The Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated and laid the Foundation Stone for several important development projects, at a public gathering in Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. Among the projects inaugurated are the Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) for Puraani Kashi; and an Atal Incubation Centre at BHU. Among the projects for which the Foundation Stone was laid, is the Regional Ophthalmology Centre at BHU. The cumulative value of all projects which were inaugurated, or for which foundation stone was laid today, is over Rs. 550 crore. Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that the efforts to bring about change in Varanasi, are also attempting to preserve the city’s rich heritage. He said the city is being modernized, while protecting its ancient identity. He said the change that has been brought about through four years of resolve of the people of Kashi, is now visible. Narendra Modi referred to the various projects in the power, road and other infrastructure sectors, which have progressed significantly, and brought about an improvement in the lives of the people in the city of Varanasi, and nearby areas. The Prime Minister said he feels very happy when he sees citizens post pictures of Varanasi Cantt Station online. He mentioned the work being done towards modernization of transport infrastructure. He also spoke of the work being done towards cleanliness and enhancing the visual appeal of the city. He said this move, which will transform tourism is a continuing effort. In this context, he also mentioned the work being done in Sarnath. The Prime Minister said that basic facilities such as roads, electricity and water, are being extended to the rural areas surrounding Varanasi as well. He said Kashi is now emerging as a health hub. Mentioning the Atal Incubation Centre that was inaugurated today, he said that startups are already beginning to get connected with this. He said Varanasi is among the select cities in the country where Piped Cooking Gas is being made available. The Prime Minister called upon the people of Varanasi to dedicate themselves towards fulfilment of this common resolve for the transformation of the city.
Former Australian cricketer Brett Lee paid a visit to the King’s Circle GSB Seva Mandal Ganesha on Thursday to take the Lord’s blessings. He came in a traditional attire wearing light yellow kurta and white pyjama with a smile on his face and thilak on his forehead. This is the Mandal’s 64th Ganeshotsav celebrations. On the five day festival , on an average last year more than 66000 pujas were performed including around 8000 tulabharas. This pujas are done after fulfillment of one’s prayers as Ganesha is known to fulfill devotees wishes.
A familiarization flight from Mumbai to Sindhudurg landed today at Parule Chipi Greenfield airport in Sindhudurg district of the Konkan region of Maharashtra. With this successful test flight access to the Konkan coast of Maharashtra will become easier and some of Maharashtra’s top tourist attractions will become accessible to visitors from all over India. Commercial flights will become operational from December this year. The airport is located between Malvan and Vengurla, the Tarkarli beach and Sindhudurg fort are 20 kms away. The commissioning of this airport also improves accessibility to North Goa. The beaches of Tiracol, Arambol and Mandrem are equidistant from Goa’s Dabolim airport. The 2,500 meters runway will be able to handle aircrafts like the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737. The terminal building has the capacity to handle 400 passengers at its peak. Civil Aviation Minister, Suresh Prabhu, has asked the airport management company and Maharashtra State Government to resolve the pending issues related to ILS installation and VOR installation so that regular operations may begin on schedule. The co-pilot of the flight was a local girl from Devgad in Sindhudurg district.
A controversial legislator in Kerala has said that he should not have made derogatory remarks about the nun who has accused a senior Roman Catholic priest of raping her, reports NDTV. Independent legislator PC George had abused the nun last week, called her a "prostitute". "Is there any doubt that the nun is a prostitute? 12 times it was pleasure, 13th time it became a rape? Where was she when it happened 12 times? Whom is she telling this to? Why did she not complain on the first time it happened? Let the three sisters be examined. Let us see if they are holy," said the lawmaker from Poonjar, while speaking on the charges against Bishop Mulakkal, NDTV reported. "I shouldn't have called any woman a prostitute. That wasn't the right thing to do," PC George told NDTV on phone. However, the lawmaker said he will not apologise to anyone for his comments. Many outraged social media users started the #VaayaMoodalCampaign ("mouth shut" campaign) and couriered duct-tapes to silence the politician.
India and France have signed an implementation agreement on “MOBILISE YOUR CITY” (MYC) in the presence of Minister of State (I/C), Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) Hardeep Singh Puri and Alexander Ziegler, Ambassador of France in India. The agreement was signed by Mukund Kumar Sinha, OSD & Ex-Officio Joint Secretary, M/o Housing and Urban Affairs for India while Regional Director, Agence Française de Développement (AfD), Nicolas Fornage, signed the agreement on behalf of AfD. Mobilise Your City (MYC) is part of an international initiative which is supported by the French and the German Governments and was launched at 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) meeting in December, 2015. Based on a proposal made by AFD in 2015, the European Union has agreed to provide funds of Euro 3.5 million through the AFD to contribute to specific investments and technical assistance components within the Mobilise Your City (MYC) programme in India. The MYC aims at supporting three pilot cities viz. Nagpur, Kochi and Ahmedabad in their efforts to reduce their Green House Gas (GHG) emissions related to urban transport by implementing urban mobility plans at local level and to help India at national level to improve their sustainable transport policy. The three pilot cities selected under the programme as well as MoHUA will benefit from the Technical Assistance activities. The main components of the proposed assistance are: (1) to support planning and implementation of sustainable urban transport projects, (2) support to strengthening institutional capacity for regulating, steering and planning urban mobility, and (3) learning and exchange formats with other cities across India for exchanges on best practices. The details of the project activities will be worked out by AFD in consultation with MoHUA and the three partner cities including institutions such as the respective Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) for Smart Cities, the Municipal Corporations and any transport authority or transport related SPV.
Fishermen have created history in Kerala, leading the largest flood rescue operation in the state’s history. Now, it seems, the media too don’t want to be left behind in doing their bit. In the aftermath of a devastating flood and landslides that claimed hundreds of lives and displaced over a million people in the southern peninsular state, help flowed in from several quarters. The central government, states across the country and corporates have all come out to help the flood-ravaged state rebuild its lost infrastructure. Malayalees from every corner of the world are also using this opportunity to emphasize their brotherhood by helping their home state in its hour of need as well. Such expressions of solidarity does go a long way in infusing confidence among those affected by this disaster. Among such efforts, this one stood out. Mumbai-based Media Eye News channel and Malanadu Television have come together to organise relief camps in Kerala, which is a kind of rarity by itself in the dog-fight-dog world of media. But these two organisations, run by Malayalees, have also co-opted other organisations, such as the Yashoda Charitable Trust Mumbai and the Business Network International (BNI) Trissur chapter, to add heft and reach to their relief efforts. Sasi Nair, founder and managing trustee of Yasoda Charitable Trust , sees nothing unusual in this. Rather he thinks distress-reporters should also play the role of distress-relievers. “They need to go beyond their usual role of reporting,” Mr Nair said in an event organised by the cluster of organisations last week in Annamada in Trissur district. “In fact, they are the people who have first-hand information about any such disasters and the consequent distress of the people. They know the depth of it. So it becomes their responsibility more than anyone else’s to come to the fore and participate in the relief works.” “Like other institutions that come forward to help in such situations, media houses too should come forward,” Mr Nair added. The event, which was attended by Malanadu TV managing director R Jayesh, Elite Group chairman TR Vijayakumar, and BNI representatives, was inaugurated by Jyotish Kumar IRS. Dr. Bijoy Kutty, Director of Platinum Hospital Group in Mumbai offered more help in kind as medicine and money for such events in the coming weeks.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) had issued all necessary severe weather warnings through its office in Thiruvananthapuram. As per the regular practice, warnings are uploaded in the local website (www.imdtvm.gov.in) every day. District wise rainfall forecast along with warnings are also uploaded and updated thrice daily in the website. Nowcasts for next 3 hours are also issued through SMS to SDMA, SEOC, District collectors using Doppler Weather Radar Data. Weather Forecasts for 5 days and outlook for subsequent two days, which also include heavy rainfall warning and wind warning, are sent through e-mail to Chief Secretary, Addl. Chief Secretary (Revenue & Disaster Management), SDMA, Navy, Special Marine enforcement, Print and electronic media. High level officials of Kerala Government were briefed in a meeting convened by Chief Minister on 9th August about the strong monsoon conditions with heavy rainfall activity. Also the Addl. Chief Secretary (Revenue & Disaster Management) was briefed orally over phone on all occasions. Member Secretary, SDMA was briefed on 10th August. District Collectors of Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram were briefed on 14th August. Briefings were sent to media also during this period. Extended range forecasts (issued 2 weeks in advance) issued from Delhi In a press release issued on 2nd August 2018, it was indicated that the rainfall over ‘extreme south peninsula’ shall be above normal during 9th – 15th August 2018. In the subsequent press release issued on 9th August also, the same statement was repeated, along with a date-wise indication of likely widespread rainfall with isolated heavy rainfall over Kerala re-starting from 13th August. The above press releases had been communicated to the Chief Secretaries of all the States via E-Mail and also posted on the IMD website. Short & medium range forecasts (5 days in advance) issued from IMD Thiruvanthapuram Orange alerts (prepare for action) were issued w.e.f 6th applicable for 8th August onwards and Red alert (for action) were issued w.e.f 9th August. Further, for showing the severity of rainfall intensity expected, heavy (7-11 cm in 24 hrs) to very heavy (12-20 cm in 24 hrs) rainfall warning for Kerala state was issued w.e.f 10th August for 14th August with Orange Alert to Idukki and Alappuzha, Red alert to Wayanad district. On 11th heavy to very heavy rainfall warning extended for 15th August also with orange alert to Idukki and Wayanad districts. On 12th August Red alert was issued for Idukki effective from 14th August. On 14th August, again heavy to very heavy rainfall warning was issued for 14th and 15th with red alert and orange alerts for most of the districts. On 15th, extremely heavy (>20 cm in 24 hrs) rainfall warning was issued for Kerala state with red alert to all districts for 16th August and red for 7 districts and orange for the remaining 7 districts for 17th August. It may be noted that the Red alert is the highest alert for issuing heavy rainfall warning and no other alerting criteria than this is adopted by IMD. The weather Bulletins issued from Delhi office also carried warnings for Kerala in ‘Orange’ and ‘Red’ colours about 2-3 days in advance of the event, advising the Disaster managers to be alert and initiate action respectively.
The Amboli police on Monday found the decomposed body of a 22-year-old in a hotel room in Jogeshwari, reports Hindustan Times. The deceased was later identified as Jaideep Swain, a student of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Powai. Swain was pursuing his Masters in technology (MTech) at the computer science department of IIT, and had joined the institute in July this year, Hindustan Times reported. His father works as a porter in the Food Corporation of India and his sister is in Chennai. According to the police, Swain checked in to the hotel in Jogeshwari on August 31. His last contact with the hotel staff was on September 1, reports Hindustan Times.
Union Minister of State for Finance and Shipping, P. Radhakrishnan has said that the Centre would provide all necessary assistance to flood ravaged Kerala. Inaugurating the State Level Bankers’ Committee meeting in Thiruvananthapuram, he said all public and private Insurance Companies have been instructed to quickly process and expedite settlement of all claims arising out of floods. P. Radhakrishnan pointed out that with the allocation of Rs.214 crore during 2018-19 to Kerala, the state government has a total amount of Rs.562.45 crore in the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) under its disposal. The Minister said further fund requirement will be decided after the submission of memorandum by the state. Mr.Radhakrishnan said that as the banking services were severely hit by the floods immediate measures were taken by the Finance Ministry and nearly 191 bank branches and 179 ATMs were made functional. Measures are being taken to make the remaining functional as early as possible. The Minister said to give relief to the people in this hour of crisis the government has waived off the charges for issuing duplicate passbook, deposit receipt and charges for not maintaining minimum balance and issuing fresh debit etc. Soiled and defective notes will be exchanged at all bank branches. He pointed out that the government has also extended fresh consumption loan up to Rs. 10,000 on need basis and moratorium on agricultural and MSME loans for one year. Later replying to queries from media, the minister said the demand of Kerala for enhancing 3% to 4.5 % of GSDP will be looked into by the Central government. He pointed out that under Prime Minister’s direction, the Centre has given all possible given all possible assistance to Kerala. It has provided the necessary food grains and medicines. The Minister said the Centre is totally sympathetic to Kerala and the Prime Minister has asked, Ministries to consider various demands of the state.
K.A.Viswanathan On the occasion of the Kerala Onam festival, Malayalee devotees gathered at the Matunga Asthika Samaj to pray to Lord Guruvayoorappan to help flood affected people in Kerala and also for Kerala's prosperity. As mark of austerity the Malayalees associations in Mumbai have stopped all Onam feasts and also not putting Rangoli with flowers in front of the temples and houses. The popular Mani's Lunch home at Chembur which generally attract more than 600 people for their Onam feasts, have cancelled this year and in turn sending rices and pulses to Kerala said Mr. K. Narayanaswami of Mani's lunch home. The Malayalam association of the SIES College of Arts, Science and Commerce have cancelled their yearly Onam festival of dances and music and planning to hold it later part of the year. The Malayalam students of the SIES college are going to the villages in Kerala with the goods collected by the college and the college Past Students' association and distributing them to the villagers with the help of their relatives in Kerala to help them to celebrate Onam.