Death toll from Pakistan flood crosses 1,000 mark
Islamabad: The death toll from the devastating floods in Pakistan has crossed the 1,000-mark after another 119 people died due to deluge-related incidents across the country in the last 24 hours, according to the official data on Sunday. Floods triggered by the torrential rain since 14 June have wreaked havoc, inundating a vast swathe of flat land in the south and southwest of the country. “So far, 1,033 people have died and 1,527 persons injured across Pakistan,” the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the main body tasked to deal with calamities, said. Floods have destroyed 3,451.5 kilometres of road, swept away 147 bridges, destroyed 170 shops, and partially or fully damaged about 9,49,858 houses. Pakistan is ill-prepared to deal with such a huge crisis and has sought international help. The United Nations is expected to issue a flash appeal of over USD 160 million on 30 August to support Pakistan. Friendly countries have begun to step in to offer support, days after Pakistan briefed foreign diplomats about the national emergency. The forecast for the next 24 hours showed that dry weather was expected in most parts of the country, a major relief for the people as well as the government.
PM stresses on public awareness on malnutrition, water conservation; highlights expansion of Internet
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday stressed the importance of social awareness in fighting malnutrition and promoting water conservation and also noted that expansion of internet connectivity has brought a new dawn in remote areas, especially in the Northeast. In his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ broadcast, the prime minister touched on a host of issues, including official efforts to deal with malnutrition, and said social awareness is crucial to this fight. The month of September is observed as nutrition month. With the UN accepting India’s proposal to observe 2023 as the International Year of Millets, Modi lauded the nutritional benefits of these grains. Highlighting increasing digital connectivity in remote parts of the country through Digital India which has boosted digital entrepreneurs, he spoke about the Jorsing village in Arunachal Pradesh getting 4G internet services from Independence Day. With his government calling for constructing 75 ‘Amrit Sarovar’ water bodies to mark India’s 75th anniversary of independence in every district, he said it has become a mass movement. In his monthly broadcast, Modi also greeted the people on the upcoming festivals and the National Sports Day, which falls on 29 August on the birth anniversary of hockey wizard Dhyanchand.
CWC meets to approve schedule for election of Congress president
New Delhi: The Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s highest decision-making body, met on Sunday to approve the schedule for the election of the next AICC president and sources said the poll is likely to take place on 17 October. The meeting took place amid a fresh upheaval in the party due to the shock resignation of party veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday and his letter to party president Sonia Gandhi in which he lashed out at Rahul Gandhi for “demolishing the party’s entire consultative mechanism”. Sources said the notification for the party president’s election will be issued on 22 September, while the filing of nomination would begin on 24 September and continue till 30 September. The election, if required, will take place on 17 October.
Activist appeals to Ganesh mandals in Maha to help eradicate discriminatory widowhood practices
Mumbai: The upcoming Ganpati festival should create mass awareness about eradicating from society the “evil practices” related to widowhood, a social activist spearheading the campaign in Maharashtra said on Sunday. Pramod Zinjade, who has been demanding a law for providing respect and protection to widows, said Ganesh mandals should organise events and put up banners to create such awareness during the 10-day Ganpati festival beginning on 31 August. The activist has been campaigning against practices like wiping ‘sindoor’ (vermillion) from a woman’s forehead after her husband’s death, breaking her bangles, removing her toe rings and preventing her from participating in social and religious functions. Notably, Herwad in Maharashtra’s Kolhapur district in May this year became the first village in the country to pass a resolution banning the discriminatory rituals against widows, and several gram sabhas have followed suit since then. The state government had on 17 May asked all villages to follow the Herwad model.
27 Assam districts face internet suspension during govt exam hours
Guwahati: Internet services across 27 districts of Assam were suspended for over four hours on Sunday for the second time this month to prevent possible malpractices during written examination for recruitment in various state government departments. The authorities decided to go ahead with its decision to suspend internet services during exam hours, after the Gauhati High Court refused to stay it following a writ petition against the order. More than 14.30 lakh candidates are expected to appear for recruitment of nearly 30,000 Grade-III and -IV posts of various government departments (on 21, 28 August and 11 September). While the Grade-IV tests were held on 21 August in two shifts, the Grade-III examinations are being held on Sunday. The tests for more posts under Grade-III are scheduled for 11 September. All examinations are being conducted by the Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA).
India has decided to become self-reliant in energy sector in next 25 years: PM Modi
Gandhinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that India has decided to become self-reliant in energy sector in the next 25 years. Addressing a programme held to mark 40 years of Suzuki Motor Corporation in India at the Mahatma Mandir convention centre here, Modi also hailed the relationship between India and Japan. Modi said that electric two wheelers and four wheelers make no noise and are silent. “The silence of electric vehicles is bringing a new silent revolution in the country,” he said. The prime minister said Gujarat-Maharashtra bullet train to Rudraksh Centre in Varanasi and many such developmental projects are examples of India-Japan friendship. Former prime minister of Japan late Shinzo Abe worked to bring the two countries closer and the present PM (Fumio) Kishida is working further for it, Modi added.
Supertech twin towers razed to ground
Noida: The Supertech twin towers in Noida were demolished on Sunday, a year after the Supreme Court’s direction to raze the illegally built structures to the ground. The nearly 100-metre-high structures – taller than Delhi’s iconic Qutub Minar (73 metres) – were brought to the ground in seconds literally like a house of cards by the ‘waterfall implosion’ technique, in a breath-taking spectacle of modern-day engineering. Minutes after the demolition, the nearby buildings appeared to be safe. The Apex (32 floors) and Ceyane (29 floors) towers were under construction since 2009 within the Supertech Emerald Court housing society in Sector 93A of Noida, adjoining the national capital of Delhi. They were the tallest structures to be demolished in India. Over 3,700 kg of explosives were used in the implosion that brought down the building. Before the towers were demolished, around 5,000 residents of the Emerald Court and ATS Village societies vacated their homes for the day. They will be allowed to return after the inspection team grants clearance. The Supreme Court had on 31 August 2021 ordered the demolition of the towers for violation of building norms in “collusion with district officials, holding that illegal construction has to be dealt with strictly to ensure compliance with the rule of law”.
Noida twin towers: Hundreds cheer, clap as ‘structures of corruption’ come crashing down
New Delhi: Hundreds gathered near a ground in Noida to witness the once-in-a-lifetime spectacle of demolition of the 100-metres-tall Supertech twin towers cheered and clapped as the illegally built skyscrapers were reduced to rubble on Sunday. While some said the demolition sends out the message that corruption will not be tolerated in the country, others were there for an adrenaline rush. Ahead of the demolition, authorities had created an ‘exclusion zone’ in a radius of up to 500 metres around the twin towers where no human or animal was allowed except for the team of Indian and foreign blasters engaged in the demolition. People from Noida and neighbouring Delhi gathered near the Jaypee flyover ground to witness the marvel of modern-day engineering. “It felt like structures of corruption were coming down,” remarked Purshotam Mishra (42) as the Supertech twin towers disappeared into plumes of smoke and dust. Pritam Singh (60) from Noida’s Sector 44 said he waited four hours to witness the “historic demolition”. Lauding the authorities, Singh said the demolition “proves” that the government is against corruption.
Two clouded leopard cubs successfully hand-reared in Tripura
Agartala: Efforts to protect and conserve clouded leopard, marked as ‘vulnerable’ on IUCN Red List, seemed to have borne some fruit in Tripura, as two cubs were successfully hand-reared over the past few months at a breeding centre and subsequently released in Sepahijala zoo. This was the “first successful instance of hand-rearing clouded leopard in India”, claimed Biswajit Das, the wildlife warden of Sepahijala sanctuary, where the cubs were raised for three months. Clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), threatened by deforestation and commercial poaching, has large dusky-grey blotches and irregular spots and stripes reminiscent of clouds. It rests in trees during the day and hunts by night on the forest floor. Very little is known about these elusive cats as they are shy, agile and nocturnal in nature, with conservationists still seeking to learn more about their reproduction process and lifestyle. In India, clouded leopards are largely restricted to the country’s northeastern region. Forest officials said India in 2018 added clouded leopard to its recovery programme for critically endangered species to aid more research and strengthen conservation efforts.
The Hero of Tiger Hill: Book tells story of India’s youngest Param Vir Chakra awardee
New Delhi: A new book The Hero of Tiger Hill tells the inspiring story of Subedar Major (Honorary Captain) Yogendra Singh Yadav, the youngest Param Vir Chakra awardee – India’s highest gallantry award – at the age of 19 for his actions in the 1999 Kargil conflict. On the night of July 3, 1999, Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav, all of 19 years old, was given a very crucial task along with the Ghatak Platoon of 18 Grenadiers Regiment – to capture the impenetrable Tiger Hill. Braving the inhospitable terrain, freezing cold weather and facing fierce enemy fire, he was the first in this Ghatak Platoon to reach the top. Even after his body was pierced by multiple bullets and grenade shrapnel, he charged the enemy bunkers. He displayed the most conspicuous courage under extreme adverse circumstances during the Kargil War which made him the youngest awardee of PVC. Besides a detailed account of his valiant fight to capture Tiger Hill, the book also claims to take a brief but insightful look into the problems of Kashmiri people and how the Army is trying to tackle it, keeping people’s welfare in mind. The Hero of Tiger Hill, published by Srishti Publishers, is currently available for sale across offline and online stores.