Friday, September 28, 2012

Notification-Ganesh final immersion- Traffic Diversions 2012


·         TRAFFIC DRILL TODAY FOR GLOBAL MEET: - With little more than a couple of days left before the start of CoP-11, Cyberabad police have decided to conduct a drill for the proposed traffic restrictions for the event which is to run for 19 days by imposing traffic curbs on Friday. As part of the traffic rehearsal for the event which is to be held at HICC, the 100-feet road from Ayyappa Society and the road from mini-Charminar to the NAC gate would be exclusively reserved for CoP-11 delegates. "This exercise is being done to understand ramifications that might arise due to diversion. On Friday, between 7.30am and 10.30am and again between 6pm to 8pm, public who intend to go towards Cyber Towers and Hi-Tec Railway Station through the 100-feet road would be diverted at Kavuri Hills junction towards Madhapur PS Road and Cyber Towers. Further, the traffic moving from Cyber Towers and heading towards Jubilee Hills checkpost through the 100-feet road and towards Road No.45, Jubilee Hills would be diverted at Cyber Towers towards Kavuri Hills via Madhapur PS road.

·         SECTION 144 IMPOSED AT SECRETARIAT: - The city police on Thursday imposed Section 144 at the Secretariat premises till November 18 following an alert issued by the intelligence department that Telangana activists may attack the Secretariat during the Telangana march on September 30. A public notice to this effect has been displayed in front of C-Block, in which the CM’s Office is located. The Secretariat will be shut down for two days completely on September 29 and 30 as a precautionary measure. The Ganesh immersion will take place on September 29 followed by the march the next day. Since both these events will be held at Tank Bund in front of the Secretariat, and involve large crowds, the police has decided to lock the Secretariat gates to prevent any incident.

·         SCR TO RUN EIGHT MMTS SPL TRAINS FOR GANESH NIMAJJANAM: - South Central Railway (SCR) will run eight special MMTS trains between various destinations in Hyderabad/Secunderabad between 2200 hrs of September 29 and 0400 hrs of September 30 to clear extra rush of passengers during Ganesh Nimajjanam.

            TRAFFIC DIVERSIONS: - Please find the attachment on Traffic diversions in Hyderabad and Cyberabad City Limits for Final Ganesh Immersion on 29.09.2012.

·         POWER FOR COP TO LEAVE REST OF CITY IN DARKNESS: - Citizens residing in areas of the city other than in the vicinity of the Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC) would likely face longer power cuts during the duration of the CoP-11 global meet with the state government preparing to supply uninterrupted electricity to the host venue and its surrounding localities. In Greater Hyderabad, the Central Power Distribution Company Ltd (CPDCL) has been resorting to three-hourly load relief in two spells (one-and-half hours each) for the past couple of months. Except in the core city (former MCH area), power outages run for over five hours in the surrounding municipal circles. The situation is worse in rural areas. Now, officials at CPDCL have said that since no power cuts would be imposed in the HICC area and other important locations like star hotels, the load relief had to be passed on to other parts of the city.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Congress and JMM win Rajya Sabha seats in Jharkhand

Senior BJP leader S S Ahluwalia was on Thursday defeated in the Rajya Sabha elections in Jharkhand as Congress and JMM candidates emerged victorious in the two seats for which the polling was held.

Ahluwalia finished third with 20 votes while Congress's Pradip Kumar Balmuchu secured 25 votes while JMM's Sanjeev Kumar bagged 23. A total of 68 votes were polled in the 82-member state assembly.
BJP is heading the ruling coalition in Jharkhand in partnership with JMM although both parties have 18 MLAs each.
JMM had earlier asked BJP to withdraw its candidate in favour Sanjeev Kumar but the latter rejected the call. Eleven members of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) and the lone MLA of CPI(ML-Liberation) abstained from voting.
There is a nominated member but the seat is vacant.
Today's RS poll was rescheduled after it was countermanded on March 31 in the wake of allegations use of money power and horse-trading which the Election Commission said had "vitiated" the electoral process to the upper house in the state. Rs 2.15 crore was seized from the car of a relative of an independent candidate R K Agarwal.
Ahluwalia was denied nomination by BJP in the earlier round of Rajya Sabha elections when about 50 seats had been decided and he was fielded only after the countermanding of the poll in Jharkhand.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Lok Sabha disrupted over Telangana issue

Lok Sabha disrupted over Telangana issue
Lok Sabha was adjourned till noon on Monday as TRS members raised slogans for Telangana statehood, a demand which was endorsed by Leader of the Opp Sushma Swaraj who asked the govt to list the steps taken by it on the issue.

Lok Sabha disrupted over Telangana issueAs soon as the House met for the day, TRS members Vijayashanti and K Chandrasekhara Rao trooped to the Well waving banners demanding introduction of a bill to carve out a separate Telangana state from Andhra Pradesh.

The fresh protest came in the wake of suspension of eight Congress members from the region last week for disrupting the proceedings by raising the Telangana issue. TRS members were not present in the House then.

Some BJP members from Bihar boycotted the Question Hour over the issue of setting up of a Central University in East Champaran district in the state.

Speaker Meira Kumar adjourned the House soon after Swaraj sought a brief adjournment of the Question Hour to allow Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee to make a statement on the issue of Telangana since the December 2009 assurance on formation of a separate state.

Earlier, the Speaker continued with the Question Hour as the TRS members squatted in the Well and raised slogans.

As this continued for a while, Swaraj said she was very pained at the sight of members protesting in the Well despite questions being answered and pointed out that eight members have already been suspended on the issue.

Swaraj said the issue of separate Telangana has been agitating the minds of the people of the region and the protests by the two TRS members were a reflection of the popular demand.

"These people have been waiting for the past two-and-a-half years since the Home Minister's announcement on formation of the state on December 9, 2009," she said.

Swaraj said the Opposition was ready to support a bill for a separate Telangana state if the government brought it in Parliament.

The Question Hour also saw some heated moments on the issue of revival of sick cotton mills in Kanpur and Mau region in Uttar Pradesh.

The agitating members were pacified after Commerce Minister Anand Sharma promised to meet them separately on the issue.

The Speaker also assured them that she would allow a short duration discussion on the issue if the members gave an appropriate notice.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Repeated adjournments in RS after uproar over Bofors issue

Opposition on Thursday raked up the Bofors issue in the Rajya Sabha alleging "cover up" in probe and "burial" of the case leading to acrimonious exchanges with the ruling alliance culminating in repeated adjournments.

The House was adjourned thrice in the pre-lunch sitting over former Swedish police chief's allegation that payoffs were made in purchase of Bofors guns during the tenure of then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley said, "There were repeated efforts to cover up. The pace of investigation varied with the colour of the political government in power...we gave a whole burial to the case."
"....the fact is clear. Somebody got the contract and somebody got the kickback....this man (Ottavio Quattrocchi) is so powerful. Entire Indian state appeared so helpless....this is a textbook illustration of fraud," he said.
As Mani Shankar Aiyar (Cong) rose on behalf of the treasury benches to counter the allegations of Jaitely, Opposition members shouted him into silence asking why he is being allowed to speak when only leaders of parties in the House have been permitted to raise the matter.
Through a point of order, Najma Heptulla (BJP) demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is Leader of the Rajya Sabha, should be present if the House wanted a discussion.
Naresh Agrawal (SP) also raised objections to the Chair allowing Aiyar to speak on the issue saying this amounted to partiality and demanded everybody should be given opportunity to speak.
Noting that Jaitley has bemoaned the fact that unsuccessful efforts were being made to unearth the truth, Aiyar pointedly said, "The reason why we could not unearth the truth is because the pursuit of truth began with a series of untruths."

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Centre refuses to take stand on Ram Setu, asks SC to decide

Ram Setu
The Centre on Thursday refused to take any stand on the issue of declaring mythological Ram Setu a national monument and asked the Supreme Court instead to decide it.

Ram SetuAppearing before a bench headed by justices H L Dattu and Anil R Dave, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Haren Raval submitted that the government after consultations on the issue has decided that it would not take any stand on it.

He said the government would stand by its earlier affidavit, filed in 2008, in which it had said that the government respects all religions but it was of view that it should not be called upon to respond to the issues of faith, except in recognising their existence.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy seeking the court's direction to declare Ram Setu a national monument.

The apex court earlier on 29th March had granted two weeks to the Centre to take a stand on the issue.

"If you say you don't want to file counter affidavit, we can go ahead with the arguments in the case," the bench had said.

The case relating to Ram Setu came under judicial scrutiny due to a bunch of petitions filed in the apex court against the ambitious Sethusamudram project, whose execution allegedly was to damage the mythological bridge.

Sethusamudram project is aimed at constructing a shorter navigational route around India's southern tip by breaching the mythological Ram Setu, said to have been built by Lord Rama's army of monkeys and bears to the demon king Ravana's kingdom Lanka.

As per the Sethusamudram project, the shipping channel is proposed to be 30 metres wide, 12 metres deep and 167 kms long.

The Centre in its earlier affidavit, cleared by the Cabinet Committee of Political Affairs (CCPA) chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had said the government respects all religions but was of view that it "should not be called upon to respond to the issues of faith, except in recognising their existence."

The amended affidavit was filed after the Centre had withdrawn its two affidavits in which it had questioned the existence of Lord Ram and "Ram Setu".

Following an outcry led by the Sangh Parivar over the controversial affidavit, the apex court on 14th September 2007 had allowed the Centre re-examine entire materials afresh to review the Rs 2,087 crore project.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Int border, LoC continue to be vulnerable: HM

Holding that the international border and the LoC in the west continue to remain vulnerable, Home Min P Chidambaram has said new routes for infiltration appeared to have opened via Nepal and Bangladesh.

ChidambaramAddressing a meeting of chief ministers on internal security in New Delhi on Monday, he said thanks to radicalisation, many Indian groups have acquired the capacity to carry out terror attacks and there was no let-up in the attempts to strike terror wherever there was an opportunity.

He also said the state governments are at the front-line to defend internal security. Chidambaram said an overview would lead to the conclusion that violence had declined in 2011 but cautioned that behind these figures lay a more worrying narrative - which is the spread and the reach of some adversaries and their success in augmenting their weaponry and their military capabilities.

"The target is the Indian state and naturally, every constituent of the Indian state and, in his offensive the adversary does not recognise state borders. His organisation does not match states' territorial jurisdictions. And he makes no distinction between the central government and the state governments," he said.

Referring to the two major terror attacks in 2011 -- the serial blasts in Mumbai in July and the blast near the Delhi High Court in September, the Home Minister said the chilling facts were that the principal suspects in the two cases were Indian nationals.

They operated across states and many of them had no previous criminal record, the Home Minister said.

"I have to conclude, regretfully, that thanks to radicalisation, there are many Indian groups which have acquired the capacity to carry out terror attacks," he said.

Chidmabaram said, "The international border and the Line of Control in the west continue to remain vulnerable. Every week has witnessed attempts to infiltrate into India and new routes appear to have been opened via Nepal and Bangladesh."

However, during his 20-minute speech, the Home Minister did not touch upon on the proposed National Counter Terror Centre, opposed by several non-Congress chief ministers, apparently due to the scheduled 5th May meeting which will deliberate on the controversial issue threadbare.

Describing the left-wing extremism (LWE) as the "most formidable threat" to the internal security, Chidambaram said the decline in the overall number of casualties among civilians and security forces in LWE-affected districts may give a false sense of assurance, but that is not the true picture.

"The challenge of LWE has been compounded by the capacity of the CPI(Maoist) to promote a number of front organisations and win the support of civil society groups. They use every instrument that is available in a democracy -- from freedom of speech to bandhs to judicial remedies," he said.

Chidambaram said several urban areas have emerged as new centres of pro-Maoist activities and there was a necessity to find ways and means to blunt the propaganda offensive launched by the CPI(Maoist).

"Two states are very badly affected, four states are affected and three states are within the arc of influence of the CPI(Maoist). Assam has emerged as the new theatre of Maoist activity. There are also inputs about links of CPI(Maoist) with insurgent groups in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh," he said.

Referring to the communal situation in the country, the Home Minister said though the situation was peaceful and the graph of incidents is declining, yet 91 lives were lost in 2011 and 1908 persons were injured in local communal conflicts.

"The so-called cause was usually trivial, but there were also cases of deliberate provocation. I urge state governments to remain vigilant, impartial and firm," he said.

Chidambaram said the success stories of 2011 were the dramatic improvement in the internal security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and in the north eastern states.

"Two factors seem to have turned the situation around-- first, the effectiveness of the security forces and, secondly, our ability to reach out to the adversaries and convince them that the Indian political system allows space for every shade of opinion and has the capacity to resolve differences through talks and other constitutional means," he said.

The Home Minister said in Jammu and Kashmir, there was a peaceful and splendid summer and winter and record numbers of tourists and pilgrims were there.

In the north eastern states, nearly all major groups are in talks with the government and exuded confidence that 2012 would see further advancement in bringing peace and development to these states, he said.

Chidambaram said in recent months, the security forces have made bold forays into hitherto forbidden territories such as Saranda Forest and Koel-Sankh in Jharkhand and Abuj-maad in Chhattisgarh.

However, the results remain sub-optimal, especially in areas under the control of area or zonal committees operating in Bihar-Jharkand-North Chhattisgarh, Andhra-Odisha and Dandakaranya, he said, adding that jan adalats and military training camps continue to be held with impunity.

"Economic infrastructure and so-called police informers continue to be targeted. Extortion is rampant. We have held frequent meetings with the DGPs and senior police officers of the affected states. I find that there is broad agreement on the two-pronged strategy of police action and developmental work, but, I am afraid, our capacity to execute the plans is not commensurate with the nature of the challenge," he said.

The Home Minister said the Integrated Action Plan launched in November, 2010, with an outlay of Rs 3,300 crore over two years, has been an outstanding success, thanks to the drive and determination shown by the district administrations.

"Still, we do not have the upper hand because there are not enough police stations; not enough men, weapons and vehicles; not enough infrastructure for the central armed police forces; not enough roads; and not enough presence of the civil administration especially in the health and education sectors," he said.

The Home Minister said more work need to be done in the front and pledged the cooperation of the central government in helping the states to overcome the challenge of LWE.
Chidambaram also referred to the unfinished tasks and sought the chief ministers' cooperation in utilising the funds that are made available and completing the projects.

"The Modernisation of Police Force (MPF) scheme was allotted Rs 1,111 crore in 2011-12, but we had to surrender Rs 311 crore because some states had large unspent balances. For the current year, we have been able to secure Rs 900 crore and I would urge state governments to address the deficiencies in the implementation of the scheme to help me request the Finance Minister for more funds," he said.

The Home Minister said in 2011-12, under Security Related Expenditure (SRE) and Security Infrastructure Scheme (SIS), the central government released Rs 883.51 crore and Rs 185.82 crore, respectively.

Release of funds and implementation can be more effective if proposals are submitted at the beginning of the financial year and greater financial and administrative powers are delegated to the director general of police in the state, he said.

"I have a vision of the overall security architecture that the country needs and deserves. Some elements are in place, for example, the Multi Agency Centre (MAC) and the Subsidiary MACs at the state capitals.

"NATGRID (for acquiring individual information) is work in progress. CCTNS (for tracking criminals), under implementation since 2010, has reached the crucial milestone of selection of system integrator, but only 16 out of 35 states/UTs have completed the task," he said.

Chidambaram said the development of Core Application Software (CAS) has been completed, field testing is under way, and agreements have been signed to establish nation-wide connectivity.

"The sum of all these, I am afraid, is that while CCTNS is progressing, it is 9 months behind schedule....Other elements have to be put in place to complete the security architecture and I earnestly seek your cooperation and support in that regard," he said.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

SC uphold constitutional validity of RTE Act

The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutional validity of the Right to Education Act, 2009, which mandates 25 pc free seats to the poor in govt and private unaided schools uniformly across the country.

By a majority view, a three-judge bench of Chief Justice S H Kapadia and justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swantanter Kumar on Thursday said the act will apply uniformly to government and unaided private schools except unaided private minority schools.

However, in his dissenting opinion, Justice Radhakrishnan took the view that the act would not apply to both unaided private schools as also minority institutions which do not receive any aid or grant from the government.

Justice Radhakrishnan's view was overruled by justices Kapadia and Swantanter Kumar who took the stand that the act would be applicable even to unaided private schools.

The apex court clarified that its judgement will come into force from Thursday and, hence, it will not apply to admissions granted after the enactment of the legislation.

In other words, the apex court said the judgement will only have a prospective affect and not retrospective affect.

Upholding the provisions of the law, the apex court said the impugned act should be construed as "child specific".

The three-judge bench had reserved its verdict on 3rd August, last year on a batch of petitions by private unaided institutions which had contended that the Act violates the rights of private educational institutions under Article 19(1)(g) which provided autonomy to private managements to run their institutions without governmental interference.

During the marathon arguments in the case which went for many months, the Centre had defended the law, saying it was aimed at uplifting the socially and economically weaker sections of the society.

The Centre had emphasised the need to delink merit and talent from social and economic differences among different sections of society and said that the Act calls for "moving towards composite classrooms with children from diverse backgrounds, rather than homogeneous and exclusivist schools".

The main petitioner Society for Unaided Private Schools, Rajasthan, and a host of associations representing various private schools, had questioned the validity of the Act on the ground that it impinged on their rights to run the educational institutions.

The law was brought by introducing Article 21(A) in the Constitution which says the state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children between six and 14 years in such a manner as the state may, by law, determine.

The petitions had contended that the RTE Act was "unconstitutional" and "violative" of fundamental rights.

According to the petitioners, Section 3 of the Act imposed an absolute mandate on all schools, including private unaided and minority institutions, to admit without any choice each and every child whosoever comes to take admission in the schools in the neighbourhood.

Sibal expresses happiness over SC verdict on RTE
HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on Thursday expressed happiness at the Supreme Court verdict upholding the constitutional validity of the Right to Education Act of 2009 saying it has brought clarity and put all controversies to rest.
Sibal said litigation in court should never be looked as a victory or defeat, especially when the government is involved because what government was looking for from this litigation was clarity because it has an impact on millions of people.
"What the court has given us today is clarity on the issue so that all controversies are set to rest. When the controversies are set to rest, our vision of education moves forward. So we are very happy that all controversies are set to rest and there is a clarity," Sibal said.
On the Apex court agreeing with the provision of 25 per cent free seats to the poor in government and private unaided schools uniformly across the country, the Minister said it was one the biggest issues involved in the matter.
"One of the biggest issues involved was 25 per cent reservation applies to private schools or not which is also upheld by SC and it also does not apply to minority institutions. That controversy is also set to rest," he said.
By a majority view, a three-judge bench of Chief Justice S H Kapadia and Justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swantanter Kumar said the RTE act will apply uniformly to government and unaided private schools except unaided private minority schools.
However, in his dissenting opinion, Justice Radhakrishnan took the view that the act would not apply to both unaided private schools as also minority institutions which do not receive any aid or grant from the government.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

No likelihood of tsunami tidal waves in Indian Ocean region

No likelihood of tsunami tidal waves in Indian Ocean regionIndia has said there was no likelihood of tsunami tidal waves being formed anywhere in the Indian Ocean region after an earthquake of 8.9 magnitude hit waters off western coast of northern Sumatra in Indonesia.

Intially, the Earth Sciences Ministry and the National Disaster Management Authority issued a tsunami warning for Andaman and Nicobar Island and an alert to coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

No likelihood of tsunami tidal waves in Indian Ocean regionLater, in subsequent bulletins, the two organisations virtually ruled out tsunami in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and elsewhere in the country.

"There is no specific threat. It was a watch and alert. There is no likelihood of any tsunami in the Indian Ocean region," NDMA Vice President Sashidhar Reddy said.

He said the earthquake that struck the Sumatra islands was not the kind of tremors that usually triggers tsunami tidal waves.

"It is the kind of strike and slip earth quake which does not trigger tsunami. There was no vertical displacement of water under the sea," he said.

"Tsunami possibility is virtually ruled out," he said, adding that the Andaman and Nicobar Islands administration and the Army stationed there had informed the NDMA that so far no waves have been noticed in the island.

The initial projections issued by the Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC) showed the tidal waves triggered by the quake hitting parts of Nicobar, Komatra and Katchal minutes after it struck the region at 14:08 IST.

The ITEWC also issued an alert for coastal Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and the Andaman islands forecasting the arrival time of the first wave.

Strong tremors were felt in Chennai and some other nearby areas. People in multi storeyed apartments and those working in high rise buildings rushed out to open areas.

Kolkata and its neighbourhood were rocked by tremors which were also felt in North 24 Parganas adjoining Kolkata and in the north Bengal town of Siliguri.

A large number of people rushed out of offices in Park street and downtown BBD Bagh area in Kolkata as windows and doors rattled. According to reports, some buildings on Park street developed cracks.

Metro Rail services in the metropolis were suspended from 2:42 pm and passengers were asked to vacate stations.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said a tsunami watch was in effect for Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Myanmar, Thailand, the Maldives and other Indian Ocean islands, Malaysia, Pakistan, Somalia, Oman, Iran, Bangladesh, Kenya, South Africa and Singapore.

A tsunami watch means there is the potential for a tsunami, not that one is imminent.

The US Geological Survey said the powerful quake was centered 33 kilometers beneath the ocean floor A giant 9.1-magnitude quake off the country on 26th Dec. 2004, triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 2,30,000 people, nearly three quarter of them in Aceh.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Gujarat court convicts 23 for Ode massacre

Gujarat court convicts 23 for Ode massacre
A sessions court in Anand on Monday convicted 23 people and acquitted as many others for want of evidence in connection with the Ode village massacre in 2002 post-Godhra riots.

The verdict was delivered by the district and sessions court Judge Poonam Singh. The court will pronounce the quantum of sentence later.
Gujarat court convicts 23 for Ode massacre The riot case was probed by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the Supreme Court.
Twentythree people, including women and children of the minority community, were burnt to death in a house in Pirwali Bhagol area of Ode village on March one, 2002, following the Godhra train burning incident.
In total, there were 47 accused in the case, however, one of them had died during the course of trial.
Special public prosecutor P N Parmar said more than 150 witnesses have been examined, while over 170 documentary evidences have been placed before the court.
The trial began in the end of 2009 and was on the verge of completion when the then judge hearing the case resigned in May 2011 citing personal reasons. Following this, Judge Singh was appointed and all the arguments were made afresh before her.
Parmar further said that the SIT was probing three cases regarding Ode. Assistant special public prosecutor in the case was Shailendra Ghadia, while advocates Irshad Mansuri and Nasir Sheikh represented the riot victims.
The defence team was headed by advocate C K Patel. Out of the nine cases probed by the SIT, judgements have been pronounced in two cases, including the Godhra train burning incident where 11 people were awarded death sentence and 20 life imprisonment.
The second case was that of Sardarpura village in Mehsana district where 31 persons were awarded life term and 42 others were acquitted.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Rahul Gandhi to continue review of Cong’s performance in UP polls

Rahul GandhiCongress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi will meet the newly elected MLAs to Uttar Pradesh Assembly and Members of Parliament today to discuss the strategy for the upcoming general elections in 2014.
Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi, who was instrumental in securing 22 of the 80 seats in the Lok Sabha polls in the state in 2009, met the party observes and party candidates who had lost despite securing more than 20, 000 votes in the UP elections this year.