Featured

Is the Railways really faultless or scot free in the Amritsar tragedy?

Published

on

Railway minister of state Manoj Sinha, union minister Railways Piyush Goyal and the Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani

IS THE RAILWAY REALLY SCOT FREE/ faultless IN THE AMRITSAR TRAGEDY?
The political parties of the country have no right to play politics on the corpses of the deceaseds of the most despicable killings by the two trains in extreme speed in Amritsar on the day of Vijaydashmi claiming 60 lives and grievously injuring more than 50 innocent persons.

Sounds really shocking that while the Punjab government led by the Congress party has ordered an enquiry into the whole episode the report of which would be tabled in four days including the instant announcement of the compensation of 5 lakh rupees each to the bereaved family of those bludgeoned in this horrible mishapening compounded with the 2 lakh rupees compensation by the union government, the adamant Railway department has not taken the courage to either institute the enquiry for the alleged lapse on its part nor has it exhibited the courage n decency to compensate the completely ruined bereaved families monetarily.

Despite the hard fact that the entire agencies of the state government and the railways had been allegedly guilty for mishandling the situation leading to this most tragic mishappening the balme game has started with every agency trying to come scot free as they were only the public or the deceased who were responsible and not the Railways or the state government.

What is most worrisome is the fact that the Railway ministry has expressed its total ignorance or had come in the denial mode despite the known fact that the people had been crushed or mowed down under the speeding trains , MDU n the Amritsar bound express thus destroying the the future of several traumatic families who’d lost their near and dear ones’ and the sole bread earners.

Where will they go now ? How will they survive ? Is Rs 7 lakh provided to them as monetary compensation would suffice for the distressed families for survival during their entire lives.

Sounds completely irrational and shocking. The union minister of the Railways Piyush Goyal who is currently in the US in connection with the official work has continued his stay there though he had earlier promised to come to India cancelling all engagements.

The state minister of Railways Manoj Sinha who was very prompt to visit the tragedy site in Amritsar says that the trains are meant to ply in speed and since they were not informed by the Punjab administration in advance about the Vijaydashmi event despite the fact that the effigy burning programme had been happening since long in this ground near the open railway tracks, there is no reason for him to order for an enquiry.

He added : I have personally visited the site and examined every aspect of the mishappening and found that the Railways were not at all at fault, then what for is the need for any enquiry ?

The chairman of the Railway Board Ashwani Lohani says that the railway lines are not meant to squat, loiter or stand on them hence the accident occured. And as such how is the Railways responsible for this tragedy ?

The point is if the Railways are not responsible under whose trains this heart rendering and treacherous massacre occured, then who is respinsible ? The trains were of the railways, plying on full speed, the tracks are of the railways.

The moot point is if functions are organised in the open ground situated near the open Railway tracks every year and the railways as well as the local administration very well knows that the people of the adjacent colonies cross the tracks usually and even witness events from here then why had the railways not constructed boundaries along the railway tracks to avoid the tress passers cross them, especially when the tracks are attached with the ground ?

Where was the Railway police to avoid this tragic mishappening and how long will such horrible accidents continue to happen in railway tracks close to such grounds where functions are held ?

Simply passing on the bucks on other agencies won’t do. Analysts say that since there is the government of the Congress in the state and the BJP is at the centre the entire episode has assumed political character with both the parties and governments accusing each other by shifting the blame game on the other side. This is most inhuman and uncalled for.

Under such circumstances the Punjab Government and the Railways should have taken the cumulative responsibility on their shoulders together and have instead of shying away from owning the responsibilty for this huge lapse must have jountly come forward and adequately compensated each and every family of the deceaseds n grievously injured and punish the guilty to maintain the highest traditions of decency n morality.

There was a time when the former Railway ministers like late P. M. Lal Bahadur Shastri n late Madhav Rao Scindia had resigned from their respective posts when accidents occured to maintain the greatest tradition of morality and decency in public life but unfortunately, now even after 60 tragic deaths no minister at the helm seems to have bothered to take the moral respinsibilty n show valour to resign on moral grounds?

What’s your take friends?

Sunil Negi is a veteran journalist and President of Uttarakhand Journalists Forum. He majorly writes on politics, current affairs and social issues.

Featured

Direct fight between BJP n Congress in Uttarakhand. No role of third force ?

Published

on

The finalised candidates of Congress from five Uttarakhand State

Since the Congress Party has formally declared its candidates, ( now) in all the five seats of Uttarakhand after tremendous exercise, the himalayan state has already gone into election mode of a direct contest between the ruling BJP and the Congress.

The Congress party is in reduced numbers in Uttarakhand assembly with merely thirteen seats, the lowest in the last eighteen years in the history of Congress, after achieving statehood.

Moreover, the factionalism in the party between the former CM Harish Rawat n the present state president Pritam Singh has now come out in the open with ten sitting MLAs going to Delhi against the former recently during the candidature finalisatiin exercise with complaints.

There have been regular charges n accusations against Harish Rawat n his group regarding running a parallel Congress in Uttarakhand despite his elevation as the general secretary of All India Congress Party, with the charge of Assam Congress affairs. The media has hyped the intercine squabbles making mockery of Congress affairs in the state thus degradung its image n reputation.

The grudge of the current state president n Congress’s nominee Pritam Singh n his group was, that since Rawat has now been given larger responsibility of Assam Congress affairs in his capacity as the member CWC n genl secretary AICC, he should instead of interfering in the state Congress affairs cooperate them than creating parallel Congress.

This reflects how serious is the factionalism in the Uttarakhand state party unit. However, bagging ticket from Nainital despite so much of opposition within the party speaks of the fact that Harish Rawat is still popular n powerful in Uttarakhand’s politics.

Those who got the Congress ticket from the five seats of Uttarakhand are Harish Rawat from Nainital, Pritam Singh Rawat from Tehri Garhwal, Manish Khanduri from Pauri, Garhwal, Ambrish Kumar from Haridwar n the Rajya Sabha MP Pradeep Tamata from Almora.

While three entrants are new in the list viz Manish Khanduri, Ambrish Kumar and Pritam Singh – Harish Rawat n Pradeep Tamta had been MPs from Haridwar and Almora.

Similarly in BJP too the saffron party has denied tickets to two ageing veterans Major general Khanduri n Bhagat Singh Rawat from Pauri n Nainital repeating the three sitting MPs viz Ajay Tamta, Maharani Lakshmi and Dr. Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank from Almora, Tehri Garhwal and Haridwar.

The political battle in Uttarakhand has become quite interesting as the leaders of both the parties are banking on the charisma of their respective leaders viz PM Narendra Modi n Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.

While the Congress party in the state would oppose PM Modi on his failures on employment and agrarian fronts compounded with the failure of the state BJP government to fulfil the pre election promises, the BJP on the other hand is overconfident of Modi charisma as well as ultra nationalism n hindu polarisations plus the success of air strikes on the Jaish training camps in Balakot Pakistan, safe return of wing commander Abhinandan and arrest of Nirav Modi in London n so on n so forth.

The third political force of regional parties is conspicuous by its absence this time with the regional party Uttarakhand Kranti Dal not able to mark its formidable presence despite it being the first political force in the state demanding n fighting for the separate Uttarakhand state.

What’s your take friends?

Continue Reading

Featured

Godrej Properties Bought Plot In Delhi For Worth Rs. 1100 Crore

Published

on

In a deal with Rail Land Development Authority, the Godrej Properties purchased a 27-acre plot in New Delhi’s Ashok Vihar locality area for worth Rs. 1100 crore, the sources said.

According to the sources, this company will construct flats free of cost for railways and 50% of the flats will be sold at market value for the economically weaker section. The payment for these dwelling units can be paid off in eight years at an interest rate of 12 percent.

However, the Godrej properties denied to comment on the deal and said that we cannot make a comment on the market value as per the company policy.

The sources however informed that two other bidders were the Adani Group and Eldeco. As a part of its expansion plan, the Godrej Properties is acquiring land directly or via joint ventures.

Last year, the company went into a joint venture with Hero Cycles to develop a 4-acre plot on Golf Course Road in Gurgaon.

In 2018, the Godrej Properties raised Rs.1,000 crore via the issuance of shares to GIC-managed investment company Gamnat Pte for funding of its expansion plan.

The Rail Land Development Authority planned six such vacant plots across the metro cities as the authority is responsible to generate revenue from vacant land. They are likely to earn approximately Rs. 10,000 crores via land monetization. The plots comprises of 16 hectares in posh Mumbai areas such as Bandra, Mahalaxmi and near Lokmanya Tilak Terminal. The authority also owns land in South Indian cities like Chennai and Hyderabad.

The RLDA [Rail Land Development Authority] figured approximately 45 sites for which bidding will be practiced in a phased manner. These sites have the potential to generate a revenue of over Rs. 42,000 crore

Continue Reading

Featured

New ‘Avengers: Endgame’ TV spot ‘honours’ fallen superheroes

Published

on

The latest TV spot for Avengers: Endgame gives a glimpse of Black Panther, Doctor Strange, The Wasp, The Winter Soldier, Star-Lord, Drax, and Gamora who were missing from the first trailer.

New 30-seconds-long video once more takes you down the memory lane, this time with Dr Steven Strange, T’Challa, Hope van Dyne, Bucky Barnes, Peter Quill and others.

Captain America aka Steve Rogers’ voice takes up narration as we see friendships, relationships fade away in the black and white montage.

“We lost. All of us. We lost friends, we lost family. Today we have a chance to take it all back. We will. Whatever it takes,” says Steve.

The lines are echoed by Ronin aka Clint Barton and none other than Iron Man aka Tony Stark. (Did Tony lose Pepper Potts after the snap or is he talking about bringing Peter Parker aka Spider-Man back?)

 

 

This is not all.

Marvel Studios also released official synopsis forAvengers: Endgame. The official website features the overview that reads, “The grave course of events set in motion by Thanos that wiped out half the universe and fractured the Avengers ranks compels the remaining Avengers to take one final stand in Marvel Studios’ grand conclusion to twenty-two films, Avengers: Endgame.”

Directed by Russo Brothers, Avengers: Endgameis set to release on April 26 in English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu.

Continue Reading

Bollywood

Kalank’ song ‘First class’: This Varun Dhawan-Kiara Advani number is worth the wait

Published

on

The song you had been waiting for – Varun Dhawan and Kiara Advani’s ‘First Class’ is here and it was totally worth all the patience. ‘First Class’ marks Kalank’s second song. It features Alia Bhatt, Aditya Roy Kapur and Madhuri Dixit-Nene in glimpses.

The keyword ‘First class’ comes much later in the song but throughout Varun Dhawan doesn’t disappoint. The song begins with Alia Bhatt’s wedding to Aditya Roy Kapur, but the focus soon shifts to Varun, who prays his namaz and has gathered in a crowd of his Muslim friends. The actor says ‘Jaise ho Eid Mein Holi’ so many times that we wonder why isn’t that the name of the song instead of ‘First Class’.

Pritam’s music plays as much an important part in the song as does Varun Dhawan‘s dancing around. The actor also does the hook step of ‘Aaj Ki Party’ (we pointed the first time the step was copied when Varun revealed stills from the song).

 

Soon after, Kiara Advani is introduced at the lake side. A lady is blurred out on the boat. The lake side and boat definitely play an important part in the film. Kalank’s first announcement featured a still of the lake and a lady and a man (mostly Alia Bhat-Varun Dhawan) travelling on a boat.

Kiara Advani plays an eyecandy in the song. She tries hard but can match Varun Dhawan’s energy only in a few places. What comes as a delightful surprise soon after is Madhuri Dixit-Nene’s entry. She lets out a beautiful smile on seeing the environment of celebrations.

 

Producer Karan Johar has definitely shelled out behind creating a grand and beautiful manneur for the song. Remo D’Souza’s choreography and Varun Dhawan’s energy in the song are the perfect match. Arijit Singh and Neeti Mohan’s voice stays with you much after the song is over. Manish Malhotra’s simplistically designed clothes also grab your attention to an extent.

Overall, although ‘First Class’ is a random dance number and Kiara Advani not having a role more than an eyecandy disappoints, the song is something that people would soon groove to. Lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya has also done a fabulous job in combining two festivals – Eid and Holi with the line, ‘Mere Tevar Mein Hai Tehzeeb Ki Rangeen Ranglo Jaise Ho Eid Mein Holi’. The film too seems to combine people of two different cultures – Varun Dhawan as a Muslim boy and Alia Bhatt as a Hindu girl. The movie could be their love story set in the pre-Independence era.

Kalank stars Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditya Roy Kapur and Sanjay Dutt in lead roles. Directed by 2 States helmer Abhishek Varman, the movie is produced by Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions, Sajid Nadiadwala’s Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment and Fox Star Studios. The epic drama is slated to release on April 19.

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Disha Vakani given a 30-day ultimatum to return to ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’?

Published

on

Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’s Daya Ben — Disha Vakani — has been missing from the show since September 2017. The actress was blessed with a baby girl in November 2017 and she has been on a maternity break since then.

Recently, reports of her quitting the show made headlines however  producer Asit Kumarr Modiclarified in January that her contract still hasn’t been terminated. “Contract has not been closed. Character of Daya bhabhi is still there and we have not taken any actor to replace her. As and when she wants to come, we will see at that time. If mutually beneficial to both, we shall work together again,” he said in a statement.

However as per a latest report in SpotBoye Modi has now decided to give Disha the last 30 days to make up her mind and if she doesnot report back on the sets of ‘Taarak Mehta‘ within the said period, she will be replaced!

A source close to the development informed SpotBoye about the producer’s decision,  “Bas, ab ho gaya. Modi waited ethically how much he and his cast-crew could. Now,  Modi says he will just give a concession period of a month, starting today. There has been absolutely no contact between the two parties ever since Dayaben’s last day at shoot. Team Taarak Mehta  Ka Ooltah Chashmah  has no problems if she wants to look after her baby but some of her demands that they would imply if she was to return, were just not easy to accept when her husband last has a word with us.”

Disha’s character Daya Ben was shown to have left for her mother’s house in 2017 and it has been more more than a year since she has been there. Her character can’t even be killed considering it’s a comedy show.

“You are forgetting that Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah is a comedy daily serial,  so they can’t bump off her character and plus they have shown that she has gone to her mother’s house. How long can Dayaben be shown to be staying in her maika?”

The source concluded, “Seems, Disha wanted to hanker for a bit of publicity in the media. So, she put a some throwback video. Toh dekhte hain kya hota hai. We will still welcome her warmly if she returns without unacceptable do’s and don’ts. Else we are going ahead with another actress after 30 days, max 35.”

It may be recalled how Disha’s husband Mayur Padia’s unreasonable demands complicated things further between the actor and the producers in January this year. He apparently wanted his wife to shoot for only four hours per day, and that too just for 15 days a month. The couple also wanted a 100 per cent hike, the source revealed.

Just in case Disha doesn’t revert in 30 days, who do you think should replace her – Rashami Desai, Gia Manek or Deepika Singh? Vote Now and tell us!

Continue Reading

Business

Lenders drag road developers to NCLT, push for asset sales

Published

on

Around 15% of the total operational build-operate-transfer (BOT) road assets are struggling due to mismatch in cash flows, leading to issues with the servicing of debt, according to Rajeshwar Burla, assistant vice-president – associate head, Icra Ratings. In the last few months, lenders have taken some road asset special purpose vehicles to National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), and in certain cases they have initiated process for sales to recover money from the defaulting road developers. Recently, Oriental Bank of Commerce had pressed for insolvency proceedings against L&T Halol Shamlaji Tollway Ltd, a special purpose vehicle of L&T Infrastructure Development Projects at NCLT’s Chennai Bench. Earlier this month, L&T Halol Shamlaji Tollway informed the NCLT that its debt has been restructured and is being timely serviced. An order is awaited in this case. “Asset sale transactions in the recent past are also driven by lenders. In 2018, three assets were sold through substitution route. Of these, one was initiated by the lenders (classified as non-performing asset) as a distressed asset sale and two were initiated by the concessionaire through harmonious substitution,” Burla said. Some of the assets on the block currently are available through substitution at attractive valuations, and hence investors prefer this route. According to an industry player, a few assets or special purpose vehicles are likely to be put on the block in the near future as several road projects are under stress with mismatch in revenues and debt payments. “The total quantum of loans not getting serviced and stressed plants in the power sector is much higher. But the public sector banks are under pressure due to multiple factors and in different sectors. For such lenders, it is important to initiate proceedings against the defaulting SPV or concessionaire,” said a Mumbai-based analyst. On the other hand, some developers with a weak credit profile, have disposed of their assets at a loss as liquidity took precedence over revenues

Continue Reading

Featured

UEFA fines Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo for Atletico celebration

Published

on

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo was fined 20,000 euros ($22,712) by UEFA for a gesture he made while celebrating in their Champions League victory over Atletico Madrid last week, European soccer’s governing body said on Thursday.

Ronaldo escaped a ban and will, therefore, be free to face Ajax Amsterdam in the quarter-finals, with the first leg to be played in the Netherlands on April 10.

Ronaldo, who scored a hat-trick as the Italian champions overturned a 2-0 deficit from the first leg to win 3-2 on aggregate against Atletico, gestured towards his groin with two hands.

Atletico coach Diego Simeone had celebrated in a similar way after his team’s opening goal in the first leg in the Spanish capital.

The Argentine coach was fined the same amount by UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Committee.

Continue Reading

Featured

Bharti Realty-Led Consortium To Construct Commercial Project At Delhi Airport

Published

on

In a recent development, DIAL i.e. Delhi International Airport Limited, the operator for Delhi airport informed that the rights for commercial development are granted to a consortium led by Bharti Realty that will make an annual payment of Rs 363.5 crore towards lease rentals till 2036.

Apart from this, Bharti Realty will make one-time payments of approximately Rs. 1,837 crore, the Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) informed in the press release.

In a joint venture with the GMAR group, DIAL [Delhi International Airport Limited] manages operations at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.

The press release states that Bharti Realty has been awarded the right to design, develop, finance, construct, operate, manage and maintain a commercial development project at Gateway and Downtown Districts of Aerocity.

In the first phase, the Bharti Realty-led consortium will pay to DIAL an annual lease rent of Rs 363.5 crore per annum till 2036 (to be escalated by 50 percent for the extended term of 30 years till 2066) and other one-time payments to the tune of (around) Rs 1,837 crore.

The Delhi International Airport limited also initiated the second phase of its airport land development that is popular as Aerocity, at the airport.

Continue Reading

Featured

Research studies confirm Ayurvedic treatments help kidney ailments

Published

on

Two separate studies published in Internation journals by Indian researchers have confirmed benefits of using ‘Punarnava’, an Indian herb, for kidney ailments. The extract from the plant can help with both preventing and managing kidney disease, said researchers, and added that one can definitely help slow the disease’s progression and treats its symptoms and complications by using formulations containing ‘Punarnava’ and a careful diet.

According to a case study conducted in Banaras Hindu University (BHU) which has been published in the World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals Sciences, a woman kidney patient was given Punarnava based syrup for a month. It was found that the creatinine level and urea level in her blood had gone down significantly to a healthy level. Not only this, but her hemoglobin level had also improved. Hence, it was concluded that Punanrva based drugs not only make the kidney’s health but also improves the hemoglobin level.

Similarly, another study published in the Indo American Journal of Pharmaceutical Research too talked about the efficacy of Punarnava based herbal formulations including lotus leaves, patharchur, and other major herbs when given to the subjects. It was found that the drug had helped in maintaining a histological parameter of kidneys, apart from reducing high levels of uric acid and electrolytes, The study said that “the syrup (Neeri KFT) is a potent neuroprotective formulation, protecting kidneys from nephrotoxins including oxidative damage induced by lead acetate.”

“Herbal formulations in Neeri KFT can be an alternative to dialysis to some extent. In fact, because of limited options in allopathy for kidney treatment, which is witnessing increasing trend due to changing lifestyles, now the emphasis is on Ayurveda drugs,” said Professor KN Dwivedi, Head of Department, Department of Dravyaguna, BHU.

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a global epidemic. Nearly 850 million people are known to suffer from kidney diseases from varied causes, worldwide. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) causes about 2.4 million deaths per year and is among the top five causes of deaths worldwide. India contributes to around 10% of the CKD burden of the world. The estimated prevalence of CKD is 1 in 10 (10%)  in India. The most common cause of Chronic Kidney disease in India is Diabetes mellitus, which contributes to around 55-60% of CKD.

Continue Reading

Featured

Uttarakhand shelves hydropower plans on eco-sensitive Bhagirathi

Published

on

The Uttarakhand government has, for now, shelved its plans to build small hydropower projects in the fragile Bhagirathi Eco-Sensitive Zone (BESZ) — created to protect River Ganga’s most pristine stretch between Gaumukh and Uttarkashi town.

In a March 6 meeting at the environment ministry, the Uttarakhand government stated that as there was no consensus among members drafting zonal master plan of the BESZ on hydropower projects, the state government has decided to restrict hydropower projects up to 2 MW.

“Government of Uttarakhand decided to honour the provisions of BESZ notification and also to reiterate its commitment to conserve and maintain the ecology and sanctity of holy river Bhagirathi, by restricting hydro-electric project up to two megawatt, sacrificing the investment potential of around Rs 739.96 crores and the sunk cost of about Rs 90.16 crores,” the minutes of the meeting showed.

The meeting on March 6 was held to consider the zonal master plan of the BESZ. The ministry panel is mandated to appraise proposals to demarcate buffer zones around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

The minutes of the meeting also stated that the expert panel also deferred consideration of the zonal master plan as it awaited comments from the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, one of the major stakeholders.

A 2012 notification of the environment ministry had notified a 100-km stretch between Gaumukh and Uttarkashi, spread over 4,179 sq.kms as an ESZ to protect the fragile watershed of the Bhagirathi river, one of the chief headstreams of River Ganga. The notification banned riverbed mining, construction on slopes, polluting industries, commercial tree felling and new hydropower projects, except micro or mini hydel power projects to serve the interests of local communities and only after conent of the gram sabhas.

Following a 2017 order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order, an expert panel of Uttarakhand government official and independent experts is drafting the zonal master plan of the Bhagirathi green zone to regulate development and to promote sustainable development in the area.

The Uttarakhand government’s submission before the ministry’s expert panel comes in the backdrop of its repeated attempts to push for construction of ten hydropower projects with a total installed capacity of 82MW. In fact, last May, the state government had once again made a push for new hydropower projects above 2MW.

Last April, the Centre had also relaxed provisions of the BESZ notification based on requests of the Uttarakhand government. The environment ministry amended the notification to allow limited land use conversion to improve civic amenities and infrastructure development for the public and national security in Uttarakhand. It also relaxed provisions to allow infrastructure works even on steep slopes, after environmental impact studies.

Continue Reading

Trending