1st February, 2014
- Uttarakhand set to get new Chief Minister today; Union Minister Harish Rawat is front runner.
- Protest Demonstrations over death of Arunachal student Nido Tania held in Delhi and Itanagar.
- Maharashtra and Bihar implement Food Security Scheme.
- India's first Mono Rail Service starts in Mumbai today.
- Somdev Devvarman takes India to 2-0 lead in Davis Cup Tennis.
Union Minister Harish Rawat, expected to become the new Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, reached Dehradun this morning from New Delhi. Soon after his arrival, Mr Rawat met acting state party chief Yashpal Arya and Pauri Garhwal MP Satpal Maharaj, in a bid to ensure smooth conduct of the Congress Legislative Party meeting. The CLP meeting being held in the presence of central party observers Ambika Soni, Janardan Dwivedi and Ghulam Nabi Azad, is expected to finalise Mr Rawat's name as the new Chief Minister, after which he would take oath at Raj Bhawan.
The Delhi Police will submit a detailed report today to the Home Ministry over the incident leading to the death of an Arunachal Pradesh student in Delhi. Nido Tania, a student, was allegedly beaten to death by some shopkeepers following an altercation at Lajpat Nagar on Thursday.
DCP- South East, P Karunakaran told AIR that the report is likely to be submitted by 3 PM. He said, police has registered murder case at Lajpat Nagar police station and three persons have been detained for interrogation so far. The Delhi Government had ordered a magisterial inquiry into the death yesterday.
Our correspondent reports that people from the north eastern region residing in the city are agitated over the incident. Their representatives protested in South Delhi where the incident took place and demanded stern action against the culprits.
In Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar, hundreds of students and members of the civil society today took out a protest rally against the killing of Nido Tania. More from our correspondent:-
The protestors demanded immediate arrest of the persons involved in the incident and fitting punishment to them within the shortest possible time through fast track court. The protesters said such quick action of the Delhi and NCR administrations could earn the trust of the North Easterners who have by and large lost confidence in them. They also urged the state Govt to take up the matter with the Centre and Delhi Govt seriously for prompt delivery of justice so that instances of racial discrimination do not recur in the mainland in future. Family members, hundreds of students and sympathizers are now waiting eagerly with teary eyes at the Naharlagun Helipad for the arrival of the body of Nido Tania who is the lone son of the Arunachal MLA. This is Sonikumar Konjengbam for AIR News Itanagar.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has questioned the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission, DERC, for raising the power tariff on the demand of power distribution companies.
Talking to reporters in New Delhi, today Mr Kejriwal said, why are power distribution companies opposed to the CAG audit if they are facing financial difficulties. He said the audit will make it clear where exactly the money received from consumers is going.
There are several question marks in their accounts. We should wait for the CAG report. If they continue in this manner, then the government will not hesitate to cancel their licence, and bring in new companies.
Yesterday, DERC, had decided to increase power tariff in the national capital region by up to eight per cent.
Meanwhile workers of BJP Delhi unit staged protest in some parts of East Delhi against the power hike and power distribution company's threat to resort to load shedding. Party Delhi unit president Vijay Goel said the AAP government has completely failed to fulfill its promises relating to reduction in power and water tariffs.
This government had promised to bring down the electricity rates by fifty per cent. Now instead of bringing down the rates by fifty per cent. The rates have gone up by 8 per cent and water has become costlier by ten per cent.
Our correspondent reports, power supply in east and central Delhi is reported to be normal and the power companies have not issued any power shedding schedule so far.
The National Food Security Scheme which guarantees Right to Food through subsidized food grains, is being implemented in Maharashtra from today. Agriculture Minister, Sharad Pawar launched the ambitious Scheme in Maharashtra in Navi Mumbai yesterday. Maharashtra is the 8th state in India to implement this scheme after Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka. Details from our Mumbai correspondent:
The National Food Security Act each entitled person will receive 5 kg of food grains per month which includes rice at Rs 3, wheat at Rs 2 or coarse grains at Rs 1. While, the poorest of the poor will continue to get 35 kg food grains per household per month under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana; the scheme has additional advantage for pregnant women and lactating mother, who will get maternity benefit of Rs. 6000. Apart from a robust grievance redressal system, the scheme also provides for increased role for Panchayati Raj institutions and women’s self help group in monitoring and social auditing of public distribution systems. More than 7 crore people are expected to benefit from this scheme in Maharashtra. NIVEDITA ABHISHEK KUMAR, AIR NEWS, MUMBAI.
In Bihar also the UPA government's Flagship food guarantee scheme has been formally launched by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today. For the better implementation of the scheme a Call Centre and Electronic Public Distribution Supply Management system have been launched on this occasion. The Act covers nearly eight crore beneficiaries in the state. Bihar is the ninth state in the country to implement the National Food Security Act, NFSA.
In Assam, security forces have apprehended 6 cadres of militant outfits in two separate incidents in Karbi Anglong district today. Karbi Anglong SP, Mughdya Jyoti Mahanta said 4 cadres of banned outfit National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Sangbijit faction) were arrested at Khatkhati area. In another incident, the self-styled Chairman and Commander-in-Chief of United Karbi People’s Force were arrested at Diphu. Our correspondent reports of late, security forces have intensified operations against militant outfits:
The police said, three of them had obtained trainings in Myanmar and involved in subversive activities at Hamren sub-division of Karbi Anglong district. On the basis on their information, police also recovered arms and ammunitions. In another incident, the self-styled Chairman and Commander-in-Chief of United Karbi People’s Force were arrested at Diphu in Karbi Anglong district. The arrested leaders of the little known outfit were trying to recruit cadres’ .But the police successfully able to thwart their nefarious designs.
Manas Pratim Sarma, AIR NEWS, Guwahati.
India’s first monorail service is being flagged off today in Mumbai. Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan will inaugurate the first phase of Mumbai Monorail comprising the 8.9 km long Wadala-Chembur section. More details from our Mumbai correspondent.
Mumbai is all set to get India’s first monorail service today. With the commercial operations to commence from tomorrow, Mumbai Monorail service will initially operate between 7 am and 3 pm at an interval of 15 minutes. The fully air-conditioned monorail’s minimum fare will be five rupees while maximum fare will be twenty rupees. The first phase, constructed at the cost of Rs. 1,900 crore will have seven stations. The service connecting Mumbai’s central and eastern suburbs is expected to reduce the travel time between Wadala and Chembur from 40 minutes at present to nearly 21 minutes. As MMRADA officials declared mono rail has the glittering features like advanced passenger driven communication, CCTV cameras and it will use regenerative braking system thus enabling about 25% saving in power consumption. NIVEDITA/DEVAPRIYO BHATTACHARJEE, AIR NEWS, MUMBAI.
In Karnataka, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi inaugurated ESI Super Speciality hospital and Medical college in Gulbarga today. The 500 bed hospital and MBBS college with 100 seats was built at a cost of 893 crore rupees. A nursing and dental college is also attached with the facility. The AICC president thereafter participated in a public rally where she was felicitated for introducing Article 371J amendment to usher in development in the backward regions of Hyderabad - Karnataka region. It provides reservation in education and employment for youth in this region.
NEWS FROM ABROAD,
UN Special envoy on Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi has said efforts are on to bridge the gap between the Syrian Government and the opposition for a second round of talks. The first round of direct talks between the two sides aimed at finding a comprehensive political solution to the crisis in Syria ended after eight days of intense negotiations in Geneva yesterday. More from our West Asia Correspondent:
After the first round of direct talks in three years between the Syrian Government and the opposition in Geneva, UN Special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi admitted there is a wide gap between the two sides. However, he has found 10 areas of possible common ground and both sides have engaged in talks which is a modest beginning. Brahimi said the opposition has committed to join a second round of talks in Geneva on February 10. Syrian opposition chief Ahmad al-Jarba said his side was committed to more talks and insisted on setting up of a transitional ruling council with full executive powers to run the country. The Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said he would report back to the Syrian President Assad on what took place during the talks. Then it would be decided when to return to Geneva to meet again with the opposition. He also dismissed the opposition's demand for a new governing body to transfer power from President Assad. Atul K Tiwary, AIR News, Dubai.
European Union Foreign Policy chief, Catherine Marie Ashton will hold a meeting of the Quartet involved in the initiation of the Middle East peace process in Munich today. She will meet UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, US Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.
US officials say the first of two American warships heading into the Black Sea ahead of the Olympic Games has sailed from Italy. The FBI says at least two dozen agents are going to Sochi , Russia to protect Americans at the Winter Games. Islamic militants have threatened to derail the Winter Games, which will be held from 7th February to 23rd February.
India's top-ranked singles player Somdev Devvarman today won the second singles match against Chinese Taipei's Ti Chen, to give India a 2-0 lead in the Asia-Oceania Group-I Davis Cup tie at Indore. After play was suspended due to fading light yesterday, Somdev today defeated Ti Chen, 6-7, 7-6, 1-6, 6-2, 9-7. Yesterday, Yuki Bhambri gave India a winning start, as he battled past Taipei's No.1 Tsung Hua Yang 6-2, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3.
In Haryana, the 28th International Surjkund crafts Mela started today at Surajkund in Faridabad district. This fortnight long festival of craft will continue till the 15th of this month. Beside craftsmen of Indian states, craftsmen of 20 countries are also participating in this festival. This year Goa is the theme state. In the Mela area of 40 acres more than 750 stalls are being put up by craftsmen. Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda inaugurated the fare in the presence of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
In Puducherry, normal life is partially affected due to the 10 hour Bandh call given by the Pradesh Congress Committee. About 100 youth Congress workers who staged a dharna near the New Bus Stand, Puducherry were arrested. Security has been beefed up and police pickets have been put up at all important junctions. No untoward incident has been reported so far. The bandh has been called to protest against poor maintenance of law and order and to seek the arrest of culprits involved in planting a powerful bomb in a car parked outside Union Minister Mr.V.Narayanasamy's residence on the 29th of January.
A goods train has derailed a few hours ago at Gangaghat near Ranchi railway station. This has affected railway traffic between Ranchi and Muri section. Railway sources told our Ranchi correspondent that routes of five trains arriving Ranchi has been cut short. Meanwhile, the accident relief train has reached the spot and work to clear the track has begun.
In West Bengal, train services have been partially affected in Sealdah division today following derailment of a local train. According to Railway Sources, four bogies of the Sealdah bound Ranaghat local were derailed this morning. However, there is no report of any causality or injury.