Wednesday, April 28, 2010

UPA Government defeats cut motion

UPA Government defeats cut motion

2010-04-28 07:58:48 - BSP, with 21 MPs, on Tuesday came out openly in support of the ruling UPA."We are supporting the government since the day one to keep the communal forces at bay. At the time of the formation of the UPA Government, we gave unconditional outside support and that is there," party supremo and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati told a press conference in Luknow.

Lower House defeating the cut motion on petroleum prices by a big margin exposing huge divisions in the Opposition.The cut motion moved by CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta on failure to formulate proper policies on petroleum products was defeated by a margin of 88 votes when it received the support of 201 votes with 289 voting against it in a House
of 543.

BSP, with 21 MPs, on Tuesday came out openly in support of the ruling UPA. Mayawti said "This is not a new situation. We will support the government on cut motion. In the name of cut motion, communal forces are trying to come back to power at the Centre," Mayawati said. also said normally her party should have supported the cut motion because of the issues on which it was being brought.

The government breezed through the Opposition challenge helped largely by BSP's 21 MPs who voted with the treasury benches.CBI cases were there against her which, she said, they would fight legally.

The government breezed through the Opposition challenge helped by a walk out by the Samajwadi Party and RJD together accounting for 25, and 21 BSP members voting with treasury benches in what was initially seen as a possible close trial of strength for the UPA-II coalition.

There were heated exchanges between the BJP and RJD members when Mr. Lalu Prasad referred to Mr. Advani's remarks about the IPL controversy in the House.

Leader of the House and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that the demands of grants for various Ministries were passed, as expected. Finance Bill will be taken up for debate today.

The Congress has said that the defeat of the cut motions, brought by the opposition, is a moral victory for the government. Talking to reporters outside Parliament, party spokesperson Manish Tewari said that the government has dealt with lots of trouble during its 11 month period.

BJP leader Ananth Kumar said that the voting has exposed the real stand of parties, which pretended to censor the government on price rise. CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury meanwhile said that the party considers both the country-wide Bandh and the voting on cut motion - as its victory for raising, successfully, the issue of price rise.

Another surprise voter for the government was Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren, who runs the state government on BJP's support.

Contact Information:
Sagar Media

Monday, April 26, 2010

SAARC Summit April 28-29.

More than 300 journalist to cover SAARC Summit about ninty journalists and media personnel from south Asia have arrived in Paro to attend the fifth SAARC journalists’ summit, which Bhutan is hosting for the first time and will take place alongside the 16th SAARC summit.Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Monday said the bilateral meeting cannot be ruled out."I am not ruling it out," Krishna said when asked if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will meet his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani during his visit here for the SAARC summit to be held on April 28 to 29.Themed ‘Environment and South Asia,’ the journalist summit begins at 6:00 pm today at Zhiwaling hotel with the prime minister, Lyonchhoen Jigmi Y Thinley, as the chief guest.More than 300 journalist to cover SAARC Summit about ninty journalists and media personnel from south Asia have arrived in Paro to attend the fifth SAARC journalists’ summit, which Bhutan is hosting for the first time and will take place alongside the 16th SAARC summit.

The highest number of delegates for the conference are from Pakistan, with 24 media personnel, followed by 18 from India. Bangladesh and Nepal have 14 each, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka 10 each and seven from Maldives. More than 30 media officials and journalists from Bhutan will be attending the conference, which is being organised by the south Asian free media association. The leading glaciologist in India, professor Syed Iqbal Hasnain, will deliver the keynote address on ‘Melting Glaciers and the Future of South Asia’ tomorrow. Eight nations SAARC meeting of heads of government, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are attending the Summit.The Summit will adopt a declaration - "Towards a Green and Happy South Asia", focusing on the problems relating to environment and climate change.First official possible meeting between the prime ministers of India and Pakistan here. Foreign secretaries of the eight-member regional grouping are meeting in Bhutan to reach a common economic and development goal.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart on the sidelines of the 16th SAARC summit, the foreign secretaries of the eight-member regional grouping began their meeting in Thimpu on Sunday to consider the fineprint of two draft agreements on trade and environment expected to be signed at the summit on April 28-29.At Sunday's SAARC standing committee meeting, foreign secretary Nirupama Rao said, "In this 25th year of SAARC, we can take satisfaction from the fact that SAARC has evolved into a service provider for the economic and development needs of the people of the region."Claiming that the regional grouping has achieved significant success, Rao said, "valuable progress has been achieved in developing a regional framework of cooperation in areas such as environment, energy, agriculture and rural development, food security, health, trade and transportation."Bhutan has proposed a summit declaration entitled " Towards a Green and Happy South Asia" and a separate ministerial declaration on climate change. The summit is also expected to discuss the pertinent issue of crossborder terrorism in South Asia. Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed has this morning departed on an official visit to Bhutan to attend the Sixteenth SAARC Summit. President Nasheed is also accompanied by First Lady Laila Ali. The Sixteenth Summit of the Heads of State and Heads of the Government of members of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation will be held from 28 to 29 April in Thimphu, Bhutan.While attending the Summit, President Nasheed will meet with leaders of other SAARC member countries on the sidelines of the Summit to discuss the Maldives’ relations with their countries and other important issues of regional interest.Speaking to the press at Male’ Official Jetty, before departure this morning, President Nasheed noted that SAARC needed to play a more active role in addressing the regional issues. He said during the Summit, he would work with other leaders of SAARC to further strengthen and expand the role of the organisation within the region.After concluding his visit to Bhutan, President Nasheed and First Lady Laila Ali will begin a state visit to China, on 1 May. Peoples SAARC’, an assembly of civil activists from South Asia, gathered at Jawaharlal Nehru University for a two day conference entitled ‘Assembly towards Union of South Asian Peoples’.Civil activists from the region just days before the summit hosted Peoples SAARC, an assembly in India to forge a strong South Asian identity, and collaborate for peace and development.

Eight nations SAARC meeting of heads of government,Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are attending the Summit.The Summit will adopt a declaration - "Towards a Green and Happy South Asia", focusing on the problems relating to environment and climate change.First official possible meeting between the prime ministers of India and Pakistan here.
Observing that heads of states and governments are going to be under the same roof for the next couple of days for the multilateral meeting, the minister said there will be a number of bilateral meetings during the period."Let's wait and watch, how things are going to work out," he said, adding "all bilateral issues between India and Pakistan will be discussed as and when the Prime Ministers meet".

When asked about Pakistan's request seeking the testimony of the magistrates who recorded the confessional statement of Mumbai attack accused Ajmal Kasab, Krishna said he was yet to examine the matter.Krishna said he has received the dossier containing the request late last night but he was yet to go through the same.Maintaining that Kasab's trial was in advanced stage in India, he said it was going on in full steam."We have to complete our legal formalities first and then we can examine Pakistan's request for the same," he said, adding, the matter will be examined in consultation with other ministries and departments.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Afghan President Hamid Karzai met in New Delhi on Monday to discuss a relationship seen as key to regional stability.The foreign ministry in New Delhi said on Saturday that Singh hoped the meeting would strengthen the nations' "strategic partnership". The talks would be an "opportunity for India to express its firm commitment and support to the government and people of Afghanistan," it added.Karzai's office said the agenda would focus on "the war on terror and other bilateral issues".PM Manmohan Singh and Afghan President Hamid Karzai as the two leaders met ahead of the SAARC summit.“India remains committed to assist the people of Afghanistan. We discussed the issue of terrorism which threatens our region,” Singh said after talks with Karzai in New Delhi on Monday.

Karzai, who is in New Delhi on a two-day visit before going to Bhutan to attend the SAARC summit beginning 28th April, said he and Singh discussed the situation in Afghanistan and “our common struggle against terrorism and extremism.”

“We discussed the upcoming Afghanistan Peace Consultations which should comprise people of Afghanistan, those from all walks of life to advise on how to move forward for reintegration and reconciliation of those elements of Taliban and others who have accepted the Constitution or not part of the Al Qaeda or any terrorist network,” Karzai said.Speaking about the attack on Indians in Afghanistan, he said, “I expressed my sympathy and condolences of Afghan people at the cowardly attacks on the Indian construction workers, the medical staff and the (Indian) embassy in Kabul.”

He also conveyed his gratitude to India for helping in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.Singh said, “I had an extremely productive discussion with Mr. Karzai and discussed a whole range of bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest. I look forward to working with Mr. Karzai”

Exodus of Lalit kumar Modi

2010-04-26 12:11:04 - BCCI appointed Baroda Cricket Association President Chirayu Amin the interim Chairman of the Indian Premier League in place of Lalit Modi. BCCI CAO Ratnakar Shetty will look into all the records,” Manohar said that some important documents were missing from the Board and IPL offices.

BCCI President Shashank Manohar said Modi would be charged on five counts - shady initial bids of Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab second of some important documents were missing from the Board and IPL offices.Further suspect broadcast deal with Sony, and finally bid rigging of two new franchises this year and his behavioral pattern.Lalit Kumar Modi Chairman IPL is
suspended from all posts,BCCI VP, member of the marketing committee, fixture committee, all the board activities,” Manohar said.

For all the allegations against Modi, Manohar said if he manages to convince the Board of his innocence in his reply, the inquiry proceedings against him would be dropped.“It is the duty of the Board to look into the allegations and to have an inquiry it is important to suspend the person concerned. It’s not punishment. The person has to be kept out of the Board’s functioning to ensure a free and fair inquiry.“The Board would hold an inquiry and if Modi’s reply convinces the members, proceedings would be dropped,” he said.

Shashank Manohar said the Governing Council members do not know about Rajasthan Royals owners Shilpa Shetty Raj Kundra and their names not in stakeholders list,” Manohar said if Modi manages to convince the Board of his innocence in his reply, the inquiry proceedings against him would be dropped.Next IPL’s planning to be taken care of by former captains,Governing Council members Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and M A K Pataudi.Many documents are missing from the IPL and BCCI offices,ITax depart has been asking for them but we don't have them Manohar said.

Trio will decide the modalities of holding three foreign and four Indian players after discussing with the franchises,”Governing Council of BCCI suspends Lalit K Modi and appoints new Interim Chairman Chirayu Amin GC meet is on way.

BCCI sent suspension letter via email after the IPL final and the presentation ceremony were over just after Sunday midnight. On a day of fast-paced developments, the BCCI acted swiftly to suspend him giving 15 days time to explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against him after he made a surprise announcement that he would participate and chair the meeting of the IPL's Governing Council on Monday morning.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fact Universal Teen Pageant 2010

Fact Universal Teen Pageant 2010
2010-04-20 05:51:01 - Fact Universal Teen Pageant season 2, Fact Supermodels is organised by Mr. Rajiv Kashyap is a self made entrepreneur and very successful businessman who has gone from strength to strength over the past decade creating profitable business models in various fields like construction, bio-diesel, finance, media and films etc.

Fact Universal Teen Pageant is a beauty pageant started by Mr. Rajiv Kashyap, Chairman and Managing Director of Fact Enterprise Limited. He conceptualized this event and started this competition with a vision to provide, the young talent in the country, an avenue to showcase their skills and abilities. Fact Universal Teen Pageant is India’s first pageant for teenage girls between
15 – 19 years of age.

Mr. Rajiv Kashyap has been honored with the “Udyog Ratna Award”, “Bharat Gaurav Puraskar” as well as the “Indian Achievers Award for Industrial Development” among many other accolades that reflect his determination and passion to succeed in every project he touches.

The second Teen pageant is a plaform that offers young teenager girls exceptional opportunity to display their personality,social and intellectual skills on television where one can walk away with Fact Universal teen pageant title and success.This beauty pageant shall help the teens to have ample experience to enter the internationalBeauty Paageant.

Mentors in the Gala affairs are Madam Saidah Jules,well known German Model her mother is German and father is half-Italian and half-German. She was brought up in Malta, led a traveller’s life all my life. She lived in Germany, the Caribbean Islands and parts of Europe. Her convert to Hinduism at a very young age and religion is the most important part of her life .Bombay is her home been living for the past four years.

Contact Information:
Sagar Media

E waste rule under Government attention

E waste rule under Government attention
2010-04-19 19:54:42 - With illegal recycling of used electronic goods like mobile phone and computer posing environmental and health hazard, the Government will in less than a month come out with e-waste management and disposal rules.

Jairam Ramesh the Environment Minister is to bring complete government initiative to monitor and take emergent actions on e waste with complete policy for the industries .Indian government is to bring complete government initiative to monitor and take emergent actions on e waste with complete policy for the industries .The matter of e waste has been raised from the various
fora now from Upper hosue of Parliament and debate is to take place,the delibrations of priavte and public sector but with technology still not in position to match its utility and fiscal structure with government taking soft approach the e
waster is the next watch word for the goverance community.

Computers, mobile phones and other electronic gadgets become e-waste at the end of their life cycle, he said."For the first, Government is coming out with rules for managing e-waste.Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour, Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh told the Rajya Sabha that he was personally against import of second hand computers in the name of charity as this "e-waste" posed danger to environment and human health.

There are various stances of people playing with toxic gases by heating the hard disc for want of metals and the fumes are openly inhaled by the unorganised sector of enterprenurs segregating the valued material and metals from the chips of the commuters and mobile phones.

E Waste received the government attention after eight persons were injured due to exposure to radioactive substance Co-60 in Mayapuri New Delhi. The incident came to light on April nine.Nuclear scientists isolated 11 sources of radiation over a period of seven days before declaring the area safe on Saturday.Rajya Sabha will discuss tomorrow the radiation exposure incident in Mayapuri scrap market in the city in which eight persons were scalded.

A Calling Attention motion given by Kalraj Mishra (BJP), D Raja (CPI) and Mahendra Mohan (SP) on the issue has been admitted in the Rajya Sabha and is listed for discussion tomorrow.The House will discuss the situation arising out of the incidents of radiation exposure detected in a scrap market in Delhi and Government's reaction thereto.

Contact Information:
Sagar Media

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Gujarat State urges Supreme Court actions

Gujarat State urges Supreme Court actions
2010-04-17 05:42:38 - Questioning the role played by various NGOs, Gujarat Government urged the apex court to examine the 'extent of interference by such third parties.State government's affidavit comes in response to the apex court's decision of 6th April, to consider the application made by Teesta and others seeking stay on the trial and transferring the case to the CBI.

Gujarat Government has said that the Supreme Court did not have power to stay the ongoing trial in the post-Godhra communal riots case and that the Special Investigation Team instituted by it cannot summon Chief Minister and other accused in the murder of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri.

In a fresh affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on Friday- the State
Government also sought registration of criminal cases against NGO activist Teesta Setalvad and others for allegedly tutoring witnesses, intimidating the SIT and indulging in activities with ulterior political and vested interests.

Questioning the role played by various NGOs, Gujarat Government urged the apex court to examine the 'extent of interference by such third parties.
State government's affidavit comes in response to the apex court's decision of 6th April, to consider the application made by Teesta and others seeking stay on the trial and transferring the case to the CBI.

The applicants had alleged that the SIT was functioning in a biased manner. The case would come up for hearing on Monday.Modi was earlier grilled by the apex court appointed Special Investigation Team on his alleged role in the 2002 killing of Jafri who was burnt alive by a mob at Gulbarg Society, even though he made frantic calls for help to police and the Chief Minister."I state and submit that though this Hon'ble court merely required SIT, in order dated 27th April 2009 'to look into the complaint', the SIT started calling persons named therein and started recording their statements which is neither permissible in law nor contemplated in the aforesaid order," the affidavit said.
On 27th April 2009, the apex court had asked the SIT to "look into the complaint" of the slain MP's wife Zakia about the alleged role of Modi and others in the killing.The apex court at the last hearing while mulling the idea of staying the trial had also asked the State to drop IPS officers--Geeta Johri and Shivanand Jha from the SIT. The case would come up for hearing on Monday.Stoutly opposing stay of the trial, Gujarat said, "once the investigating agency has filed a charge sheet after conducting an investigation under supervision and monitoring of this hon'ble court, in the respectful submission of the State Government, the jurisdiction of this court,under Article 32 of the Constitution of India would come to an end," and cited a number of earlier rulings.The State took the plea that under Section 173(8) of the CrPC once the chargesheet is filed as in the present case, an aggrieved party can approach only the trial court to challenge the alleged shortcomings or the inadequacy of the investigation.

Ruckus in Parliament Tharoor target

Minister of State for External Affairs Mr Shashi Tharoor Dismissing demands for his resignation, today rejected Opposition allegations of any misuse of authority to influence IPL Kochi franchise's successful bid or get any financial gains for him or his any of his close friends.In the Lok Sabha, he described the notion that somebody is some sort of proxy for him is insulting for him and to the professionalism and business ethics of the investors and their associates.
He asserted that it has been clear for some time that the real motive behind the public controversy that has been created around him was to make the Kochi team unviable and to assign his IPL franchise elsewhere than Kerala. He asserted that he has neither invested nor received any financial benefit from IPL Kochi team.
Mr. Tharoor maintained that his role in mentoring the Kochi Franchisee is within the bounds of appropriate conduct for a member of parliament from Thiruvananthapuram and a member of the Union council of minister.

Tharoor issue rocked both the houses of parliament finally leading to their adjournment for the day.After the Dantewara massacre issue, opposition took up the Tharoor controversy to put pressure on the government.As the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha met for the day, the opposition members sought the suspension of question hour to take up the issue for discussion leading to their first adjournment till 12 noon.After that Parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal assured the house Tharoor will make a statement on the issue, the opposition refused to relent and continued to raise slogans seeking his removal from the council of ministers.This led to the adjournment of the Lok Sabha till 2 pm and the Rajya Sabha for the day. As the Lok Sabha mat at 2 PM, there was no change in the situation and the house was adjourned for the day.Both Houses of Parliament had to be adjourned on Friday during Question Hour after opposition parties created an uproar demanding that Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor submit his resignation over the Kochi IPL ownership controversy.

As soon as the Lok Sabha met for the day, members of BJP, SP, RJD and other parties demanded a discussion on the controversy surrounding Tharoor on the Kochi IPL team ownership issue.Minister of Parliamentary Affairs P K Bansal informed the House that Tharoor would make a statement in the Lok Sabha at 12 noon but the opposition benches were not pacified.A miffed Bansal was heard complaining that Question Hour should not be done away with and Speaker Meira Kumar also pleaded with the Opposition to allow the proceedings to continue in the wake of the minister's statement.Rajya Sabha plunged into turmoil on Friday as the opposition wanted a full-fledged discussion on the controversy surrounding Tharoor and the Kochi IPL team, leading to adjournment of the House for the day.

The trouble started soon after the House met for the day with opposition BJP demanding suspension of the Question Hour and taking up the Tharoor issue. As the protest continued, Chairman Hamid Ansari adjourned the House within few minutes upto noon.When the House reassembled, BJP member M Venkaiah Naidu, joined by members from SP, AIADMK and JD(U), said that the government was not taking the concerns of the opposition seriously on this issue.The government should come out on its own to clarify whenever an issue became a controversy rather than opposition pressing for it, Naidu said.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Prithviraj Chavan said that Tharoor was ready to explain his position. "Please permit him to make a statement," he said.
Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan said he could allow a discussion right away during Zero Hour and he could also do away with the three minute limit for each member to speak.The opposition is demanding the sacking of Tharoor alleging misuse of official position in regard to the ownership of the Kochi IPL team.Tharoor rejects opposition allegations Skirting demands for his resignation, Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor rejected Opposition allegations of any misuse of authority to influence IPL Kochi franchise's successful bid or get any financial gains for him or to his friend Sunanda Pushkar."The notion that somebody is some sort of "proxy" for me is frankly insulting to me and to the professionalism and business ethics of the investors and their associates, particularly since I could not have any role in influencing the final outcome of a sealed bidding process."I have not not benefited, and do not not intend to benefit, in any way financial from my association with the team now now or at a later stage," he said in a statement in Lok Sabha which was tabled after Opposition members created an uproar seeking his removal.He said it has been clear for some time that the real motive behind the public controversy that has been created around him was to make the Kochi team unviable and to assign his IPL franchise elsewhere than Kerala."I believe all fair-minded Indians would hope that such tactics will not not be allowed to prevail. The allegations are baseless, ill-founded and ill-motivated. I trust, Madam Speaker, that I have clarified my position to the satisfaction of this august House," he said.The Opposition parties have been gunning for Tharoor's removal from the government ever since a controversy broke out on the IPL Kochi franchise bid. They have alleged that the Minister has misused his office to get sweat equity of the value of Rs.70 crore for his friend Pushkar from the team owners.
With the main opposition BJP announcing that it will not allow the two houses to function till the removal of the minister, it remains to be seen what strategy government adopts to ensure smooth functioning of Parliament.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Haridwar Mahakumbh Ganga Blessing to millions

2010-04-15 07:00:04 - More than 1.45 crore pilgrims took a dip in the Ganga on, the day of the last royal bath during the Mahakumbh at Haridwar.Director General of Police Subhash Joshi said nearly 1.45 crore pilgrims took a bath on the occasion of Mesh Sankranti

Hindus religious congregation at Haridwar, the century’s first Mahakumbha came to an end last evening after last Shahi Snan of Mesh Sankranti.Various Hindu Sects practicing relgious path for their spiritual journey found their way to holy Ganges to have holy dip to blow off their left over sins and to move ahead with neo-energy in connecting God and its grace.

With authorities put up the figure of more than 1.45 crore people took holy dip at Haridwar on the occasionin which at least seven pilgrims died and 17 others injured in an accident yesterday.

The official sources said that three persons have been rescued by river police from the river near Birla Bridge.Ghats in Haridwar and Rishikesh were full with pilgrims, who had gathered here from across the country to take the blessings of Ganga during the Mahakumbh.

The mela administration made elaborate security arrangements for the fourth and last royal bath of the Mahakumbh with 25 companies of PAC, 20 companies of RPF, 10 companies each of RAF and ITBP being deployed at the mela area.

SSP, Kumbh Mela, Ajay Rautela said five pilgrims, including three women and a girl, were killed and nine others injured in the accident. The identity of the deceased is yet to be established.The injured have been admitted to the mela hospital.Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the next of the kin of those killed.

Naresh Sagar
Phone: 9810974027

Indian UPA coalition on Litmus test

Indian UPA coalition on Litmus test
2010-04-15 06:34:31 - Congress as well as government have remained unfazed by the opposition moves with party leaders saying the party and its allies were fully prepared to face any eventuality.

India's ruling UPA's strength in the Lok Sabha comes in for a close litmus test when Parliament resumes the second phase of the Budget session Thursday with the opposition planning to move a cut motion on price rise.

On a number of issues that have emerged to the discomfiture of the government which range from the latest row involving Minister Shashi
Tharoor to the Dantewada massacre by the Maoists.

Congress gets reprieve as its allies was that 21-member BSP has stayed away from non-NDA and non-UPA parties' initiative, which together account for 87 MPs, to bring a cut motion demanding roll back in hike in prices of petroleum products and fertilisers.Congress-led UPA has a strength of around 265 members, including some independents and BSP's action has raised its comfort level in the event of a crisis in the 543-member House.The leaders of the 13-party grouping have said the idea of bringing the cut motion was not to topple the government but to focus on the issue of price rise. A cut motion puts to test the strength of the government in the Lok Sabha. If the motion is adopted, it amounts to defeat of the government on a money matter.

BJP as also non-NDA and non-UPA parties are seeking to mobilise public support on the issue of price rise with BJP announcing 'gherao of Parliament' on 21st April and the 13-parties calling for a nation-wide strike on 27th April.BJP, which has 116 members, is also planning to move a cut motion on the issue of price rise and wants to move in the matter along with its allies in NDA. JD(U) has 20 MPs while other allies Shiv Sena and Akali Dal have 11 and four members respectively.BJP has given enough hints that it would not be averse to doing business with the 13-party grouping on the cut motion issue."We will make all efforts from our side on the issue of cut motion and will do everything it takes for floor coordination," party spokesperson Nirmala Seetharaman has said.

Quake in China's Qinghai

2010-04-14 08:48:16 - 2010-04-14 11:23 China's Qinghai Province Earthquake of 7.1-magnitude in Yushu county,western Qinghai province devasted the county killing more than 300 people and 8000 are injured in houses collapsed.

more than 700 soldiers are now struggling to clear away the rubble and rescue the buried people, and 1,000 more will be dispatched, a spokesman with the Qinghai Provincial Emergency Office said.The first group of experts dispatched by the Qinghai provincial government, including 25 doctors and 65 firemen, have left for the quake-hit region.

"Many are buried in the collapsed houses," Zhuohuaxia, a publicity official of Tibetan ethnic group with the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu, told Xinhua."There are still lots of others who are injured and being treated at local hospitals," he said."Our soldiers have pulled 10 people from the collapsed houses, but four of them had died," said Wu Yong, commander of the Yushu Military Area Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army."The death toll may rise further as lots of houses collapsed," he said.

"We are now putting up tents and transporting oxygen to prepare for treating the injured," he said."But roads leading to the airport have been damaged, hampering the rescue efforts," he added.

The quake struck the Yushu County in Yushu prefecture at 7:49 a.m. with a depth of about 33 km. The epicenter is calculated to be 33.1 north and 96.7 east, the China Earthquake Networks Center reported.At least three aftershocks have been reported so far, with the biggest being 6.3 magnitude about an hour and 36 minutes later.

Earlier on 5:39 a.m., a 4.7-magnitude jolted the county with a depth of about 6 km, the center reported.The epicenter is about 30 km away from the Jiegu Township, the government seat of the Yushu prefecture, and about 800 km away from Xining, the provincial capital.

"We have set up rescue headquarters in Jiegu," said Huang Limin, deputy secretary-general of the Yushu prefecture government."Soldiers have been dispatched to save the people buried in the collapsed houses," he said.

Telecommunications were temporarily cut after the quake, but have been restored, he added.Two rescue teams from Qinghai and Tibet have been dispatched to the quake-hit region, a spokesman with the China Earthquake Administration said.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dhaka short of water

2010-04-11 06:35:27 - The falling of water table and lack of power to run water pumps have caused a serious shortage of drinking water
in Dhaka, with hundreds of residents marching in the streets daily with empty pitchers and demanding government action.

Bangladesh deployed troops to distribute drinking water on Wednesdy among the capital's more than 12 million people, after lawmakers had warned that growing public discontent over a water crisis could lead to unrest.

'How can we pump enough water while there is no electricity to run the pumps' said an official of the Dhaka water and sewage authority (WASA'Many pumps
remain shut or cannot operate up to their capacities because of a shortage of power' said the official, who asked not to be identified.The WASA says it is now able to supply only 1.8 billion litres of water in the capital a day, against a demand of 2.4 billion litres, due to frequent power cuts and a fall in groundwater levels.
Dhaka WASA officials say lack of generators is one of the main reasons for the city's existing water as hot weather is giving rise to greater electricity demand to power fans and ACs, which in turn is leading to more frequent load shedding.

There are 546 pumps under the Dhaka Water Supply Authority, but almost half – 253 – do not have back-up generators, making them non-functional during the frequent periods of power outage in the capital.

WASA chairman Gholam Moustafa told on Wednesday that WASA has completed a tender, and the results will go to the government's purchase committee for approval. He said the cost of the generators will be around Tk 55 crore.No date has yet been set for the purchase committee meeting – which is chaired either by prime minister Sheikh Hasina or finance minister AMA Muhith.

Moustafa said that "even if the purchase committee agreed today to allow us to go ahead and purchase the generators, WASA would not get the generators for 4 or 5 months as they must come from outside Bangladesh".

Prof. Qazi Matin Ahmed, a hydrologist and groundwater specialist at Dhaka University's department of geology, said that WASA should have started the tender procedure much earlier.

"The electricity shortage happens every summer. This kind of situation we are seeing today was foreseeable. We should have had generators in place now."

Earlier, on 31 March, Moustafa had told that the water shortage could "easily be solved" if it had more generators.
Media agencies

Polish Prez Lech Kaczynski killed in plane crash in Russia

Polish President Lech Kaczynski was among 96 people killed when a plane carrying them crashed in dense fog in southwestern Russian region of Smolensk today.

The Tu-154 Presidential plane crashed about 300 metres from the runway after hitting tree tops in dense fog, Russia's Emergencies Ministry said.

In Warsaw, Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman Petr Paszkowski said that President Kaczynski was on board the ill-fated Tu-154 aircraft.

Kaczynski was flying with a delegation to take part in the Katyn memorial ceremonies at the site where Polish military officers were executed on the orders of Soviet Dictator Joseph Stalin during the Second World War.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu to personally supervise rescue work in the Smolensk region.

He also directed Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to lead the probe

Competitiveness, climate, security Finn’s priorities Ministry of Finance release Finnish road map of EU presidency. Finland is set ...