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Hundreds of crores spent in 23 years, yet NTPC Tandwa project’s future uncertain



Hundreds of crores have been spent in the last 23 years on setting up the National Thermal Power Corporation’s (NTPC) power plant at Tandwa in Jharkhand’s Chatra district, but till date no electricity has been generated from it.

Preparations were underway to start power generation from the first unit of the plant this month itself, but it seems unlikely due to a violent clash between the locals, whose properties were acquired for setting up the plant, and the police on March 7.

The agitated locals set ablaze 56 small and big vehicles deployed at the plant and vandalised the offices. A total of 27 people were injured from both sides in the clashes between the police and the agitating displaced people.

After the violent confrontation, the situation in the project and the surrounding areas are tense. The administration has imposed prohibitory orders in six villages affected by the project.

So far, seven people have been arrested in connection with the violence. Also, an FIR has been registered against 100 named and 800 unidentified persons.

Police are conducting flag marches in the areas around the project ever since the incident. However, 60 per cent of the staff are not coming to the office.

In such a situation, it is almost certain that the proposed trial of the first unit of the plant in March would be postponed.

The project, ever since its foundation stone was laid in 1999, has remained in disputes. People, whose properties were acquired for setting up the plant, have been holding protests for the last two decades raising demands such as financial compensation, rehabilitation and jobs.

On March 6, 1999, the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had laid its foundation stone and people were hoping that a new chapter of development would begin in the area, which is infamous for Naxalism and backwardness. The target was to make the plant operational by 2002-2003.

Three units of the power plant are being installed here, aiming to produce 1,980 MW of electricity. And it was scheduled that the trial of the first unit, having the capacity of 660 MW, would commence in March 2022.

Equipped with modern technology, for the first time in the country, the thermal power plant is being established using the air-cooled condenser system technology that would bring down the water consumption to just 25 per cent.

With the completion of the project, apart from Jharkhand, electricity would also be supplied to Bihar, Odisha, Bengal and Northeast.

For the project, the land was mainly acquired from six villages and at that time the old law of land acquisition was in force.

Meanwhile, the government made a new law regarding land acquisition, wherein there is a provision that if the project for which the land has been acquired does not get started within five years, then the land will be returned to the farmers.

When the work of the project started after seven years due to delay in land acquisition and several other reasons, disputes erupted over compensation, rehabilitation, jobs to the affected. The work of the project continued to be affected due to dharnas, demonstrations, agitations.

In the last 23 years, there have been more than one hundred confrontations between the NTPC Management, Administration, Police and displaced persons. Also there were numerous incidents of firing, lathi charge and violence.

There were several agreements between NTPC, the administration and the villagers, but the dispute was never fully resolved.

In the meantime, compensation has been paid to most of the ryot or displaced persons. However, the project continued at a slow pace amid the regular interruptions.

About a year and a half ago, the dispute regarding the compensation for the acquired land erupted again. The organisation of the displaced locals started the agitation, saying the compensation received earlier was inadequate.

They intalled tents in front of the main gate of the NTPC project and have been continuously staging a sit-in for the last 14 months.

A senior official at NTPC says that the ryots from whom the land was acquired were given compensation in 2015 itself. “There is no such law that compensation should be given again for the same land. It’s just not possible.”

The agitating farmers have three main demands.

The first is that they should be paid compensation at the rate of Rs 20 lakh per acre and the ryots who have not been paid the compensation should be paid at the new rate along with interest.

The second demand is “each displaced family should be given a uniform rehabilitation package as presently the amount is being given to the people of different areas at different rates”.

Similarly their third demand is “Compensation in lieu of missing raiyati land, Gairmajarua Khas land, and houses, trees, ponds and wells situated on that land; 75 per cent grant to displaced ryots in NTPC-run schemes, and employment for every displaced family in NTPC”.


Pakistan: At Least 52 killed, More Than 50 Injured In Bomb Blast In Balochistan; Visuals Of Destruction Surface




At least 52 people were killed and over 50 injured in a suicide blast near a mosque in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province on Friday as they gathered to celebrate Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, authorities said.

The explosion occurred near Madina Mosque on Al Falah Road in the Mastung district. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Mastung’s Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Nawaz Gashkori, who was on duty for the rally, was among the deceased.

The explosion took place when people were gathering to mark Eid Miladun Nabi, the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad.

City Station House Officer (SHO) Mohammad Javed Lehri said the explosion was a “suicide blast” and that the bomber exploded himself next to DSP’s car.

Lehri said that the wounded are being shifted to a medical facility while an emergency has been imposed in the hospitals.

At least 52 people were killed and over 50 injured in the blast, District Health Officer Mastung Rashid Muhammad Saeed said.

Some of the injured were in critical condition.

Balochistan interim Information Minister Jan Achakzai said rescue teams have been dispatched to Mastung. He added the critically injured persons are being transferred to Quetta and that an emergency has been imposed in all the hospitals.

“The enemy wants to destroy religious tolerance and peace in Balochistan…,” Achakzai said.”The explosion is unbearable.” Caretaker Chief Minister Ali Mardan Domki has directed authorities to arrest those responsible for the blast.

“The perpetrators of the destruction do not deserve any leniency,” he said. “Those who target peaceful processions will be dealt with firmly.” Chief Minister Domki urged the people to unite against terrorism, adding that Islam was a religion of peace and “those who commit such heinous acts cannot be called Muslims”.

The caretaker CM also announced three days of mourning throughout the province over the tragic incident.

Interim Interior Minister Sarfraz Ahmed Bugti also strongly condemned the blast.

Stating that “terrorists have no faith or religion”, Bugti asserted that all resources were being put to use during the rescue operation. He added that no effort would be spared in treating the injured and that terrorist elements did not deserve any concession.

Soon after the explosion, the Punjab police also said that its “diligent officials” were performing security duties for Friday prayers at mosques across the province.

Meanwhile, the Karachi police said that Additional Inspector General Khadim Husain Rind has directed the police to remain “completely on high alert” in view of the Mastung blast.

He directed the policemen to tighten security arrangements regarding Eid-i-Miladun Nabi processions and Friday prayers across the city, as well as to monitor any unusual activities.

Second major blast in Mastung over last 15 days

This is the second major blast that has terrorised Mastung over the last 15 days, Geo News reported.

Earlier this month, at least 11 people were injured in a blast in the same district.

Mastung has remained a target of terror attacks for the past several years with a major attack in July 2018 being one of the deadliest in the district’s history during which at least 128 people were killed, The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, which set up as an umbrella group of several terrorist outfits in 2007, called off a ceasefire with the federal government and ordered its terrorists to stage terrorist attacks across the country.

Past attacks

The group, which is believed to be close to al-Qaeda, has been blamed for several deadly attacks across Pakistan, including an attack on army headquarters in 2009, assaults on military bases, and the 2008 bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad.

In January, a Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up in a mosque packed with worshippers during afternoon prayers in Pakistan’s restive northwestern Peshawar city, killing over 100 people.

Last year, a similar attack inside a Shia mosque in the Kocha Risaldar area in the city killed 63 people.

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UP: CCTV Footage Shows Drunk Rail Staffer Busy On Video Call, Places Bag On MEMU Throttle Causing Collision At Mathura Platform; 5 Suspended




UP: A joint report in the Tuesday Mathura train incident, in which an electric multiple unit (EMU) train broke the buffer dead end and entered platform number 2, has found that the staffer was watching his mobile phone while handling the train and was mildly drunk, sources have said.

The report, according to the sources, while narrating the prima facie reason of the incident, said that according to the Crew Voice & Video Recording System (CVVRS), after the train arrived at the platform, a staffer named Sachin entered the DTC cab (engine) while watching his mobile phone.

It said that while carelessly putting his bag on the throttle of the engine, he again got busy on his mobile.

Drunk Employee Puts Bag On Train’s Throttle

The throttle, due to the pressure of the bag, went into forward position and let the EMU move towards the platform. “It broke the dead end of the platform and half of the coach climbed onto the elevated portion of platform number 2, leading to breakdown of OHE (overhead wire).” The report also said that a breathalyzer test conducted on Sachin showed a reading of 47 mg/100 ml which is considered to be mildly drunk.

“He has been sent for a medical test in which his blood sample will be taken to find out the exact level of alcohol consumption,” a source from the Agra Railway Division, said.

Divisional Railway Manager Tej Prakash Agrawal has suspended five persons including Sachin in connection with the incident. Of the other four, Harbhajan Singh, Brajesh Kumar, and Kuljeet are technical staff and Govid Hari Sharma is a loco pilot.

“We have suspended five persons and further detailed investigation is on,” Agarwal said.

In one of its observations, the joint report said that generally technicians receive the DTC cab (engine) key, however, in this case, the technician sent Sachin to receive the key.

Details On The Incident

Giving the brief history of the incident, the report said that the train arrived at Mathura station at 10.49 pm. After the loco pilot got relieved from his duty and came out of the cab, Sachin entered the cab to take the keys. Within a minute of his entering the cab, it started moving, broke the dead end and half of its portion climbed onto the platform.

Sachin in a written statement said that as per the instruction of his duty in-charge, he asked for the key of the cab from the loco pilot who told him that it was inside the cab.

According to his statement, when he entered the cab and put his bag inside there, the train started moving on its own. He said that he got scared and by the time he applied the emergency brake, it had entered the platform.

He said that he informed his in-charge about it and when he tried to find out the reason why the train started moving, he found that the throttle was in forward position and key was also in position.

Blame Game Over Collision

In his statement, he blamed the loco pilot for keeping the train functions in “switched on” position. However, the loco pilot in his statement said that he had handed over the key to Sachin before the latter entered the cab.

The joint report has mentioned Sachin as ETL staff whereas in his statement, Sachin has mentioned his designation as helper.

The EMU starts from Delhi and covers various local stations before terminating in Mathura. The platform number 2 starts from the train’s terminating point where a buffer dead end has been created.

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UP Shocker: Cop Tied To Pole Naked, Thrashed After Being Caught Molesting Girl In Agra; Suspended After Video Goes Viral




Agra: In a shocking incident, a police sub-inspector was tied to pole and beaten in Uttar Pradesh’s Agra. The video of the incident is doing rounds on social media. It can be seen in the video that a Uttar Pradesh Police officer is being beaten after being tied naked to a pole in the village. The police sub-inspector was allegedly beaten by the villagers after he was caught in a compromising position with a woman. The family of the woman alleged that the police officer was molesting the woman.

He jumped through the roof and sneaked into the house in an inebriated condition

As per reports, the UP Police sub-inspector who was beaten by the villagers has been identified as Sandeep Kumar. Sandeep Kumar allegedly jumped through the roof and sneaked into the house in an inebriated condition and started to molest the girl present in the house.

The girl raised an alarm after which the family of the girl came

The girl raised an alarm after which the family of the girl came and caught the police officer red-handed in an objectionable position inside their house in Tihaiya village in Barhan Police Station limits. They then called the villagers and the angry villagers then stripped Sandeep Kumar naked and tied him to a pole. The villagers also thrashed the police officer for his act. The accused was rescued by the police that reached the spot and took the culprit with them.

Sandeep Kumar has been suspended

Uttar Pradesh Police Sub-Inspector Sandeep Kumar has been suspended and a departmental inquiry has been initiated against him after the video of the locals beating the police officer after tying him naked to the pole has gone viral on social media. A case of rape has been registered against the police officer. The incident occurred late night on Sunday (September 17) when the police officer sneaked into the house of the woman and was caught by her family in a compromising position with the woman.

The police have initiated an inquiry in connection with the matter

The police have initiated an inquiry in connection with the matter. They are also scanning the video that is going viral on social media. Etmadpur ACP said, “In the case of a sub-inspector being caught with a girl under police station Barhan area, the sub-inspector is being suspended with immediate effect, strictest departmental action is being taken and after receiving the complaint, legal action will be taken against the SI.”

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