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Scrapping Article 370 to bring immense benefits for JK, Ladakh: Prez

Scrapping Article 370 to bring immense benefits for JK, Ladakh: Prez

President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday expressed confidence that scrapping provisions of Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories will be of “immense benefit” to people of those regions.

Delivering his Independence Day address to the nation, Kovind also said the changes made in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh recently will enable the people to access and enjoy the same rights, same privileges, and same facilities as their fellow citizens in the rest of the country.

“…I am confident that the recent changes made in Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh would be of immense benefit to those regions. They will enable the people to access and enjoy the same rights, same privileges, and same facilities as their fellow citizens in the rest of the country,” Kovind said in the address on the eve of the 73rd Independence Day.

The Modi government announced on August 5 the removal of some provisions of Article 370 to take away Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and proposed bifurcation of the state into two Union territories Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh a far-reaching decision that seeks to redraw the map and future of a region at the centre of protracted militancy.

The measures later secured the Parliament’s approval. The two UTs will come into existence on October 31.

Nation celebrated 73rd Independence Day

Nation celebrated 73rd Independence Day

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hoisted the national flag at the ramparts of the historic Red Fort in Delhi and addressed the nation.

Dressed in a white kurta-pyjama and a colourful turban, PM Modi was received by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the Red Fort.

Prime Minister then inspected Guard of Honour. Before coming to Red Fort, he paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.

Government to invest Rs 100 lakh cr in infrastructure building

Government to invest Rs 100 lakh cr in infrastructure building

In his address to the nation from the Red Fort on the occasion of Independence day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, the government has decided to invest 100 lakh crore rupees in infrastructure building.

PM Modi said India can become a 5 trillion dollar economy in the next five years.

Prime Minister called for improving exports to get more share in the world economy. He said wealth creation is important for the country as only then wealth distribution will happen.

PM Modi said those who create wealth need to be respected. Prime Minister said, today there is a stable government in India and its policy regime is predictable.

He said the world is eager to explore trade with India.

PM Modi said, the government has kept the inflation  under check and supplement development.

He added that the fundamentals of Indian economy are strong which will help the country to grow further.

Raksha Bandhan being celebrated with traditional fervour

Raksha Bandhan being celebrated with traditional fervour

Raksha Bandhan, the festival of special bond between brothers and sisters, is being celebrated today across the country with great enthusiasm.

On this occasion, sisters tie colorful rakhi around the wrist of their brothers and pray for their prosperity, health and well-being. In return, brothers pledge to protect and support their sisters and present them gifts.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have greeted the people on occasion of Raksha Bandhan.

In a message, President Kovind said that Raksha Bandhan is a celebration of the unique bond between brothers and sisters and tying of the Rakhi by sisters, symbolizes love, affection and mutual trust between them.

He expressed hope that the festival will strengthen our society’s intent to protect the interest of women and promote their welfare.

On this occasion, President Kovind appealed to the people to resolve to ensure that the women and girls feel more safe and secure.

In a tweet, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his greetings on the auspicious occasion of Raksha Bandhan.

Rains pound South India; Kerala worst hit with 42 dead

Rains pound South India; Kerala worst hit with 42 dead

Chennai/Thiruvananthapuram/Bengaluru/  (PTI) The flood situation in South India continued to remain grim on Saturday, with Kerala being the worst hit as rains, coupled with landslides left 42 dead and nearly 1.25 lakh people displaced.

The monsoon fury continued unabated in Karnataka and in neighbouring Tamil Nadu, with the latter pressing the IAF to rescue stranded people from the worst-hit Avalanchi in Nilgiris district.

In Kerala, many people are still feared trapped under debris following major landslides that hit Kavalappara in Malappuram and Puthumala in Meppadi in Wayanad even as a red alert has been issued in eight districts of Ernakulam, Idukki, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasargod.

As rescue operations were on in Kavalappara, another landslide occurred in the region on Saturday due to which search operations have been halted.

One of the four shutters of the Banasurasagar dam, located about 21 km from Kalpetta in Wayanad, one of the worst affected districts, was opened to discharge excess water and people on the banks of the Kabini river have been asked to be cautious.

One of the largest earth dams in India and the second largest of its kind in Asia, Banasurasagar impounds the Karamanathodu tributary of the Kabini River.

The government allayed fears of opening dams, saying all the major reservoirs had enough storage capacity.

“While we are engaged in rescue operations, some are spreading false news across social media. Will take strict action against such people. Some people were spreading the news that there will be power cuts or shortage of petrol and all that,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

“Not all dams are full. We have enough storage capacity in all major dams of the state. As of now, only 30 per cent of water is there in Idukki dam. Last year it was nearly 98 per cent,” he added.

He said 80 landslides had occurred in eight districts in the last three days.

Rail services remain cancelled while flight operations from the Kochi international airport, suspended following inundation, will resume at noon on Sunday.

“Airport is ready. Flight operations will resume at noon tomorrow. That is ahead of the deadline. Airlines are instructed to facilitate services accordingly,” a Cochin International Airport Limited spokesperson said.

Rains have subsided in Ernakulam district, but Pathanamthitta district was receiving heavy rainfall and the water level in Pamba river was rising.

The government has opened 15 relief camps in Thiruvalla.

Across Kerala, 1,24,464 people have been shifted to 1,111 relief camps, including 25,0028 in Kozhikode and 24,990 in Wayanad, officials said.

The deluge continues in Kerala even as the state has not yet fully recovered from the extensive damage caused by the floods of August 2018 that claimed over 400 lives and left lakhs homeless.

Karnataka too saw no let-up in rains, with 24 people losing their lives so far in rain related incidents.

Most rivers are in spate and Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has termed the natural calamity the “biggest” in 45 years.

The state government pegged the losses caused by rains and floods at Rs 6,000 crore and Yediyurappa revealed that his government has sought Rs 3000 crore as relief from the Centre.

“So far 24 people have died in various rain-related incidents. As many as 2.35 lakh people have been moved to safety.222 head of livestock are dead and 44,013 head of cattle have been rescued and provided shelter,” he said.

Rescue and relief work was being carried out by teams of personnel, comprising NDRF, and the armed forces, he added.

Meanwhile, landslides were reported near Maranahalli in Sakaleshpur, official sources said.

The entire Pane Mangaluru village in Dakshina Kannada district was inundated by the swollen Netravati river, they said.

According to reports, several houses in Bantwal in that district, including that of former Union Minister Janardhan Pujari, were inundated.

However, he and his family members were rescued.

Meanwhile, in Nilgiris district in Tamil Nadu, a flood alert has been sounded in five villages following discharge of surplus water from Pykara dam, which reached its full capacity of 96 feet due to incessant rains over the last one week.

The water in the dam and adjacent Mukurthi dam was steadily rising for the last two days and Pykara started overflowing as the capacity crossed to 98 feet, official sources said.

To avoid any eventualities, officials released surplus water from the dam this afternoon and District Collector Innocent Divya ordered people living on the banks and low lying areas in Mayar, Masinagudi,Thengumarada to move to safer places.

The Indian Air Force rescued 11 people, including two infants from rain-battered Avalanchi and shifted them to Coimbatore for medical help.

A Sarang helicopter of the Indian Air Force station in Sulur conducted two missions, even as the crew had to negotiate inclement weather, a Defence spokesperson said.

As many as “11 people requiring medical help have been shifted to Coimbatore,” he said adding two of these were infants.

The Sarang crew also did an aerial survey of the damage and airlifted “large amount of food and relief material to the affected site,” he added.

Chief Minister K Palaniswami said about 5,500 people in Nilgiris have been moved to relief camps, while 15,000 others have moved out and are staying with their relatives elsewhere.

A landslide occurred at Panthalur and restoration work was on, he said.

HM Amit Shah releases book on VP M Venkaiah Naidu’s two years in office

HM Amit Shah releases book on VP M Venkaiah Naidu’s two years in office

Home Minister Amit Shah today released a book titled “Listening, Learning & Leading” chronicling the two years in office by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.

The book was released in Chennai at a function organized by Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

The Vice-President and the Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar were present on the occasion.

The book captures the glimpses of the Vice President’s 330 public engagements across the country in the last two years.

The book also showcases the Vice President’s feat as the Rajya Sabha Chairman in enhancing its effectiveness and promoting its efficiency.