Some of Nova Scotia’s longest-serving firefighters were recognized today, Oct 5, at a special ceremony in Truro, in honour of 25 years of dedication to fire services. Mark Parent, Minister of Environment and Labour, awarded 13 recipients from across the province with the Fire Services Long Service Medal. “Firefighters deserve the support and recognition of all of us because of their valuable contributions to Nova Scotian communities,” said Mr. Parent. “I am pleased that all exemplary service medals given out in the past and in the future will now receive provincial recognition. Our firefighters deserve it.” Since 1980, the Office of the Fire Marshal has been awarding exemplary service medals to firefighters who have helped serve and protect Nova Scotia communities. The medals had not previously been officially recognized in legislation. The award is issued to any person who serves as a firefighter for 25 years and who received a federally issued medal for 20 years of service. “Our fire-service professionals in Nova Scotia appreciate the support and recognition of government,” said Tom Bremner, president of the Fire Service Association of Nova Scotia. “Firefighting is one of the most important services in the province because it is present in every community.” Below is list of recipients receiving long service medals at today’s ceremony: Noel White, Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Services Greg MacDonald, Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Services Arnold Wood, Parrsboro Fire Department Wendall MacLeod, Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Services David MacLeod, Department of National Defence Fire Services Bernard MacKinnon, Cape Breton Regional Municipality Fire Services Joe Mannette, Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Services Ricky Thomas Banks, Shag Harbour-Bear Point Fire Department Edward Wesley Nickerson, Shag Harbour-Bear Point Fire Department William Thompson, Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Services Kevin Boates, Truro Fire Service Edward Paul LeBlanc, Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Services Keith Hatchard, Annapolis Royal Fire Department Since 1980, the Office of the Fire Marshal has given out more than 2,500 long-service medals to volunteer and paid firefighters in Nova Scotia.
Drivers between Springhill and Oxford will soon have a smoother ride because of a paving tender announced by the province today, April 8. The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal has called a tender to repave 5.7 kilometres of Route 321 from the intersection of Wyvern Road at River Philip toward Springhill. “So far this year our department has scheduled more than 200 kilometres of repaving on Nova Scotia roads,” said Murray Scott, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “This is a useful route for drivers in the Oxford and Springhill areas and I’m pleased to see it on this year’s construction schedule.” The project is part of government’s commitment to better roads and infrastructure as outlined in the speech from the throne. The department’s highways division manages more than 23,000 kilometres of roads in Nova Scotia. It maintains 4,100 bridges and operates seven provincial ferries. Staff provide services from district offices in Bridgewater, Bedford, Truro, and Sydney.
The Access Nova Scotia Centre at 380 Kings Rd., Sydney, will be closed Monday, May 2, for renovations. The centre will re-open on Tuesday, May 3. The new entrance will move to the front of the building. Residents can access telephone services at 1-800-670-4357. For online services, visit www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr . -30-
History enthusiasts will marvel at the chance to take a detailed look at the controversial military activities of Col. John Gorham from 1747-1750. The Nova Scotia Archives recently acquired the account book used by Col. Gorham of Barnstable, Massachusetts to record his financial transactions in Nova Scotia. It has been digitized and is now available on the Nova Scotia Archives website. “The Gorham Account Book is a highly significant original document,” said John Reid, Department of History, Saint Mary’s University. “It sheds new light on a turbulent era in Nova Scotia’s past.” A controversial character in a complicated time, Col. Gorham recruited, organized and led Gorham’s Rangers, a small military unit that patrolled the province’s coastline by boat to enforce British authority during the Seven Years’ War. The account book shows how the rangers did business with the Acadians, but also how they attacked their communities and fought with the Mi’kmaq. “Col. Gorham’s account book offers the chance to look at a little known period of Nova Scotia history which helps tell the story of a conflict that happened close to home,” said Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Tony Ince. “I thank the Board of Trustees of the Public Archives of Nova Scotia and the staff at the Nova Scotia Archives for continuing to build on the province’s documented history, and for making more of it available online.” The account book contains 178 pages of poorly written lists, along with ink stains and dirt smudges. The details regarding preparations for expeditions give names, wages and locations of the rangers, along with the cost of merchandise and provisions including clothing, weapons, tools, and plenty of rum and molasses. To view Col. John Gorham’s account book, go to http://novascotia.ca/nsarm/virtual/gorham/ .
The auction is at 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 18, at the Auction Advantage warehouse at 11 Mount Hope Ave. The items can be seen Friday, Oct. 17, from noon until 4 p.m. and on auction day between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Photos are available online at www.auctionad.ca . The auction will be conducted by Auction Advantage. Cash, debit and credit cards will be accepted. Government’s next surplus auction is Saturday, Oct. 18, in Dartmouth. Among the equipment people can bid on are: cars, pickup trucks and a utility van lawn mowers and tractors snowblowers utility trailers forklifts ATVs farm tractor snowplows for one-ton trucks leaf blowers commercial kitchen equipment.
The May long weekend typically sees an increase in travellers on the road and unfortunately, an increase in the number of people driving impaired. The government is asking drivers to be especially alert and, in partnership with law enforcement, for people to report suspected impaired drivers by calling 911. “This is a beautiful time of year in our province and I know many Nova Scotians will be hitting the road this long weekend to take advantage of it,” said Geoff MacLellan, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “If you’re planning a road trip, please put down your hand-held device, wear your seatbelt, watch your speed and, I wish this could go without saying, never drink or take drugs and drive.” The leading causes of fatal collisions are: driver inattention and distraction not wearing a seatbelt speeding and aggressive driving impaired driving “As the first long weekend going into summer, traffic volumes increase across the province so we often see an increase in collisions on our roadways,” said Insp. Bernardine Chapman, officer in charge of RCMP Traffic Services. “In Nova Scotia, distracted driving is the leading cause of fatal and serious injury collisions, followed closely by impaired driving. “Both can have tragic consequences leaving a lasting impact on many individuals and families in our communities.” In 2014, 54 people died in collisions on provincial highways. “RCMP officers will be out conducting extra enforcement throughout the weekend with a focus on the four leading causes of fatal and serious collisions,” said Insp. Chapman. “We want to remind motorists that road safety is everyone’s responsibility. If you see someone you think is impaired, don’t hesitate to call 911.” “Driving with your mind completely focused on the task of driving is perhaps the most loving thing you can do for family, friends and other Nova Scotians you encounter this long weekend,” said Shirley Burdock, community co-chair of the provincial Road Safety Advisory Committee. Follow the department on Twitter @ns_tir for the latest highway updates and information.
The new ferry for the Grand Passage service between Long Island and Brier Island, Digby Co., was officially christened as Margaret’s Justice to honour a local heroine, Margaret Davis. Participating in the ceremony today, Nov. 12, in Westport, Brier Island, were Alva McDormand, a long-time Brier Island resident, Premier Stephen McNeil, Clare-Digby MLA Gordon Wilson and descendants of Margaret Davis. In the spring, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal held a name-the-new-islands ferry campaign at the Islands Consolidated School, in Freeport. The successful submission was Margaret’s Justice from Grade 12 student Carter Thurber. Margaret Davis, who lived on Brier Island from 1788-1858, was a mother to nine children, a healer, and a farmer. In 1828 the 63-year-old widow was threatened with losing her land to a neighbour. She walked to Halifax to fight for the right to her land and was successful. “Margaret’s Justice tells a great story of a courageous woman whose actions were many years ahead of her time,” said Premier McNeil. “Margaret Davis’s fight for justice continues to be an inspirational story in the islands’ history. We are honoured to have Ms. Davis’s name on our provincial ferry.” The $9.3-million ferry can carry 95 passengers and 18 vehicles. It was designed by EYE Marine Consultants of Dartmouth and built by A.F. Theriault and Son Boatyard of Meteghan, Digby Co. The Margaret’s Justice ferry will begin service in December. The present ferry, the Joe Casey, will continue to provide service between Long Island and Brier Island until December. FOR BROADCAST USE The new ferry for the Grand Passage service between Long Island and Brier Island, Digby County, was officially christened today (November 12th) as Margaret’s Justice to honour a local heroine, Margaret Davis. Margaret Davis, who lived on Brier Island from 1788 to 1858, was a 63-year-old widow when she walked from Brier Island to Halifax to successfully fight to retain her property. Premier Stephen McNeil says Margaret’s Justice tells a great story of a courageous woman whose actions were many years ahead of her time and the province is honoured to have her name on the new provincial ferry. The nine-point-three-million dollar ferry can carry ninety-five passengers and eighteen vehicles. The Margaret’s Justice ferry will begin service in December. -30-
Government is encouraging more businesses to hire apprentices in Nova Scotia through an expanded procurement program. In January, 2016 government launched a pilot program that required contractors bidding on provincially funded school construction projects to take part in Nova Scotia’s apprenticeship program. It has now been expanded to include all provincially funded construction projects over $1 million and is now a permanent program in Nova Scotia. “The apprenticeship system is an integral part of growing our skilled workforce and building a stronger economy,” said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Labi Kousoulis. “This initiative is one concrete way government can work with the private sector to employ more apprentices, who are primarily young people, here in Nova Scotia.” During the pilot phase, more than 90 employers who train apprentices were part of the construction teams that built the new schools in Nova Scotia. “We are pleased to see the expansion of this program. Apprenticeship is a proven way to increase productivity, transfer knowledge and fine tune skills,” said Duncan Williams, president and CEO of the Construction Association of Nova Scotia. “It is a great industry and we need to attract the best and brightest as projects become increasingly more complex.” The program applies to contractors whose portion of the bid exceeds $100,000. Exceptions will be made for smaller companies and those whose work does not fall within a designated trade. This is a joint initiative between the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal and the Construction Association of Nova Scotia. Contractors must show proof of participation in the apprentice system to perform work on these projects. They can apply for such proof by visiting https://nsapprenticeship.ca/employers-industry/proc-project .
Patna: After a senior RJD leader asked Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to join the Grand Alliance again, jailed party chief Lalu Prasad’s wife Rabri Devi has said she has no objection if he does so. “If Nitish Kumar joins the Grand Alliance again, we have no objection to it,” Rabri Devi told media here on Monday night. However, she made it clear that any decision on this will be taken by top leaders of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). Rabri Devi’s statement came after Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, a former Union Minister, said Janata Dal-United (JD-U) chief Nitish Kumar should join hands with non-BJP parties to fight against the saffron party. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoC “He (Nitish Kumar) will surely switch sides but no one can predict when will he do that or what will he say. This has happened several times earlier. It’s not surprising… All I want is that everyone should come together against the BJP,” he said on Monday. Singh’s offer came a day after Nitish Kumar inducted eight JD-U MLAs as Cabinet Ministers, leaving out the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), leading to speculation of a rift between the two allies. The Cabinet expansion on Sunday came two days after the JD-U chief decided that his party won’t join Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new government because it was offered just one seat — a “symbolic” representation. The RJD’s relation with Nitish Kumar turned bitter after he dumped the RJD-led Grand Alliance in July 2017 and joined hands with the BJP and formed the government.
New Delhi: Sultry weather will prevail in the national capital Saturday and no relief is expected from the scorching heat for two days, the weatherman said. At 8:30 am, the weather station at Safdarjung recorded the minimum temperature at 28 degrees Celsius, normal for this time of the year, and humidity levels at 56 per cent. The city is likely to record a high of 43 degrees Celsius. However, private forecaster Skymet Weather predicted that the mercury could touch the 46-degree mark. Also Read – Cylinder blast kills mother and daughter in Karawal Nagar A meteorological department official predicted a mainly clear sky for the rest of the day. Heat wave conditions are likely at isolated places in Delhi for the next two days, the official said. In large areas, a heatwave is declared when the mercury touches the 45-degree mark for two consecutive days and a severe heatwave is when the temperature soars to 47 degrees Celsius for two days on the trot, according to the India Meteorological Department. In small areas, like the national capital, a heatwave is declared if the maximum temperature is recorded at 45 degrees Celsius even for a day, he said.
Mumbai: Siddhant Chaturvedi, who became an overnight sensation after his stellar debut in “Gully Boy”, will be next seen in an action and comedy films. Siddhant also said he is set to collaborate again with Excel Entertainment, who launched him in “Gully Boy”, for a film. “I have two films in my hand. One is an action film, (where I will be) trained in taekwondo. Another one is a proper comedy film,” the actor told PTI. “I am doing a film with Excel. But it is not my next film. The film with them is huge. It is a lead role,” Siddhant added. Also Read – Rihanna to release 500-page ‘visual’ autobiography Asked if any of the upcoming films is with Yash Raj Films, as reported, he refused to comment on it. Speculations are rife about director Zoya Akhtar planning a prequel for Siddhant’s character MC Sher. But the actor dismissed reports and said he would not like to cash in on the popularity of the role. “I would rather not touch it as it is too scary. I don’t want to cash in on that character, I want to move on. If I had to repeat myself I would have done 9 am to 5pm job,” he said. Also Read – Hilarie Burton, Jeffery Dean Morgan tie the knot “Zoya Akhtar is interested in making ‘Gully Boy’ (sequel), maybe something on the Delhi chapter. There is a huge pop scene in Delhi as well so she may do a part two,” he added. Siddhant said he wants to prove himself as lead and is carefully choosing scripts. “I am not related to anyone in the film industry and I can’t afford to miss the flight. I am an outsider, there is nepotism and other things also happen. I am taking time to read scripts. I happen to read at least three to four scripts a week. “I want to prove myself in a lead role and that script has to be bang on, so I take time to choose the right one. I believe every film is your first film. I haven’t done much, I am yet to prove myself,” he said.
Osaka: US President Donald Trump on Saturday invited North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to meet for a historic handshake at the demilitarised zone that divides the Korean peninsula, and said he would have “no problem” stepping over the border. The invitation issued on Twitter caught observers by surprise. If Kim accepts, it would be the third meeting between the leaders of the two wartime enemies amid efforts to contain North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. Also Read – Turkey preparations for Syria offensive ‘completed’The North’s official KCNA news agency quoted Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui as saying the offer was “a very interesting suggestion” but that no official request had been received. Trump lobbed the shock invitation on Twitter from the G20 summit in Osaka, saying: “if Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet him at the Border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say Hello(?)!” He later said he would have “no problem” stepping into the North with Kim — in what would be a dramatic gesture re-enacting an extraordinary 2018 scene when the young leader invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in to walk over the Military Demarcation Line that forms the border between the Koreas. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi Jinping”Sure I would, I would. I’d feel very comfortable doing that. I’d have no problem,” Trump told reporters. The US leader said the invitation was spontaneous, but it comes amid a recent flurry of diplomacy over North Korea’s nuclear programme after a Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi collapsed without an agreement. Speculation grew that something was afoot when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo skipped a G20 dinner Friday without giving a reason. “We’ll see. If he is there, we will see each other for two minutes,” said Trump, adding: “I just put out a feeler because I don’t know where he is right now, he may not be in North Korea.” “We seem to get along… That’s a good thing, not a bad thing,” added the president. North Korea’s Choe said if a meeting took place it would be “another meaningful occasion in further deepening the personal relations between the two leaders and advancing the bilateral relations”. The North’s speedy response to Trump’s offer, and from such a senior figure, was seen by analysts as an indication that Kim would agree to the meeting as soon as Washington followed up with an official proposal. Cheong Seong-chang, a senior researcher at the private Sejong Institute in Seoul, said Kim had “practically accepted” Trump’s invitation. “If he (Kim) isn’t interested he would not release such a statement to begin with.” Twitter is not available to ordinary North Korean citizens, who have no access to the global internet, but Trump told reporters that Kim “follows” his account and they had received a “quick” response after his offer. But there was scepticism that a fleeting frontier photo opportunity, no matter how symbolic, would bridge the two sides’ differences over denuclearisation. “For talks to have real legs, either Kim must credibly commit to denuclearisation or Trump must credibly agree to allow Kim to keep some of his nuclear weapons,” said Scott Seaman, director of Eurasia Group Asia. “Without a shared end goal, creating a viable roadmap to reaching it will remain impossible.” After several months of public silence, an exchange of letters between the leaders appears to have thawed the deep-freeze and raised hopes for a third summit after a historic first tete-a-tete in Singapore on June 12, 2018 and the second in Hanoi in February. Trump arrived in Seoul from the summit in Osaka, where on Saturday he held a highly anticipated meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping that produced a truce in trade tensions between the world’s top two economies. Last week, Xi visited Pyongyang for a highly symbolic summit with Kim. Analysts say that diplomatic breakthroughs often follow on from such meetings. The Trump-Kim Hanoi summit foundered amid disagreements on what the North would be willing to give up in exchange for relief from sanctions that weigh on its economy.
Amritsar: A court here has convicted 13 people, including 11 former policemen, in a 2014 kidnapping and murder case of a jail inmate. Additional Sessions Judge Sandeep Singh Bajwa, while convicting them on Friday, said the quantum of punishment would be pronounced on Monday. Those who have been convicted include former inspector Narang Singh, former assistant sub-inspectors Gulshanbir Singh and Sawinder Singh, ex-head constables Jagjit Singh, Gurpreet Singh and Lakhwinder Singh, ex-constables Makhtool Singh, Angrej Singh, Lakhwinder Singh, Amandeep Singh and Randhir Singh of the Punjab Police. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!The two others are Deep Raj Singh and Jagtar Singh. On May 5, 2014, jail inmate Bikramjit Singh, who was undergoing life imprisonment in a murder case, was taken to a government hospital here for treatment. He was kidnapped from the hospital by a police team led by Narang Singh and taken to Batala where he was tortured inhumanely and then murdered, as per the complaint filed by victim’s brother Dalbir Singh. Following Bikramjit’s abduction, police had initially registered a case against him on May 6, 2014, alleging that he escaped from the police custody from the hospital premises. But later the policemen and two others were booked for his murder. All the accused have been held guilty under sections 302 (murder), 364 (kidnapping), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC. The public prosecutor said a total of 14 persons were nominated in this case and one accused, identified as former ASI Baljit Singh, was declared a proclaimed offender and is yet to be arrested.
New Delhi: The ED said Friday it has attached assets worth Rs 3.10 crore in connection with its money-laundering probe in the Antrix-Devas deal case.It said a provisional order for attachment, in the form of bank balance in the current account and fixed deposits available with ICICI Bank in Bangalore’s Malleswaram, has been issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The assets are in the name of Devas Multimedia Pvt Ltd (DMPL), the agency said in a statement. DMPL was incorporated in 2004 by a few former employees of the Indian Space Research Organisation and it subsequently entered into an agreement with Antrix Corporation Ltd, a central government company, registered in Bengaluru. Antrix is a 100 per cent government owned public sector undertaking under the control of ISRO and it functions as its commercial arm. It had signed a deal with Devas in January 2005 to provide it with crucial S-Band wavelength, which is primarily kept for strategic interests of the country. The ED has filed a money-laundering case on the basis of a CBI FIR. The CBI case was filed against DMPL and others for illegally entering into an agreement with ISRO/Antrix corporation Ltd by fraudulently representing certain facts and on entering the agreement, collected investments from abroad through criminal conspiracy, it said. The ED said DMPL had “fraudulently” made a claim that it had the ownership and intellectual property rights to use the technology for delivering multi-media services and entered into an agreement with ISRO/ACL.
New Delhi: Actor Nushrat Bharucha says breaking an image is one of the biggest challenges for an actor. Nushrat rose to fame by playing the girl-next-door characters in Pyaar Ka Punchnama films and Sweety in Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety. Does she want to break that image? “Breaking an image actually is one of the toughest fights an actor can fight. Also, it becomes one of the most challenging things for me,” Nushrat said. “For me, it sort of becomes one of the most challenging reasons to approach a film or to get to a film. It excites me more because I feel like ‘Yeah, this (role) people have not seen me do and they will really be able to see me in a different light’,” she added. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: PriyankaNushrat will next be seen in Hurdang, a love story set in the 1990s, a time when the youth fought for their rights and spent a lot of time occupied with self-realisation. “I hope with my next few films I am able to give them something that they wouldn’t have imagined me doing,” she said, adding that her character in the film is “gritty” and “to-the-face”. Bharucha debuted in Hindi cinema in 2006 with the film Jai Santoshi Maa. She then starred alongside Jackky Bhagnani in the science fiction romantic drama Kal Kissne Dekha (2009) which was a commercial failure. The following year, she was paired with Rajkummar Rao and Anshuman Jha in Dibakar Banerjee’s experimental anthology drama Love Sex Aur Dhokha.
Kolkata: Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Monday launched a first-of-its-kind unique public outreach campaign titled ‘Didi Ke Bolo’ (Tell Didi) with the target to reach around 1.6 crore families, which is 80 percent of the total households in Bengal in the coming 20 months ahead of the 2021 state Assembly elections.This is the second of the major public outreach programmes initiated by her followed by the “Jan Sanjog Yatra,” which she announced during the Martyrs’ Day Rally at Esplanade on July 21. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAs part of the programme, TMC representatives will reach out to the families, have dinner at the booth-level party workers’ houses and spend the night in villages. During the level-playing interaction, they will give a phone number: 9137091370 that will enable people to put across their views, grievances, if any, directly to Didi. People can also get straight access to the Chief Minister digitally through www.didikebolo.com. Using this platform, people can reach out to her by simply calling on a number or logging onto the campaign website with their suggestions and problems. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe campaign will commence with more than a thousand elected representatives and party functionaries who will personally visit 10,000 villages and urban habitations over the next 100 days, meet people and listen to their problems. “The objective of the initiative is to improve citizen’s participation and engagement by providing a platform to every individual to share their views or problems and suggestions for expedited action,” Banerjee said. The brochure that was released by her on Saturday in a press conference lists a stepwise do’s for the party representatives. Trinamool leaders, after reaching a village or town assigned to them by the party headquarters, are required to hold a meeting of the booth-level party workers. They should try to meet three to five prominent personalities of the area and seek their views. The party leaders should then hold an interactive session with the local party workers and booth-level members and stay overnight at the house of one of the party members. The next day they should conduct door-to-door visits of the neighbouring households. Before leaving the area, they should hoist the Trinamool flag there. Banerjee addressed the media conference all by herself and held a meeting with the MLAs and senior party leaders in the district level at Nazrul Manch, asking them to popularise the phone number in the best possible manner. All the MLAs present in the meeting were given bags, small batches, T-shirts and visiting cards to make the new initiative popular that Banerjee termed as the ‘modernization’ of TMC. It may be mentioned that Banerjee had roped in poll strategist and Janata Dal (U) vice-president Prashant Kishor in June. According to party sources, Kishor’s Indian Political Action Committee (IPAC) has designed the campaign for the election to the 294-member state Assembly scheduled to be held in 2021. Representatives from the IPAC were also present during Banerjee’s press conference. The initiative will be followed by similar launch events across the state by elected representatives and key functionaries of the party in over 1,000 locations over the next three to five days.
New Delhi: Former CBI Special Director, Rakesh Asthana, was on Wednesday night given the additional charge of Director-General of the Narcotics Control Bureau. Asthana currently holds the position of DG in the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security. The 1984-batch IPS officer was at the centre of the CBI versus CBI battle that broke out last year when the probe agency registered a corruption case against its own Special Director. The infighting within the Central Bureau of Investigation saw major transfers of officials, with former Director Alok Verma and Asthana, both being removed from the agency. The FIR against Asthana alleged that he had agreed to accept a bribe of Rs 5 crore to stop issuing summons to Hyderabad-based businessman Satish Sana Babu. Asthana had then claimed that part of the bribe was actually intended for Verma and sent his complaint to the Central Vigilance Commission. Sana was earlier arrested by the ED in connection with a money-laundering probe against controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi. Earlier this year, Verma was shunted out to DG Fire Services but refused to take up his post. Moreover, former interim CBI director Nageswar Rao was also moved out of the CBI earlier and posted as DG Fire Services.
New Delhi: The mortal remains of former finance minister Arun Jaitley were on Sunday morning brought to the BJP headquarters where Union ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, and senior party leaders and workers paid their last respect.The body will be taken to the Nigambodh Ghat on the banks of the Yamuna river for performing the last rites around 2.30 pm with full State honours, a senior BJP leader said.A flower-decked gun carriage will carry the mortal remains from the BJP office to the cremation site. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The 66-year-old passed away at the AIIMS here on Saturday. He was undergoing treatment at the hospital, where he was admitted on August 9.BJP working president JP Nadda, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Yoga Guru Ramdev paid their last tribute at the party HQ, saying the BJP would seek his strategy whenever there was an election in the state.”He has been a Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat. We have won several elections in the state by working on his strategy. We will always feel his absence,” Rupani told reporters. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KJaitley’s body wrapped in the national flag was brought to the BJP headquarters located on the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg here from his Kailash Colony residence.BJP workers and mourners queued up in large numbers outside the party headquarters to pay their last respects to the leader.Outside the party office, people chanted “Jab tak suraj chand rahega Jaitley tera naam rahega” (Your name will endure as long as the Sun and the Moon exist)” and ‘Jaitley ji amar rahe’ (Long live Jaitley). Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla, Union ministers Prakash Javadekar, Piyush Goyal and Anurag Thakur, and several BJP leaders and AAP’s Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh also paid their last respect to Jaitley.”He was a great speaker and parliamentarian and his death is a huge loss to the country and the party. Whenever the party used to face any problem, his advice would be sought,” an emotional Heptulla told reporters. On Saturday, Jaitley’s body was kept at his residence where President Ram Nath Kovind, BJP chief Amit Shah and several leaders across the political spectrum offered him floral tributes.Shah on Saturday said Jaitley was a crusader against corruption and credited him for the successful implementation of the GST and demonetisation, and taking the Jan Dhan Yojana to the masses.
Together with adding more dimensions to Swachh Bharat Mission to clear out the clutter and clean up India and taking the country to heights of development with digitising as much as possible, a hitherto overlooked matter of grave concern has been the management of e-waste. A study confirms that India happens to be among the top five countries in the world for the amount of e-waste it generates; China, USA, Japan, and Germany being the other countries on the list in the study conducted by ASSOCHAM-NEC. Maharashtra is the largest contributor of e-waste at 19.8 per cent and recycles only about 47,810 TPA (tonnes per annum). Its counterparts Tamil Nadu (13 per cent) recycles about 52,427 TPA, UP (10.1 per cent) recycles about 86,130. Other states like West Bengal contribute 9.8 per cent e-waste, Delhi 9.5 per cent, Karnataka 8.9 per cent, Gujarat 8.8 per cent, and Madhya Pradesh’s share is studied to be 7.6 per cent. 82 per cent of India’s e-waste comprises personal devices such as computers, screens, smartphones, tablets and TVs, and the remainder being larger household appliances and heating and cooling equipment. Out of the composite global e-waste, only 20 per cent of it is recycled each year, meaning that 40 million tonnes of e-waste is either placed in landfill, or burned, or illegally traded and treated in a sub-standard manner. 66 per cent of the world’s population is covered by e-waste legislation. Given this, recycling e-waste and managing it altogether is a challenge and it is more than necessary to rise to it. One way to address the situation is to focus on customers as the key to better management of e-waste. With this approach, consumers are encouraged to correctly dispose off their electronic discards, increase reuse and recycling, and adopt sustainable consumer habits and move towards a circular economy. In principle, this is a most favourable idea. In practice, however, the consumer cannot be the sole primary aspect of this type of clean-up. There needs to be institutional initiative and necessary intervention in coordinating and ascertaining that a consumer-centric approach works effectively. Roping in the seller to buy back discarded electronic items must be made a rule-bound practice for proper disposal of e-waste. The hazards of not properly disposing e-waste are many, the noxious fumes and the toxicity are detrimental to both health and environment not just immediately after disposal but for a long time after that. In India, however, the lack of an updated inventory for the amount of e-waste generated makes it difficult to quantify the e-waste recycled and disposed. Also Read – A compounding difficultyA well designed, regulated e-waste recovery system will go a long way in detoxifying the environment and even bring crucial additional benefits like generating jobs and, in turn, wealth. For that, it is necessary that the increasingly generated e-waste does not end up in landfill and severely pollute land, water, and air. Nearly 95 per cent of India’s e-waste is recycled in the informal sector and in a crude, hazardous manner. A report on e-waste presented by the UN in World Economic Forum on January 24, 2019, points out that the waste stream reached 48.5 MT in 2018 and the figure is expected to double if nothing changes. Just about 20 per cent of global e-waste ends up being recycled. The UN report highlights that due to poor extraction techniques, the total recovery rate of cobalt from e-waste is only 30 per cent. The report further cites that one recycler in China already produces more cobalt from recycling than what the country mines in one year. It has been proved that recycled metals are 2 to 10 times more energy-efficient than metals smelted from ore. It is suggested that lowering the amount of electronics entering the waste stream and improving end-of-life handling are crucial for building a more circular economy, where not only is waste reduced, resources are conserved and are fed back into the supply chain for new products. In India, laws to check regulation of e-waste have been lying in place since 2011, mandating that only authorised dismantlers and recyclers collect e-waste. E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016 was enacted on October 1, 2017, and over 21 products (Schedule-I) come under the purview of this rule. Most Indians, however, are oblivious to this provision. The very specific goal of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to make India open defecation free, and that considerable progress has been made in this direction, specifically taking up the cause of e-waste management to spread awareness about it will definitely be fruitful. As an initial step in this direction, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics medals will be made of 50,000 tonnes of e-waste. The organising committee is said to make all the medals from old smartphones, laptops, and other gadgets. By November 2018, organisers had collected 47,488 tonnes of devices, from which nearly 8 tonnes of gold, silver, and bronze will be extracted to make 5,000 medals. About 1,600 or 90 per cent municipal authorities in Japan were involved in collection activities – proving the point of employment generation and potential wealth creation!
Kolkata: Passengers had a harrowing time as a Down line local Howrah train stopped at the Konnagar railway station on Thursday evening.According to sources, the local train stopped due to technical snag and triggered panic among the passengers at Konnagar railway station, which is one of the busiest stations. Announcements were made at the station urging the passengers to vacate the train. Railway engineers immediately reach the spot to find the cause of technical snag. However, no loss of life was reported. While the Konnagar railway station is located on the Howrah-Bardhaman main line, it was electrified in 1958. The railway station serves Konnagar Town and has three platforms.