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Ruling alliance will win 45 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra: CM Eknath Shinde

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Friday claimed that the ruling alliance of the Shiv Sena led by him, Ajit Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will win at least 45 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in the next year's elections, reported news agency PTI. He was speaking to reporters at the airport in Nagpur. Asked about deputy CM Ajit Pawar's statement at an NCP conclave that his party will contest Lok Sabha elections from Baramati and certain other constituencies in Pune district (when seat-sharing talks between the three parties are yet to place), Eknath Shinde said Pawar too was saying that the three parties will contest the polls together, reported PTI. "The Mahayuti (grand alliance) will contest Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections together and we will win more than 45 seats for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections," Shinde said, reported PTI. Compensation will be given to the farmers who lost crops due to the unseasonal rains earlier this week once 'panchnamas' or spot inspection reports are ready, the CM said to another question, reported PTI. Meanwhile, speaking elsewhere, Hingoli MP Hemant Patil, who belongs to the Shinde-led Shiv Sena faction, said the 13 Sena MPs who support the chief minister (following a split in the Shiv Sena last year) will all get tickets again in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, reported PTI. "Eknath Shinde has assured us about it," Patil told reporters, reported PTI. Meanwhile, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar on November 25 said there have been no talks regarding seat sharing among members of the state's ruling alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha and assembly elections, reported PTI. Mahayuti comprises the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, and Nationalist Congress Party (Ajit Pawar faction), reported PTI. Speaking to reporters here, the deputy chief minister said the Mahayuti government is stable as all 200 MLAs are together, and the state is doing well under the leadership of Shinde, reported PTI. "I suffered from dengue for 15 days. However, some people claimed that I had a political illness, it is nothing like that. Some even alleged that I met Union Home Minister Amit Shah to complain. But, I am not the one to complain," Pawar said, reported PTI. He further said that no talks had been held to discuss seat sharing for the upcoming (Lok Sabha and assembly) elections in Maharashtra, reported PTI. "There are assembly elections underway in some states. Hence, no talks have been held so far about the elections in Maharashtra," he said, reported PTI. Talking about water management in the state, Pawar said, "There is a drought-like situation. A meeting will soon be held with the chief minister, deputy chief ministers and collectors to address the issue, and plans will be made to tackle the situation." (With inputs from PTI)

01 December,2023 10:15 PM IST | Nagpur | mid-day online correspondent
Rahul Gandhi. Pic/PTI

Rahul Gandhi mocks political opponents' love for limelight

Taking a dig at his political opponents in Delhi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said the leadership in the national capital would like to turn all loudspeakers and cameras in their direction, but he prefers to turn the microphone to the people and listen to what they have to say. Addressing a gathering after presenting the first Priyadarshini Literary Award by KPCC to renowned writer T Padmanabhan, he said politicians are quite a funny variety of people, and loudspeakers are always facing them. "It (loudspeakers) is not facing the crowd because we like to hear ourselves speak. Every time I go there, I have to turn the speakers the other way. I think, in today's India, it is very important that the speaker is allowed to be turned the other way. Because, if you look at your leadership in Delhi, all loudspeakers and cameras are pointed in this direction," Gandhi said, gesturing. He said that there is, of course, a big difference between writers like Padmanabhan and politicians like himself. "It is much easier for Padmanabhan to speak the truth than it is for politicians. That is something which he has done in his whole life without exception," he said. He said that's why the KPCC is giving the writer the award because "whatever comes to his heart, he is ready to put on a piece of paper". The Wayanad MP also urged politicians to speak the truth like writers. "As politicians, we should aspire to be like writers, that whatever comes to our minds, whatever truth comes to our minds, we put it in front of the people," he said. However, Gandhi admitted that it was a much "harder job" as people tend not to like the truth. Stating that nations are built on truth and cannot be built on a lie, the leader said that is one lesson our founding fathers taught us better than anybody else. "Truth takes time...it takes perseverance...it takes patience...but eventually truth is much more powerful than lies," Gandhi further said. He said that in his political life, he tried to be as much like a writer as possible and said whatever he felt like saying, though it tended to cause problems. But he owed it to the people of India who have given him so much love and respect, and this prompted him to speak the truth even when it was uncomfortable, he added. In a time like today, when freedom is under attack, where hatred and violence are being spread in society, people like T Padmanabhan lay the foundation for the fight against it, Gandhi added. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

01 December,2023 10:08 PM IST | Kannur | PTI
Mahua Moitra. File Pic

Lok Sabha ethics panel's report on Moitra's expulsion to be tabled in House

The report of the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee recommending the expulsion of Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra in a "cash-for-query" case will be tabled in the lower house of Parliament on Monday. According to the agenda papers circulated by the Lok Sabha Secretariat, Ethics Committee chairperson Vinod Kumar Sonkar will lay on the table of the House the panel's first report. The committee, at a meeting on November 9, adopted its report recommending Moitra's expulsion from the Lok Sabha over the "cash-for-query" allegation. Six members of the panel voted in favour of the report, including Congress MP Preneet Kaur who had earlier been suspended from the party. Four members of the panel belonging to opposition parties submitted dissent notes. The opposition members termed the report a "fixed match" and said the complaint filed by BJP Lok Sabha member Nishikant Dubey, which the panel reviewed, was not supported by a "shred of evidence". Moitra can be expelled only if the House votes in favour of the panel's recommendation. The Winter Session of Parliament begins on Monday and is scheduled to continue till December 22. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

01 December,2023 09:46 PM IST | New Delhi | PTI
Manoj Jarange. File Pic

Withdraw police cases against Maratha quota agitators, says Manoj Jarange

Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange on Friday said police cases against agitators at Antarwali Sarati should be withdrawn in two days while those against others who took part in the stir across the state should be taken back within a month. Addressing a massive rally in Panjarpol here, Jarange also said there would be no compromise on the December 24 deadline for implementation of reservation for the Maratha community. A meeting will be held here on December 17 to plan further course of action in the fight to get reservation for the community, he added. At the behest of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also holds the home portfolio, ministers Uday Samant, Dhananjay Munde, Atul Save had visited Antarwali Sarati and they had promised to withdraw all cases, Jarange claimed. He also said Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Fadnavis and Deputy CM Ajit Pawar must not succumb to the pressure of Chhagan Bhujbal, who has been stridently opposing plans to give quota to Marathas from the share of the Other Backward Classes. Bhujbal was playing divisive politics and wanted to create friction between communities, Jarange further alleged. The state government had imposed section 144 (which prohibits assembly of people) in Latur but the rally planned by the Maratha community will go ahead as scheduled, Jarange said. The Jalna rally, on a 140-acre plot, was attended by several thousand persons, with Jarange being showered with flower petals along the way. Meanwhile, in Ambad, 12 OBC activists were detained for showing black flags to some members of the Maratha community who were on their way to Jarange's rally, police said.  This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

01 December,2023 09:18 PM IST | Jalna | PTI
File Photo

Will form govt in three of five states, claims BJP

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), citing the exit poll predictions, claimed that it would form the government in at least three of the five states. Assembly elections were recently held in five states -- Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram. Taking to 'X', Amit Malviya, in-charge of BJP's information and technology department, said: "All exit polls are predicting a sweep for the BJP in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Dead heat in Chhattisgarh, with a narrow gap between the two principal parties. It could well be 3-0, in favour of the BJP, in the Hindi heartland, on December 3." "One must be cautious about Telangana though, in view of the limited time to conduct a meaningful survey, since the state polled just today. Mizoram is also headed away from the Congress," he added. Meanwhile, most exit polls on Thursday predicted an edge to the Congress in Chhattisgarh and Telangana while forecasting that it was advantage BJP in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Pollsters also indicated that in Mizoram, Zoram People's Movement (ZPM) was locked in a close race with the Mizo National Front (MNF) with the Congress and the BJP lagging behind. While the BJP is in power in the 230-member Madhya Pradesh assembly, the Congress is ruling Rajasthan (200) and Chhattisgarh (90). In Telangana, the K Chandrashekhar Rao-led Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) has been in power since 10 years and in Mizoram, the MNF is in government. Elections to the five states took place between November 7-November 30 and the counting of votes would take place on December 3. In Madhya Pradesh, while Jan Ki Baat exit poll predicted that the BJP would get 100-123 seats and the Congress 102-125, Republic TV-Matrize forecast 118-130 seats for the BJP and 97-107 for the Congress. TV9 Bharatvarsh Polstrat said the BJP would get 106-116 and the Congress would get 111-121. Today's Chanakya, however, predicted a massive victory for the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, forecasting that the BJP would get 151 (plus minus 12 seats) and the Congress 74 (plus minus 12 seats). Jist-TIF-NAI said the Congress was enjoying 2018-like edge in Madhya Pradesh, predicting 107-124 seats for the party as against the BJP's 102-119. In Rajasthan, India Today-Axis My India forecast a tight race, predicting 86-106 seats for the Congress, 80-100 seats for the BJP and others 9-18. Jan Ki Baat pollsters forecast that the BJP would get 100-122 and 62-85 for the Congress, TV9 Bharatvarsh Polstrat predicted 100-110 for the BJP and 90-100 for the Congress. Times Now ETG poll predicts 108-128 seats for the BJP and 56-72 for the Congress in Rajasthan. Jist-TIF-NAI predicted that in Rajasthan there would be continuation of the state's revolving door tradition, forecasting 110 seats for the BJP and the Congress 70. For Chhattisgarh, while ABP News-C Voter predicted 36-48 seats for the BJP and 41-53 for the Congress, India Today-Axis My India forecast 36-46 seats for the BJP and 40-50 seats for the Congress. India TV-CNX forecast 30-40 seats for the BJP and 46-56 seats for the Congress. According to Jan Ki Baat, the BJP would get 34-45 and the Congress would get 42-53. Today's Chanakya predicted that the BJP would get 33 seats (plus-minus 8 seats) and the Congress would bag a clear majority 57 seats (plus-minus 8). For Telangana, while India TV-CNX forecast 63-79 seats for the Congress, 31-47 for the BRS, 2-4 for the BJP and 5-7 for the AIMIM, Jan Ki Baat forecast that the Congress would get 48-64 seats, the BRS would get 40-55, BJP 7-13 and AIMIM 4-7. Republic TV-Matrize predicted that in Telangana, the Congress would get 58-68 seats, BRS 46-56, BJP 4-9 and AIMIM 5-9. TV9 Bharatvarsh Polstrat stated that the Congress would get 49-59 seats and the BRS would get 48-58. In Mizoram, while India TV-CNX said the MNF would get 14-18, ZPM 12-16, Congress 8-10 and BJP 0-2, ABP News-C Voter said MNF would get 15-21, ZPM 12-18 and Congress 2-8. Jan Ki Baat said the MNF would get 10-14 seats, ZPM 15-25 seats, Congress 5-9 and the BJP 0-2. (With inputs from PTI)

01 December,2023 08:51 PM IST | New Delhi | mid-day online correspondent
Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar. Pic/X@SpokespersonMoD

Disputes in Indo-Pacific could get out of control: Navy Chief

The disputes in the Indo-Pacific do have the possibility of getting out of control and turning into conflict, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar said on Friday against the backdrop of growing global concerns over China's increasing military assertiveness in the region. In a media briefing ahead of Navy Day on December 4, he also said India has been closely monitoring Chinese activities in the Indian Ocean and that his force deployed surveillance assets, ships, aircraft, submarines and drones to boost its presence. "We try to keep the extra-regional forces which are present in the region under surveillance as we would like to know what are their activities and what are the intentions," he said, referring to Chinese forays into the Indian Ocean. "That is why we deploy our surveillance assets and ships, submarines, aircraft, UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) etc. They are deployed regularly to keep our area of interest under observation to see that we are aware of all the happenings that are taking place." On the Indo-Pacific, the Chief of Naval Staff said all like-minded nations must work together to ensure peace and stability in the region. "In the Indo-Pacific what we see -- there are disputes. These disputes do have the possibility of getting out of control or getting elevated and then they can go into conflict," he said. "That is one end of the spectrum. But at the other end or in the middle, I would say you find all other challenges like illegal migration, fishing, piracy, drug trafficking and the challenge of climate change," he said. Admiral Kumar said "dialogue" is essential to ensure that "we maintain peace and tranquillity in the region besides working for use of the oceans based on a rules-based approach. The Navy Chief said all like-minded nations must work unitedly towards a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific, adding no force irrespective of size alone can tackle the challenges in the region. He said oceans can be used for the legitimate economic aspirations of any nation. "China may have a legitimate reason to be present in the Indian Ocean region for economic activities. But, as the resident naval power in the Indian Ocean, keep an eye on what all is happening there," he said. Admiral Kumar said six-to-eight Chinese ships generally operate in the Indian Ocean besides a large number of fishing vessels and research platforms. "We monitor their activities," he said. "First and foremost, maintaining credible deterrence, while remaining ready to win war at sea will remain our principal priority. Our vision of being a 'combat ready, credible, cohesive, and future-proof force' underpins this aspect," he said. "As an associated element, we will keep a close tab on the intention, messaging, behavioural characteristics and transparency with which actors and forces are operating in our areas of interest," the Navy Chief said. He asserted that the Indian Navy is committed towards the government's 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' (self-reliant India) approach. "In comprehension of the government's view that Aatmanirbharta is not merely an economic necessity, but increasingly a strategic one, Bharatiya Nausena has made an unequivocal commitment to be fully Aatmanirbhar by 2047 in capabilities, capacities as well as concepts," he said. The Navy Chief said his force aims to become 170 ship-Navy by 2035. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

01 December,2023 07:44 PM IST | New Delhi | PTI
Representational Pic/File

Rajasthan: ACB arrests sarpanch for taking Rs 2.40 lakh bribe in Chittorgarh

The Rajasthan Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Friday arrested a sarpanch in Chittorgarh district for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 2.40 lakh, a spokesperson said, reported the PTI. The sarpanch of Jadana gram panchayat, had allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs 3.40 lakh to issue the lease deed of the plot, said the ACB spokesperson. Verifying the complaint, the ACB's Chittorgarh unit took action on Friday and arrested the accused sarpanch while accepting Rs 2.40 lakh, according to the PTI. The accused sarpanch had earlier taken Rs 1 lakh as bribe from the complainant during the verification of the complaint. Meanwhile, in October, a woman sarpanch and an official of a gram panchayat were arrested for allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 60,000 for issuing a no objection certificate at a village in Maharashtra's Palghar district, an official said on Friday, the PTI reported on Friday. According to the news agency, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Thursday arrested Dashana Dattatreya Pimple, sarpanch of Pam village, and the gram panchayat's collection clerk Bhavesh Ganpat Pimple, deputy superintendent of police Palghar ACB Dayanand Gawade said.   The sarpanch had allegedly demanded Rs 60,000 to issue an NOC to the complainant, who runs a security agency, he said, as per the PTI.   An offence under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered against the duo, the official said.   The ACB laid a trap and caught the clerk while he was accepting the bribe amount on behalf of the sarpanch at the gram panchayat office on Thursday evening, he said.   In an another incident in mid-September, The Anti-Corruption Bureau sleuths, on Friday, said that they have arrested an official of Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran (MJP), a state government, undertaking, for demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 5,000 from a Thane man, stated a PTI report.   According to the Deputy Superintendent of Police (Thane ACB), Sanju John, the anti-corruption bureau on Thursday registered an offence against senior clerk Sripat Khade (52) of the MJP under the Prevention of Corruption Act.   Reportedly, the accused official had demanded Rs 5000 from the complainant for registering him as a contractor with the MJP. The state government undertaking provides technical sanctions and implements water supply and sewerage projects. (with PTI inputs)

01 December,2023 07:33 PM IST | Chittorgarh | mid-day online correspondent
Jairam Ramesh. File Pic

Instead of suppressing data, transparent audit of sanitation needed: Congress

The Congress claimed on Friday that more than 25 per cent of the rural households still do not use a toilet regularly and demanded an open and transparent audit of toilet usage and sanitation in the country, reported news agency PTI. Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh also claimed that the use of toilets has been declining in India since 2018, especially among the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities, and accused the BJP-led Centre of "suppressing data" while declaring victory over open defecation, reported PTI. Citing media reports, Jairam Ramesh alleged that the World Bank faced "a lot of heat" from the Narendra Modi government and had to withdraw its papers that said the repackaged Swachh Bharat Mission, launched after much hype, has not been sustained, reported PTI. In a post on X, the Congress leader said the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, launched in September 2011, was repackaged and rebranded as the Swachh Bharat Mission. The Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan had launched massive programmes to make every gram panchayat open defecation-free, he said, adding that it had started popularising the use of bio-toilets in trains and "Swachhata Doots" like actress Vidya Balan were mobilised. Innovative slogans were popularised and a concurrent evaluation by independent agencies was encouraged, Ramesh said. "Now, a report from the World Bank shows that the repackaged Swachh Bharat Mission, launched after so much hype, has not been sustained. Usage of toilets has been declining in India since 2018, with the decline most concentrated among SC and ST communities," the Congress leader claimed citing a media report. The report quoting sources claimed that the World Bank has withdrawn three papers, including one that flagged a "most concerning" decline in the use of toilets in rural India between 2018 and 2021, after the Centre allegedly questioned their findings. "After the initial fanfare, the Prime Minister has moved onto other schemes, headlines and events. Staff for sanitation has been reduced and payments have been delayed. Indeed, far from tall claims about making India free from open defecation, over 25 per cent of rural households still do not regularly use a toilet," Ramesh said. He claimed that the World Bank expectedly faced "a lot of heat" from the Modi government and had to withdraw the papers. "Instead of suppressing data and declaring victory over open defecation, what is needed is an open and transparent audit of toilet usage and sanitation in India, along with reversing budget cuts. This is even more important at a time when India has been backsliding on many important health indicators since 2014 with sharp increases especially in anaemia and child malnutrition," Ramesh said. (With inputs from PTI)

01 December,2023 07:27 PM IST | New Delhi | mid-day online correspondent
Delhi Education Minister Atishi. File Pic

Atishi writes to Centre flagging 'irregularities' in 12 DU colleges

Delhi Education Minister Atishi on Friday wrote to the Centre flagging "irregularities" in 12 colleges of the Delhi University that are funded by the city government. In her letter to Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, she said, "The Delhi government has noted several serious irregularities and procedural lapses involving hundreds of crores of rupees from the public exchequer." "Since these colleges are directly affiliated with DU, they're not answerable to the Delhi government for the judicious utilisation of funds," she said. She suggested that the 12 colleges can be merged and brought under the Delhi government or the Centre may take their full control and in that case, the Delhi government will stop allocating funds to them. There was no immediate reaction from the university on the matter. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

01 December,2023 07:13 PM IST | New Delhi | mid-day online correspondent
Representational Pic/File/iStock

Mizoram NGOs stage protest seeking rescheduling of vote counting date

Members of the Mizoram NGO Coordination Committee (NGOCC) staged protests across the state on Friday seeking a change in the date of counting of votes for the state assembly polls scheduled on December 3. The demonstrations were held in state capital Aizawl and other district headquarters. NGOCC is an umbrella body of major civil society organisations and student bodies, including the influential Central Young Mizo Association (CYMA) and Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP). Addressing the rally near Raj Bhawan here, NGOCC chairman Lalhmachhuana blamed the Election Commission for remaining silent on the issue despite repeated appeals by political parties, churches and NGOs to reschedule the counting date as it falls on a Sunday, a sacred day for Christians, who form the majority of the state's population. The NGOCC had also recently sent a delegation to Delhi and discussed the issue with poll panel officials, he said. "It is unfortunate that the Election Commission of India remained silent on the issue and failed to respond to our appeals," he said. Lalhmachhuana, who is also the president of CYMA, said the demonstrations were nothing but to safeguard the Mizo community and their religion. He urged political parties to keep their offices shut on counting day. He also requested party representatives and candidates not to turn up at the counting centres on Sunday as a mark of protest. Leaders of other organisations such as Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl (MHIP) or Mizoram Women's Association, Mizo Students Union (MSU), Mizoram Kohhran Hruaitute Committee (MKHC) and MZP also addressed the rally. MZP president H Lalthianghlima and MSU president Samuel Zoramthanpuia vehemently blamed state chief electoral officer (CEO) Madhup Vyas for allegedly not taking sincere steps to change the counting date. Both the students leaders said they will take measures to ensure that no further election is conducted under the leadership of Vyas. Polling for the 40-member Mizoram assembly was held on November 7 where more than 80 per cent of over 8.57 lakh voters exercised their franchise to decide the fate of 174 candidates. Ruling Mizo National Front (MNF), main opposition party Zoram People's Movement (ZPM) and Congress had contested in 40 seats each. The BJP and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had contested in 23 and 4 seats, respectively. There were 27 independent candidates. In the last assembly polls held in 2018, MNF had bagged 26 seats and ZPM won 8 seats relegating Congress, which bagged 5, to the third place. The BJP opened its account winning one seat. Meanwhile, officials said the election department, police machinery and civil administration are fully prepared to conduct counting on Sunday. Counting will begin at 8 am in all 13 counting centres and 40 counting halls across that state in which postal ballots will be counted first followed by votes polled in EVMs, they said. Over 4,000 counting personnel will be involved in the counting and there will be 399 EVM tables and 56 postal ballot tables, officials added. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

01 December,2023 06:59 PM IST | Aizawl | PTI
Union minister Kiren Rijiju. Pic/X@KirenRijiju

Policymakers need to be sensitised to disaster risk reduction: Kiren Rijiju

Union minister Kiren Rijiju on Friday said policymakers should be sensitised to the need for disaster risk reduction and resilience, given the increasing frequency and intensity of natural calamities, reported news agency PTI. "If we are not prepared, even one disaster can devastate everything and neutralise all developmental efforts," the minister said at the valedictory function of the 6th World Congress on Disaster Management, reported PTI. "Considering the growing frequency and intensity of disasters, policymakers should be sensitised to the need for disaster risk reduction and resilience. Our policies need to be framed with these factors in mind so that even if there is an earthquake measuring 7 on the Richter scale, people remain unharmed," Kiren Rijiju said, reported PTI. Lauding the "professional" manner in which 41 workers were rescued safely after an under-construction tunnel partially collapsed in Uttarakhand's Silkyara, the Union minister said the way disasters are being handled under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi shows the emergence of a strong India, reported PTI. The workers, who got trapped in the tunnel on November 12, were rescued after a gruelling 17-day operation that culminated on Tuesday evening. On the involvement of multiple agencies and national and international experts in the rescue operation, Rijiju said it was a laudable and successful operation, reported PTI. He said he saw the Dehradun Declaration containing suggestions and recommendations of experts participating in the sixth edition of the WCDM but the success of these events depends on how effectively the message is taken to the community level, reported PTI. "The goal of such events is to make every individual disaster-resilient so that they know what is to be done within 30 minutes of a calamity to secure themselves," the minister said. He said the India Meteorological Department will also have to shift from weather forecasts to weather management, reported PTI. "The way accurate forecasts about a cyclone help in evacuation, we have to move towards more precise weather warnings in case of other natural calamities too," the Union minister said, reported PTI. The four-day Congress in which delegates from various countries participated covered topics such as space-based information for disaster management, building resilience of communities through ecosystem-based approaches, marine disaster management and inland water resources impact on environment. (With inputs from PTI)

01 December,2023 06:57 PM IST | Dehradun | mid-day online correspondent
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