Ahmedabad: Prayer meets were organised at several places in Gujarat, including Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, on Wednesday morning to pay tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary. A large number of primary school students gathered at Hriday Kunj, Gandhi’s home at the Sabarmati Ashram, to attend an all-faith prayer meet organised on the occasion. They expressed their views on the relevance of Gandhi’s teaching of non-violence in today’s world. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroad Members of the ashram’s trust, eminent Gandhians and other dignitaries were present on the occasion. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani attended a prayer meet at Porbandar’s Kirti Mandir, the house where Mahatma Gandhi was born on this date in 1869. He also spoke about about the relevance of the Father of the Nation in the present day world. Stressing on the importance of moral values, Rupani said students will be taught this as a subject in government schools. Also Read – Firms staying closed 10 days a month due to recession, govt doing nothing: Priyanka Gandhi Prayers were also held at Kochrab Ashram in Ahmedabad where the Mahatma stayed before shifting base to the Sabarmati Ashram in 1917. Beaides, a mega cleanliness drive was organised on the sea beach in Dandi, the place associated with the historic ‘Salt Satyagrah’ of 1930. As a tribute to Gandhi, hundreds of volunteers participated in the drive to keep the beach clean. Rupani will also take part in a similar cleanliness campaign in Porbandar. In the evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Ahmedabad, where he will pay tributes to Gandhi at the Sabarmati Ashram and later address a gathering of village heads from different parts of the country while declaring the country open defecation-free.
New Delhi: Three stations in Rajasthan bagged top honours but none in the national capital figured in the top 10 list of railways’ cleanliness survey unveiled on Wednesday by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.Jaipur, Jodhpur and Durgapura were the top three ranking railway stations among 720 stations. In the national capital, Anand Vihar Terminal was ranked 26, New Delhi station 165 and Hazrat Nizamuddin stood at 241 in the list. While Sadar Bazar was among the last in the list of clean stations, Delhi Cantonment, Delhi Junction and Shahadra were ranked 389, 390 and 378 respectively. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadAmong the 109 suburban stations assessed, Andheri, Virar and Naigaon were the top three. The North Western Railway, which covers a route length of more than 5,761 km across parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana, topped the list of zones, followed by South East Central Railway and East Central Railway. The railways have been conducting third-party audit and cleanliness ranking of 407 major stations annually since 2016. This year, the survey was expanded to include 720 stations and suburban stations were also included for the first time. Also Read – Firms staying closed 10 days a month due to recession, govt doing nothing: Priyanka GandhiEvaluation of green efforts have also been added to the report. Goyal said, “Today we are committed to developing a Clean India, Healthy India and Prosperous India. The railways is doing its bit to provide clean and hygienic environment to the travellers.” “Many governments came after Independence, but there was a delay in carrying out Bapu’s (Mahatma Gandhi’s) vision until Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over the responsibility of the country,” he said, adding the railways has also banned single-use plastic across its premises Wednesday onwards. In the Station Cleanliness Survey, it was found that among the non-suburban stations, two per cent have scored above 90 per cent of the total score whereas five per cent stations scored below 50 per cent. Among the suburban stations, four per cent of the stations scored within the range of 70 per cent to 80 per cent, whereas 14 per cent stations scored 50 per cent. The survey also found that out of 720 stations, 25 per cent had provision for water conservation, 18 per cent of them had mechanism for rainwater harvesting and nine per cent had provision for water reuse. Only two per cent stations had green certification while 29 per cent had provision for on-site renewable energy using solar panels. The survey also revealed that 66 per cent of the stations were using LED bulbs. Four stations of Southern Railway — Perungalathur, Guduvanchari, Singaperumalkoil, Ottapallam — were at the bottom of the rankings. Non-suburban stations Faizabad and Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh have shown the most improvement from last year, the survey found.
BALURGHAT: Amid predictions of sporadic showers by the local meteorological department during four days of Durga Puja to be kicked start on Friday, the organisers are now busy to complete the rest of work for inauguration in Panchami.Almost all the big-budget Puja organisers in Balurghat have forced to prepare makeshift shades for devotees in or outside the pandals for any emergency. “Local Met officials have predicted mild showers during Puja days and that is why we are thinking how to tackle the situation. A temporary shade has been prepared with tarpaulin sheets so that the idols can be saved from rain. The devotees may also take shelter under the temporary roofs,” said Gopal Bhattacharjee, a big-budget puja organiser of Kochikala Academy. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaPuja organisers are not ready to mar this part of the revelry. “The nagging rain for over a week has hampered our preparations adversely. Since Tuesday afternoon the weather is slightly improved but there is every possibility of rainfall during Puja days and we don’t want to take risk. We have kept adequate space inside the pandal to accommodate devotees. The entry and exit gates are extra wide for air circulations,” said an organiser of Avijatri Club, Sanat Mohanta. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayApart from the Puja organisers, both district administration and police have made elaborate arrangements already for the grand success of the upcoming festive season. It is learnt from a police source that in order to stop the use of high-sound producing music system and fire crackers during the Puja days, the police have decided to take steps if organizers are found violating rules provided by the West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB). The Puja committees in their agreement part have mentioned that they are ready to abide by general norms strictly for not using powerful sound system and sound producing crackers near their puja pandals. Recently, a meeting conducted among senior administrative officials along with the concerned officials of WBPCB, police, Balurghat municipality and fire services officials in which it was decided that police would conduct a joint inspection to the big Pujas of the town to look into whether the guidelines are followed. “The joint inspection started at least a week before the Puja days while at the same time, the police would not allow to hold the Pujas if we receive any complaint against the puja organisers for forcefully collecting subscriptions. We have also asked them to follow all the guidelines including the decibel of the sound system,” said district police chief Prasun Banerjee adding that the department would also reward the puja organisers if following all the guidelines specifically. The police and local administration have taken unanimous decision that there will be no restriction on four-wheelers and motorbikes during the four days of Durga puja in Balurghat. “We have stressed on best possible security arrangement for the people of Balurghat so that thousands of pandal hoppers do not face any trouble while ushering the festive spirit. Apart from this, we are using drone-camera for the first-time for security reasons. Six such cameras will be installed for keeping close watch and immediate intervention,” said a police officer. According to a police source, adequate number of police pickets has also been put in place near Durga puja pandals across the town besides police assistance booths have been set up in case anyone wants to know the route or seek any other help.
Gurugram: Congress on Thursday appointed Sukhbir Kataria as the nominee from Gurugram’s seat. Kataria had won this seat in 2009 as an independent candidate. He later joined the Hooda cabinet as the Sports Minister and since then he is believed to be close to the former Chief Minister. In a major relief for the former MLA in May this year a Gurugram court has set aside criminal charges against him. Kataria was accused of indulging in bogus voting and creating fake voter identity cards to allegedly influence the elections in 2009. Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: JavadekarAttacking BJP, Kataria said, “The BJP has not performed work and is involved wonder. Now to shrug off their responsibilities they are not giving tickets to the members and denying tickets.” Speaking of his vision for Gurugram Kataria said, “Due to poor policies of the government Gurugram has become one of the most polluted cities in the world. Even the posh areas in the city you can see potholed roads. The deterioration of the city is due to the corruption.” Also Read – Union min Hardeep Singh Puri, Delhi L-G lay foundation stones for various projects in DwarkaIn an interesting move by the Congress, the younger brother of Rao Narbir Singh Kamal Yadav has been appointed as the nominee. His elder brother Rao Narbir who is the senior minister in BJP was denied ticket this time in these elections. In Pataudi, Congress has fielded Sudhir Chaudhury while in Sohna the party has fielded Shamsudin. Both of them had represented the party even in 2014. Gurugram has been a stronghold of Congress party that has won this seat for six out of twelve times the assembly elections have been held in the city. Interestingly in the first elections that were held in Gurgaon then in 1967 was won by a candidate from Jan Sangh, a political organization that ultimately gave way to BJP, a party which was formed in 1980. Thakran defeated his rival Kanhaiya Lal from Congress. In the coming years, the grand old party of India was able to win the Gurugon seat in the years 1968, 1972,1982,1991, 1996 and 2005. Dharambir Gaba and Rao Mahabeer Singh are the two most successful leaders from Congress. While Gaba has won the Gurugram seat four times Rao Mahabeer has won the seat two times.
Kolkata: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) will present the future roadmap of Indian football along with Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on October 14 in Kuala Lumpur. AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das has written to ISL and I-League clubs informing them of the same and has asked them to be present on that day at the AFC headquarters. “Dear All, The All India Football Federation along with the Asian Football Confederation will present the future roadmap of Indian Club football on 14th October 2019 at Asian Football Confederation, AFC House, Jalan 1/155B, Bukit Jalil, 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at 10 am. You are invited to be present. Kindly confirm your presence in the next 5 days,” the letter read. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuIt is likely that the ISL and I-League will coexist for another three years as stated by AIFF president Praful Patel earlier. The winners of each league are likely to be handed a continental spot with ISL champions getting the AFC Champions League (ACL) qualifying slot and the I-League champions the AFC Cup play-off slot. Some AFC officials including General Secretary Dato Windsor John recently met AIFF president Patel and Das to have a discussion on the same. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai MastersIn July, the AIFF had recommended AFC to consider that the champions of the ISL be allotted a spot in the qualifiers for the AFC Champions League. The decision was taken in the AIFF’s Executive Committee meeting. The federation said that the recommendation has been made in the light of the Master Rights Agreement signed between the AIFF and IMG-Reliance in 2010 among other factors like more substantial growth in TV viewership and in stadia audience vis a vis the I-League and “the ISL clubs complying with the entire AFC Club licensing criteria, including strong grassroots and Youth Development Programmes which have also been certified by the AFC.” Earlier, Patel assured the I-League clubs that their future is secure and that he will approach the Asian Football Confederation to allow the I-League to co-exist with the ISL as India’s top flight league for the next two to three years. The clubs accepted Patel’s proposal while putting forth their own version of a roadmap for Indian football in which a unified league structure consisting of I-League and ISL clubs was proposed with promotion and relegation.
Kolkata: Traffic movement in the city is expected to be smoother with the state government opening up the Eastern Bypass-bound flank of Ultadanga flyover on Thursday night. The flank was closed since July 9 for repairs.”The Bridge Advisory committee has inspected it and has given us the nod to open the flyover for vehicular movement. We are hopeful that traffic movement will be smoother in this part from Friday,” said a senior official of Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority. The Ultadanga flyover was closed after some cracks were spotted on a pier and the retaining wall. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe Dum Dum Airport bound flank was opened for traffic three days after the incident, but the Bypass bound flank was closed for repairs. There are several pujas in Dum Dum and Lake Town areas, which draw huge crowd, so opening the Ultandanga flyover will surely ease traffic congestion in the area. The 45-metre Bailey Bridge in Lake Town that caters to only one-way traffic for light vehicles from VIP Road to Salt Lake was also thrown open on September 30 for light vehicles. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayTwo new bridges one at Izatullah Lane and another at Karunamoyee canal in the south were also unveiled on September 30. “After a portion of Majerhat bridge caved in on September last year there has been heavy pressure on Durgapur bridge and Tollygunge bridge. The two bridges has been instrumental in helping people from Behala and its adjoining areas to reach faster to Tollygunge metro station and Bangur Hospital,” the KMDA official said.
Kolkata: The state Correctional Administration department in association with an NGO is all set to launch cookies and a special type of cup cake made by the inmates of Alipore Women’s Correctional Home (AWCH) soon after the Durga Puja.Under the initiative named Cookie Maker, some 20 odd inmates in AWCH will spend their Puja days working hard in baking cookies and cakes with the department planning for the launch between the Lakshmi Puja and the Diwali. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja”Some six odd women inside the prison had a knack in the art of baking. They were handpicked and a professional baker was roped in to train them in a workshop. The lessons were passed over to others who were eager to be partner in the initiative,” said Chaitali Das, managing trustee of Rakshak Foundation who has arranged for the inmates’ training. Four variants of cookies packaged in glass containers and the cup cake will be available from the outlet of Rakshak Foundation at Alipore Road. The products will also be available from AWCH too. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayIt may be mentioned that it was only a few days back when a music album named Aamar Asha containing songs by Indo Brazilian vocalist Carlyta Maria Mouhini from Mumbai and four inmates of Presidency Central Correctional Home was launched at a programme at ICCR. The video shot and designed exclusively inside the premises of the correctional home portrays the daily life routine of the inmates and their creative work. A senior official of the department informed that several steps are being taken to ensure that the inmates can enjoy themselves during the Durga Puja days. There will be cultural programmes and special menu for the inmates in breakfast, lunch and dinner during the Puja days. “The concept of prisons in the state have witnessed a sea change in the last eight years under the leadership of our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. We are trying to reform them and at the same time exploring new avenues of vocational training for the inmates so that when they are released after completing their term they can earn a living on their own,” said Ujjal Biswas, state Correctional Administration minister.
Muzaffarnagar: A woman was allegedly burnt to death over dowry in Saidham Colony in the city, police said on Friday. The incident happened on Thursday evening in Civil Lines police station area here. The victim Sugna was rushed to a hospital where she was declared brought dead, Station House Officer Sameypal Atri said A case has been registered against four people including her husband Arun Kumar who was absconding, the SHO said. According to a complaint lodged by the victim’s family, the woman was burnt to death by her in-laws who were harassing her over dowry since her marriage to Kumar one-and-half-years ago.
New Delhi: The Congress on Friday asked its former Mumbai unit chief Sanjay Nirupam to stop fuelling conspiracy theories, after he launched a vitriolic attack on the party leadership for not granting party tickets to his supporters. Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari also asked former Haryana Congress unit chief Ashok Tanwar to stop making statements against the party ahead of the assembly elections in the state and asked him to act responsibly. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroad Tewari said the two leaders, who have held top positions in the party, should realise that their statements should not help those who have brought the nation to this passe. “Mr Sanjay Nirupam would be well advised to restrain himself. It would be appropriate if he does not kite fly these conspiracy theories that are unimaginative,” he told reporters. Tewari said it is understandable that there are differences over ticket distribution and these two leaders are angry over it, but asked them to work with maturity and sagacity. Also Read – Firms staying closed 10 days a month due to recession, govt doing nothing: Priyanka Gandhi Nirupam, the former chief of Mumbai Congress, has launched a revolt against the party leadership after some of his supporters were not granted party ticket despite being recommended by him. The Congress also faces discontent in Haryana and Maharashtra over ticket distribution ahead of the assembly polls. Former chiefs of the party’s units in Haryana and Mumbai on Thursday resigned from the election committees and deciding to stay away from the campaign respectively. A day after protesting outside Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s residence in Delhi over alleged irregularities in ticket distribution, former Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar quit the election committees of the party but said he would continue to work as an ordinary party worker. Nirupam, who joined the Congress after he quit the Shiv Sena in 2005, has also threatened to quit the party.
New Delhi: More than 600 prisoners were released from jails across India this week under a “special remission” plan as part of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations, officials said on Friday. With the release of 611 prisoners on October 2, the total number of prisoners freed as part of the plan has gone up to 2,035 in the last one year. Prisoners, including politicians, who have been convicted in cases of murder, rape or corruption were not released under the special remission. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroad On July 18, 2018, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided that special remission to specific category of prisoners should be given and they be released from prisons in three phases on October 2, 2018, April 6, 2019 and October 2, 2019. Officials in the Union Home Ministry said this was part of the commemoration of Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. In the first phase, on October 2 last year, states and Union Territories (UTs) released 919 prisoners. In the second phase, on April 6 this year, 505 prisoners were released. On Wednesday, in the third phase, 611 prisoners were freed from jails, they said. Also Read – Firms staying closed 10 days a month due to recession, govt doing nothing: Priyanka Gandhi States and UTs were advised to hold week-long special functions in all prisons based on the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi before the release. They were also advised to take the prisoners to a statue of the Mahatma for garlanding and gift them books relating to the father of the nation, officials said. Women convicts aged 55 and above and male convicts of 60 years or more, who have completed half of their sentence, and a few other categories of prisoners came under the amnesty scheme. Transgender convicts of 55 years of age and above, who have completed half of their actual sentence period, without counting the period of general remission earned by them, physically challenged or disabled convicts with 70 per cent disability and more, duly certified by a medical board, who have completed half of their actual sentence period were eligible for release. However, the special remission was not granted to persons convicted for an offence for which the sentence is death penalty or where death sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment. The other categories of prisoners who were not considered for amnesty include persons convicted for an offence for which punishment of death has been specified as one of the punishments, persons convicted for an offence for which punishment of life imprisonment has been specified as one of the punishments. Those convicted under the Prevention of Corruption Act, The Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1985 (TADA), The Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 (POTA), Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA), The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO), Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA), Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 were also not released.