180 years ago.

Modi will address the National Assembly of Mauritius later in the day.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls for swift action to stop pollution of River Ganga

Representational Image
File Photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday called for a time-bound swift action and single-minded focus to stop pollution of the River Ganga, while chairing a high-level meeting on the ‘Namaami Gange’ project. The Prime Minister reiterated that the Namaami Gange vision should focus primarily on two main areas to check pollution at the source. The pollutents include urban sewage and industrial effluents. Ganga ko ganda na karen, PM Modi emphasized. Prime Minister Modi was briefed extensively on critical hotspots along the stretch of the river, which generate the most pollution. The existing gaps in sewage treatment capacity were highlighted. A total of 764 grossly polluting industrial units have been identified along the stretch of the Ganga. Tanneries, pulp and paper and sugar industries account for over three-fourth of this number. The Prime Minister also emphasized the need to promote recycling of industrial waste water. He said industrial units should be motivated suitably to stop pollution, failing which action should be initiated within the framework of existing laws. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also called for exploring the possibility of setting up modern, environment-friendly crematoria along the River Ganga, through private initiative and enterprise. The concept of a network of volunteers to help end pollution of the river – Ganga Vahini – has been approved. Steps are being taken to operationalize this network. 118 Urban Local Bodies have been identified to be covered within five years, in a targeted attempt to control pollution. The Prime Minister was also briefed on the ongoing sewerage and river front development projects in the meeting attended by Union Ministers Venkaiah Naidu, Nitin Gadkari, Uma Bharati, Prakash Javdekar and top Government officials. Also Read: Ganga will transform in five years: Prakash Javadekar

Ganga will transform in five years: Prakash Javadekar

Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday expressed confidence that under the Centre’s ‘Clean Ganga’ campaign, the river will become clean and its flow will be unhindered in the next five years.”The Clean Ganga campaign is in full swing. Under the programme, the river will be transformed in five years and its stream would be made free and unhindered,” Javadekar told reporters in Indore. Other rivers in India would also be cleaned in a similar way under this campaign at a later stage, he added. “In order to check pollution in the Ganga river, 17 highly-polluting industries were identified and their 3,206 units were directed to install 24X7 pollution control systems by March 31,” he said.Javadekar claimed that after he took charge of the Environment Ministry, its role did not just remain confined to creating hurdles in the way of development, but to ensure environment protection and development together.”We are taking decisions at a fast pace without making any compromises with environmental clearance rules,” he said. He informed that permissions regarding environment and forests were being given through online process.”Over 900 applications were proceeding in a time-bound manner. The applicant can also check the status of his application online.” Javadekar said to give a boost to the afforestation drive, the Environment Ministry would allocate Rs 33,000 crore to the state governments. “The amount would be given to the states soon after getting a nod from the Supreme Court,” he said.

Uma Bharti calls for active involvement of CBIP in river development programme

Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti has called upon the Central Board of Irrigation and Power (CBIP) to come forward and actively associate itself with the task of river development in the country. Speaking at the CBIP day event on Thursday, Bharti said that a strategy has to be evolved for better water resources development and management through wider consultations among various stakeholders. She further said that efforts are on to ensure that only treated waste water is released into river Ganga. “We are chalking out programmes to ensure that only treated waste water is released into Ganga so that we are able to maintain its sanctity. With its success the programme will serve as a model to demonstrate the methodology for improving the water quality of other polluted rivers” Bharti said. Expressing concern over the pollution level of river water in the country, she said that rivers have become dumping grounds for municipal and industrial wastes. “As a result of indiscriminate and indiscrete developmental activities, the clear fresh water, that were our national heritage and precious resources, have become dumping grounds for municipal and industrial wastes,” she added. She also presented the CBIP annual awards to 43 individuals and organizations to recognize the outstanding contribution of the engineers, scientists and administrators in the field of water resources, power and renewable energy sectors.