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Wednesday,27-October-2021

National News

Goa should consider reopening casinos next month after Covid assessment: Ports Minister

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Michael Lobo. (File Photo: IANS)

The Goa government should consider reopening casinos in the state next month only after assessing the Covid situation in the country, state Ports Minister Michael Lobo said on Friday.

“Casinos right now have not started. Government will consider starting casinos by next month, after looking at the (Covid) situation in the country. If the Covid situation in the country improves, only then the casinos will start and we will get tourists in the state of Goa,” Lobo said.

Speaking to reporters Lobo also said that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs should provide relaxation to the aviation tourism industry by allowing flights on safe air bubble routes to allow facilitation of charter tourist flights from designated destinations to Goa.

“We hope that the tourism business improves, once Covid-19 comes down. We are also hoping that the international charter flights open in the state of Goa. Flights from Europe, Russia and some other European countries come here,” Lobo told reporters.

“Since there is a ban on tourists coming to India, I feel that the MHA should give relaxation for these bubble flights, specially charter flights coming from one country to the other.

“Tourists should be double vaccinated and they should produce RT-PCR negative test reports. They can do the antigen tests and enter the state. This is what we are expecting the Central government to do,” Lobo also said.

While domestic tourism is slowly reviving in the coastal state, international tourism in the beach state has hit rock bottom due to the restrictions on international air travel. Before the advent of the pandemic, nearly eight million tourists visited the state every year.

Entertainment

TV actress Kamya Panjabi joins Congress in Mumbai

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 The Congress got a fresh dose of glamour with well-known television actress Kamya Panjabi joining the party here on Wednesday.

Mumbai Congress President Bhai Jagtap and other leaders like Charan Singh Sapra welcomed Panjabi to the party fold.

Shooting to popularity with her appearance in the reality show “Bigg Boss-7” (2013), Panjabi has been working in the entertainment industry for over two decades and had expressed a desire to join politics and serve the masses.

Congress activist Niraj Bhatia and other leaders shared pictures of her joining the party on the social media.

Kamya, 42, has worked in several teleserials including “Banoo Main Teri Dulhann”, “Maryada: Lekin Kab Tak”, “Shakti – Astitva Ke Ehsaas Ki”, “Rethi”, Astitva… Ek Prem Kahani”, “Piya Ka Ghar”, and “Kyun Hota Hai Pyaar”.

Besides, she has acted in Bollywood films like “Na Tum Jaano Na Hum”, “Yaadein”, “Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani”, “Koi.. Mil Gaya”, and music videos like “Mehndi Mehndi” and a play “Pajama Party”

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National News

Amarinder to meet Shah on farmers’ stir

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 Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh will lead a non-political delegation of agricultural experts to meet the Union Home Minister to discuss possible solutions to the ongoing farmers’ agitation on Thursday.

Disclosing this here on Wednesday, Amarinder Singh, who announced to float a new political party with seat sharing with parties, including the BJP, said he had been discussing various options with Home Minister Amit Shah, whom he will be meeting in Delhi again on Thursday, and others.

“I think I can help in finding a solution as I have been the Chief Minister of Punjab and am also an agriculturist,” Amarinder Singh told a press conference.

While there could be no pre-decided formula for resolution of the farmers’ stir, something will emerge during the talks as both sides — the Central government and farmers — want a resolution to the crisis triggered by the farm laws, he said.

Making it clear that he had not met any farmer leaders, the former Chief Minister said he had deliberately not interfered in the matter as the farmers did not want politicians involved.

The farmer leaders had four inconclusive meetings with the Centre but back channel talks have been going on, he added.

Amarinder Singh had earlier said any seat arrangement he made with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would be subject to a resolution of the farmers’ issue in their interest.

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TN CM announces Rs 5L as relief to kin of victims killed in fire

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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin announced a financial compensation of Rs five lakh to the family of all five persons killed due to an alleged fire in a firecracker shop in Kallakurichi district.

Eight others were reportedly injured in the incident, which occurred on Tuesday evening and are in a serious condition.

Stalin announced a relief of Rs one lakh to the injured persons admitted in the Kallakurichi government hospital.

The deceased victims include Khaleed (23), Shah Alam (25), Shaikh Basheer (67) and Ayyasamy (62). The police said it is yet to identify the fifth deceased victim.

Police sources told IANS that the mishap occurred due to a short circuit in an electric line and further investigation is on to ascertain the exact cause. A grocery shop was allegedly converted into a firecracker shop ahead of Diwali and was doing brisk business when the incident occurred.

The whole building was engulfed in fire and the police and fire personnel from Sankarapuram and Kallakurichi arrived at the spot to douse the fire.

Kallakurichi District Collector, P.N. Sridhar told media that the fire was doused after nearly three hours of intense efforts by the team of fire personnel and the police units that rushed to the spot.

The team cordoned off the area and started rescue operations as well as saved the grievously injured from the fire engulfed building.

State Minister, E.V. Velu reached the spot and visited the injured persons at the Kallakurichi government hospital on the same day of the incident.

The police said further investigation is on and whether the grocery shop that was converted into a firecracker shop had the mandatory license to conduct business. Whether the shop had the precautionary measures required to conduct a firecracker business, the police added.

The state government had issued warnings to the people and the firecracker manufacturers and traders to be safe during the Diwali season.

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