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Rescue work halted as rivers Rishiganga, Dhauliganga swell


The “head race” tunnel at the Tapovan hydel project site where 30-35 workers have been trapped since 7 February, remains the focal point of rescue operations.

A sudden rise in the water levels of the Rishiganga and Dhauliganga rivers, in the flash flood-affected area, caused panic among rescue workers and the local administration in Chamoli on Thursday. The rescue work was temporarily suspended for about one hour.

Policemen and other workers deployed in the search and rescue work were asked to move to safer locations. The sound of sirens echoing in the valley created fear among those present on the site.

Chamoli district magistrate Swati S Bhadauria said, “We have asked them to stop the work as a precaution.” The operation resumed again after one hour on Thursday afternoon. The “head race” tunnel at the Tapovan hydel project site where 30-35 workers have been trapped since 7 February, remains the focal point of rescue operations.

The rescuers are using multiple strategies at the operation site. They started drilling operations at 2 a.m. on Thursday to peep into the slush-flushing tunnel 12 to 13 metres below. This was executed from the tunnel from where rescue teams are presently taking out slush and debris. Till Wednesday, about 120 metres of slush from the mouth of the tunnel was cleared and those trapped inside were stated to be located somewhere at 180 metres.

The continuous flow of slush and silt remains a major obstacle between the rescuers and those trapped inside. Hours before the sudden rise in the water, rescuers had also begun an operation to drill through the debris from the mouth of the river to get life-saving devices to the trapped workers.

The search and rescue teams have recovered 35 bodies so far, while 169 people remain missing since the flash flood caused havoc in the valley on 7 February.

The IAF’s Chinook helicopters were used for the first time in the operation on Thursday. The aircraft was used for transporting men, material & heavy loads to help in the rescue operations.

Fourteen passengers and 1,400 kg load was carried for NDRF and SDRF. Three tons of load and staff of the Border Road organisation was moved to forward locations.

~With inputs from PTI~




India will facilitate vaccine supplies to Canada, Modi assures Trudeau


The readout said the two leaders had an exchange on their respective efforts to fight the pandemic, protect the health and safety of their people, and provide economic support for their citizens.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured his Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau, that India would facilitate supplies of Covid-19 vaccines to his country to fight the pandemic as the two leaders discussed various bilateral and global issues, including “recent protests”.

“Was happy to receive a call from my friend @JustinTrudeau. Assured him that India would do its best to facilitate supplies of COVID vaccines sought by Canada. We also agreed to continue collaborating on other important issues like climate change and the global economic recovery,” Modi tweeted late last night after a telephonic conversation between the two leaders. Trudeau tweeted, “Today, I had a good discussion with Prime Minister @NarendraModi on many important issues, and we’ve agreed to stay in touch.” He also attached along with his tweet a readout on the telephonic conversation issued by his office.

The readout said the two leaders had an exchange on their respective efforts to fight the pandemic, protect the health and safety of their people, and provide economic support for their citizens. Trudeau and Modi spoke about India’s significant efforts in promoting vaccine production and supply, which have provided vital support to countries around the world.

The two leader reaffirmed their common interests in a free and open Indo-Pacific, and the importance of working together on global challenges such as climate change, strengthening global trade, and reinforcing the rulesbased international order.

They discussed Canada and India’s commitment to democratic principles, recent protests, and the importance of resolving issues through dialogue. They underlined the need to work collectively in rebuilding a more sustainable and resilient global economy, the readout said.

The leaders underscored the importance of the Canada- India strategic partnership anchored in shared values, strong people-to-people ties, and growing bilateral economic cooperation. They looked forward to working together at the G-7, G-20, and other international forums.




NHIDCL to build 3 high altitude tunnels for round the year road connectivity with Ladakh


It was informed that the NHIDCL has set up its regional office at Leh, and site offices at Kargil, Padum, Keylong and Upshi.

In a bid to provide year-round road connectivity with Ladakh through Manali in Himachal Pradesh, work on preparing detailed project reports (DPRs) for constructing tunnels through three high passes beyond Rohtang has been initiated by the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL).

These tunnels are necessary as the recent building of the Rohtang Tunnel alone would not improve connectivity between Ladakh and the rest of the country.

Umang Narula, advisor to the Lt. Governor of Ladakh union territory (UT) held a high level meeting in Leh on Thursday to review progress on these tunnels.

Need for reliable road connectivity with Ladakh was felt during the 1999 war with Pakistan when movement of soldiers and weaponry had to be done in aircrafts as the road to Kargil from both sides, Srinagar and Manali was blocked with heavy snow. Moreover, China is reportedly building a road network towards the Siachen Glacier from Gilgit-Baltistan that is under illegal occupation of Pakistan.

The NHIDCL has taken up DPR of the Zojila Eastern Portal (11,575 ft) on the Srinagar—Leh highway.

The three passes beyond Rohtang (13,051 ft) through which tunneling will be done are higher than Rohtang. World’s longest high altitude tunnel of 13.5 kms long will be constructed through Shinkun-la that is on a height of 16,703 ft. The tunnel will improve road connectivity between Keylong and Kargil.

Another tunnel has been approved at Tanglang-la (17,582 ft) which is the world’s second highest motorable pass. The NHIDCL is also in the process of clearing the decks for constructing a tunnel through Lachung-la at 16,000 ft.

Managing Director, NHIDCL, KK Pathak, was among those present in the meeting with Narula. Divisional commissioner Saugat Biswas, ADGP (Ladakh) SS Khandare and deputy commissioners of Leh and Kargil were also present in the meeting.

It was informed that the NHIDCL has set up its regional office at Leh, and site offices at Kargil, Padum, Keylong and Upshi.

Narula asked the concerned officials to design solar passive winter-friendly buildings which will help the UT to reduce carbon foot-prints. He said this can help run the schools in winter also. He also asked them to plan wayside amenities on the Kargil-Zanskar road of NH-301.




Prime Minister has conceded land to China: Rahul Gandhi


“It is the responsibility of the Prime Minister to protect the territory of this country. How he does it, is his problem, not mine,” said Rahul.

A day after the Defence Minister made a statement in Parliament about the disengagement process by India and China in eastern Ladakh, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday alleged that the government has conceded land to China.

Addressing a press conference here, Rahul Gandhi said, “Indian territory was up to finger 4 why the troops have been withdrawn to finger 3?”

Rahul Gandhi said the situation about the Depsang Plains, Gogra-Hot Springs is not clear.

He said the status quo ante prior to April 2020 should be restored and the Prime Minister should answer the country.

“It is the responsibility of the Prime Minister to protect the territory of this country. How he does it, is his problem, not mine,” said Rahul.

The Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said the forces will return to the command post and added: “Not an inch of land will be given and nothing has been lost since the face off.”

“The sustained talks with China have led to the agreement on the disengagement on the north and south banks of Pangong Lake. After the agreement, India-China will remove forward deployments in a phased and coordinated manner.

“China will keep its troops to the east of the Finger 8 in the north of Pangong Lake. India will keep its troops at its permanent base near Finger 3,” said Rajnath Singh.




Delhi High Court seeks status report from Delhi Police on farmer’s death during tractor rally


Hardeep Singh, the grandfather of Navreet Singh, the farmer who had died at the ITO area in Delhi on Republic Day while participating in the tractor rally, has moved the Delhi High Court seeking court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the incident.

On a petition seeking court-monitored SIT probe into the death of a farmer whose tractor overturned during the tractor rally on Republic Day, the Delhi High Court on Thursday sought a status report from the Delhi Police.

Hardeep Singh, the grandfather of Navreet Singh, the farmer who had died at the ITO area in Delhi on Republic Day while participating in the tractor rally, has moved the Delhi High Court seeking court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the incident.

The Delhi Police informed Justice Yogesh Khanna that a “generic FIR” has also been registered by Delhi Police. The matter will now be heard on February 26.

On January 26, Navreet Singh died after his tractor overturned after ramming into police barricades. The accident was captured on CCTV camera. Deceased’s grandfather Hardeep Singh has, however, claimed that he was allegedly shot by policemen, due to which he lost control of the vehicle.

In its defence, the Delhi Police had released a video showing a protester speeding and running over barricades with his tractor near ITO, resulting in the vehicle overturning. A post-mortem report revealed that the protester died due to the accident.

Deceased’s grandfather Hardeep Singh moved the court asserting that he was allegedly shot by policemen, due to which he lost control.

The plea has sought for a court appointed and monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe. It also sought for SIT to file periodic status reports to ensure time-bound court-monitored investigation.

The petition said the forensic experts, who reviewed the description of injuries in the post-mortem report, independently opined that the injuries were consistent with firearm or gunshot wounds and could not have resulted from the tractor overturning.

The petitioner, however, contended, “The haste with which Delhi Police made public statements declaring incident to be an accident, as well as registered FIRs against senior journalists who have pursued the possibility of Navreet Singh’s death having resulted from a firearm injury, inspires no confidence that Police would conduct a fair and honest investigation into the death of his grandson.”

(With IANS inputs)




Saarc Journalists Forum, (SAARC) an organization of Saarc country editors and journalists, was formed


Saarc Country Editors and Journalists Organization SAARC  JURNALIST FORUM All central Exetcutive membar (SJF) 

A regional cooperation organization of SAARC South Asia comprising Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Afghanistan (last member 2008).

All Central Executive Member.
SJF.
""""""
All esteemed members of the SAARC Journalists Forum are hereby informed that the proposed India Committee, the India Committee of the SAARC Journalists Forum, has been approved.

 

1.President. Mr.Anirudh Sudhansu. Talking News.Delhi. mob.8802304494.

2.Vice-president. Mr.M.H.jakariya. khulasapost.raipur.(chhatisgarah) mob.7354806555.

3.Genral Secretary. Mr.Sushil (Bharti.editor.prabhat khabar.ranchi. Jharkhand. Mob:9430725655

4.Seceretary. Mr.Shiva Ranjan. Editor.Nagrik vani.dhanbad. Jharkhand. Mob:7992294755

5. Treasurer. Mr.Gopal Sharma. Editor.News makrant. Deoghar.(jharkhand) Mob:9431396958.

6.Executive Member. Mr.m.k.nigam Editor.janvad Times. (Agra)Utterpradesh. Mob.9410005202.

7.Executive Member. Mr.Anshuman bharti. Financial samachar. kolkata.(west Bengal) Mob:8961552026.

8.Executive Member. Mrityunjay sardar Sub editor arthik lipi Editor news saradin West Bangal,24 PGS (S).India Mobile: 9564382031

9.Executive Member. Mr.Sayed Mustaq. The insight kashmir. kashmir. Mob:9906639851

10.Executive Member. Mr.Mirtunjay, Roy. Panjab kesari. Mob:9599862926.

11.Executive Member. Mr.Sushil kumar. Hindustan samachar Delhi. Mob:9250317598.


Thanks.

Raju Lama

President
SJF 




7 states/UTs logged no Covid deaths in 3 weeks


India’s recovery has reached 97.25 per cent, one of the highest globally, says Centre

Seven states and UTs have reported no new Covid-19 deaths in the last three weeks, while 15 have not registered any such fatality in the past 24 hours, the Centre said on Tuesday, underlining that from the pandemic point of view consistent gains are being made in terms of declining new cases and casualities.

The Centre, however, noted that the last national sero survey findings have shown that over 70 per cent of the population is still susceptible to the disease.

The seven states and UTs – Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Mizoram, Nagaland and Lakshadweep – have reported no new Covid-19 deaths in last three weeks, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said.

Addressing a Press briefing, he said India was the fastest country to reach 6 million vaccination doses in 24 days.

Bhushan said within the country also some states have performed well while other need to improve their vaccination coverage.

New cases fall below 10k for second time:

The daily new Covid-19 cases fell below 10,000 for the second time this month taking India’s tally of cases to 1,08,47,304, while fresh fatalities remained below 100 for the fourth consecutive day, according to the Union health ministry data updated on Tuesday.

A total of 9,110 new infections were reported in a span of 24 hours. The death toll increased to 1,55,158 with 78 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,05,48,521 pushing the national recovery rate to 97.25 per cent, while the case fatality rate stands at 1.43 per cent and active caseload remained below 2 lakh at 1,43,625 which comprise 1.32 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated. According to the ICMR, 20,25,87,752 samples have been tested up to February 8.

The 78 new fatalities include 16 from Kerala, 15 from Maharashtra and 11 from Punjab. A total of 1,55,158 deaths have been reported so far including 51,325 from Maharashtra followed by 12,387 from Tamil Nadu,12,239 from Karnataka.

Sustained fall in active cases in India:

Daily Covid-19 cases continue to manifest a downward trend, Union health ministry said on Tuesday underscoring that low number of daily cases and rising recoveries have ensured a sustained fall in active cases.

India’s average daily deaths also continue to sharply decline. From a high of 211 in the second week of January, average daily deaths have reduced to 96 in the second week of February, registering a decline of 55 per cent, it said. With a consistent rise in cumulative recoveries, India’s recovery rate has reached 97.25 per cent, one of the highest globally, the ministry highlighted. The UK, the USA, Italy, Russia, Brazil and Germany have lower recovery rate than India’s, it said.

No fresh Covid death logged in Delhi:

No fresh coronavirus-related death was today recorded in the national capital after a gap of over 10 months.

Delhi logged 100 fresh Covid cases, with the Arvind Kejriwal government asserting that “Delhi’s collective will is gradually winning over the infection”.

~With inputs from PTI~




U’khand: Rescuers face uphill task due to heavy slush, debris


. The rescue team is working on different plans to establish contact with the trapped workers. Using drones for surveying the tunnel and inserting cameras using drilling machines, are some of the options.

As hours tick by inexorably, search and rescue teams face a challenging situation in clearing slush and debris from the Tapavon tunnel, where 30- 35 workers are trapped, in Chamoli. The search operation is going on relentlessly and the target is to clear the debris and to reach 180 mts inside the tunnel.

According to the rescue team, so far about 150 mts has been cleared and efforts are underway to remove debris from the next 30 mts. Water is gushing out of the tunnel and slippery condition is making operation arduous. The rescue team is working on different plans to establish contact with the trapped workers. Using drones for surveying the tunnel and inserting cameras using drilling machines, are some of the options.

A team of ITBP is distributing ration packets in disaster affected villages. The local administration has established a temporary helipad at Lata village for relief operation. Ration kits are moved by chopper to Lata and from there the ITBP team walks to the affected villages to distribute it. Ration was distributed at Jugaju and Juwagwar villages, which are around 7 kms from Lata.

Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat visited the disaster affected Reni village and interacted with the villagers and assured them all possible help. He instructed the district collector Chamoli that there should be no shortage of essential items in the 13 villages cut off from connectivity after the 7 February flash flood.

A dozen workers of the power project were rescued from the Tapovan tunnel on Sunday. After rescue, the workers were admitted at the ITBP Hospital in Joshimath. All the rescued workers were discharged from the hospital on Tuesday.

Union home minister Amit Shah today addressed the Rajya Sabha over the diaster and assured that rescue operations to save those stuck inside tunnels “is going on a war footing and all-out efforts are simultaneously being made for searching missing persons.”

He said in the financial year 2020-21, Rs 1041 crore has been allocated to the Uttarakhand under the State Disaster Risk Management Fund (SDRMF)and the first installment of the central share amounting to Rs 468.50 crore has been released to the state government.

As hours tick by inexorably, search and rescue teams face a challenging situation in clearing slush and debris from the Tapavon tunnel, where 30- 35 workers are trapped, in Chamoli. The search operation is going on relentlessly and the target is to clear the debris and to reach 180 mts inside the tunnel.

According to the rescue team, so far about 150 mts has been cleared and efforts are underway to remove debris from the next 30 mts. Water is gushing out of the tunnel and slippery condition is making operation arduous. The rescue team is working on different plans to establish contact with the trapped workers. Using drones for surveying the tunnel and inserting cameras using drilling machines, are some of the options.

A team of ITBP is distributing ration packets in disaster affected villages. The local administration has established a temporary helipad at Lata village for relief operation. Ration kits are moved by chopper to Lata and from there the ITBP team walks to the affected villages to distribute it. Ration was distributed at Jugaju and Juwagwar villages, which are around 7 kms from Lata.

Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat visited the disaster affected Reni village and interacted with the villagers and assured them all possible help. He instructed the district collector Chamoli that there should be no shortage of essential items in the 13 villages cut off from connectivity after the 7 February flash flood.

A dozen workers of the power project were rescued from the Tapovan tunnel on Sunday. After rescue, the workers were admitted at the ITBP Hospital in Joshimath. All the rescued workers were discharged from the hospital on Tuesday.

Union home minister Amit Shah today addressed the Rajya Sabha over the diaster and assured that rescue operations to save those stuck inside tunnels “is going on a war footing and all-out efforts are simultaneously being made for searching missing persons.”

He said in the financial year 2020-21, Rs 1041 crore has been allocated to the Uttarakhand under the State Disaster Risk Management Fund (SDRMF)and the first installment of the central share amounting to Rs 468.50 crore has been released to the state government.




U’khand: Rescuers face uphill task due to heavy slush, debris


. The rescue team is working on different plans to establish contact with the trapped workers. Using drones for surveying the tunnel and inserting cameras using drilling machines, are some of the options.

As hours tick by inexorably, search and rescue teams face a challenging situation in clearing slush and debris from the Tapavon tunnel, where 30- 35 workers are trapped, in Chamoli. The search operation is going on relentlessly and the target is to clear the debris and to reach 180 mts inside the tunnel.

According to the rescue team, so far about 150 mts has been cleared and efforts are underway to remove debris from the next 30 mts. Water is gushing out of the tunnel and slippery condition is making operation arduous. The rescue team is working on different plans to establish contact with the trapped workers. Using drones for surveying the tunnel and inserting cameras using drilling machines, are some of the options.

A team of ITBP is distributing ration packets in disaster affected villages. The local administration has established a temporary helipad at Lata village for relief operation. Ration kits are moved by chopper to Lata and from there the ITBP team walks to the affected villages to distribute it. Ration was distributed at Jugaju and Juwagwar villages, which are around 7 kms from Lata.

Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat visited the disaster affected Reni village and interacted with the villagers and assured them all possible help. He instructed the district collector Chamoli that there should be no shortage of essential items in the 13 villages cut off from connectivity after the 7 February flash flood.

A dozen workers of the power project were rescued from the Tapovan tunnel on Sunday. After rescue, the workers were admitted at the ITBP Hospital in Joshimath. All the rescued workers were discharged from the hospital on Tuesday.

Union home minister Amit Shah today addressed the Rajya Sabha over the diaster and assured that rescue operations to save those stuck inside tunnels “is going on a war footing and all-out efforts are simultaneously being made for searching missing persons.”

He said in the financial year 2020-21, Rs 1041 crore has been allocated to the Uttarakhand under the State Disaster Risk Management Fund (SDRMF)and the first installment of the central share amounting to Rs 468.50 crore has been released to the state government.

As hours tick by inexorably, search and rescue teams face a challenging situation in clearing slush and debris from the Tapavon tunnel, where 30- 35 workers are trapped, in Chamoli. The search operation is going on relentlessly and the target is to clear the debris and to reach 180 mts inside the tunnel.

According to the rescue team, so far about 150 mts has been cleared and efforts are underway to remove debris from the next 30 mts. Water is gushing out of the tunnel and slippery condition is making operation arduous. The rescue team is working on different plans to establish contact with the trapped workers. Using drones for surveying the tunnel and inserting cameras using drilling machines, are some of the options.

A team of ITBP is distributing ration packets in disaster affected villages. The local administration has established a temporary helipad at Lata village for relief operation. Ration kits are moved by chopper to Lata and from there the ITBP team walks to the affected villages to distribute it. Ration was distributed at Jugaju and Juwagwar villages, which are around 7 kms from Lata.

Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat visited the disaster affected Reni village and interacted with the villagers and assured them all possible help. He instructed the district collector Chamoli that there should be no shortage of essential items in the 13 villages cut off from connectivity after the 7 February flash flood.

A dozen workers of the power project were rescued from the Tapovan tunnel on Sunday. After rescue, the workers were admitted at the ITBP Hospital in Joshimath. All the rescued workers were discharged from the hospital on Tuesday.

Union home minister Amit Shah today addressed the Rajya Sabha over the diaster and assured that rescue operations to save those stuck inside tunnels “is going on a war footing and all-out efforts are simultaneously being made for searching missing persons.”

He said in the financial year 2020-21, Rs 1041 crore has been allocated to the Uttarakhand under the State Disaster Risk Management Fund (SDRMF)and the first installment of the central share amounting to Rs 468.50 crore has been released to the state government.




R-Day violence: Deep Sidhu sent to 7-day police custody


Actor-activist Sidhu, accused in Red Fort violence, was arrested by Delhi Police on Monday night from Karnal

A Delhi court today sent actor-activist Deep Sidhu to 7-day police custody in connection with the Red Fort violence during farmers’ tractor parade in the national capital against the Centre’s controversial three new agri laws on the Republic Day.

Metropolitan magistrate Prigya Gupta sent Sidhu to the Delhi police custody after the police alleged he was one of the main instigators of the violent incidents at the Red Fort on 26 January.

Sidhu’s counsel, however, claimed he had nothing to do with the violence and was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

The pol ice had announced a cash reward of Rs 1 lakh for information leading to Sidhu’s arrest. Earlier in the day, Delhi Police announced the arrest of Sidhu. The arrest was made by a team of Delhi Police’s Special Cell, said deputy commissioner of police (Special Cell) Sanjeev Kumar Yadav.

Yadav said that Sidhu was arrested from Karnal Bypass at 10.40 pm yesterday, adding that he was wanted in connection with the case of instigating the crowd at the Red Fort on Republic Day.

“The Crime Branch will investigate his role in detail,” the DCP said. Asked where he was hiding after the 26 January violence, Yadav said the investigation was at an initial stage.

“He was a prominent player behind the Republic Day violence. We have evidence about that how he had been instigating youngsters with his provocative speeches on 25 January and 26 January. Even he instigated youths when he was hiding from the police,” said Yadav.

After the Republic Day violence that had left over 500 security personnel injured and one protester dead, Sidhu was posting videos on social media.

“Sidhu was in contact with a woman friend who lives in California. He used to make videos and send it to her, and she used to upload them on his Facebook account,” police sources said. He kept changing his locations to evade arrest, they said.

On 26 January, thousands of protesting farmers who reached ITO f rom the Ghazipur border clashed with police. Many of them driving tractors reached the Red Fort and entered the monument, where a religious flag was also hoisted.

In the FIR registered in connection with the Red Fort violence, police alleged that two magazines with 20 live cartridges were snatched from two constables by protesters who also damaged vehicles and robbed anti-riot gear.

“The mob later hoisted different flags there. They also started creating nuisance on the rampart. The unruly mob was asked to come downstairs. They went to Meena Bazar area to enter the Red Fort. When the police tried to take them out of Lahore Gate, the mob became violent and attacked personnel. The mob thrashed the police personnel and threw them in the wells,” police had alleged in the FIR.





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