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Wednesday,08-December-2021

National News

Mamata writes to PM Modi on flood situation in Bengal

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging for an immediate and permanent solution to the recurring flood situation in the state.

In a four-page letter written to the Prime Minister, the chief minister terming the flood as “man-made” alleged that the “unplanned discharge of water from DVC dams at Panchet and Maithon has led to unprecedented deluge in many districts of the state”.

Giving a detail of releasing more than 5 lakh cusecs in a span of three days, the chief minister alleged that DVC (Damodar Valley Corporation) authorities did not pay heed to IMD warnings of heavy rainfall, and “kept the water discharge from the dams at a low level and when there was heavy rainfall, it discharged about 10 lakh acre-feet of water between September 30 and October 2, which caused serious devastation in lower Damodar region before the festive season”.

“DVC which was conceived as a multi-state public organisation, has failed completely to regulate inter-state flow and discharge of water into Damodar and take corrective measures to either increase the water holding capacity of its dams or maintain and upgrade its existing infrastructure by way of desiltation and dredging of the dams. We have been highlighting this requirement on the part of DVC for the last 10 years. Due to the failure of DVC, the people of Bengal have to face this recurrent wrath of floods every year,” she alleged.

“Moreover, the Government of West Bengal has to bear the brunt of the unplanned discharge of DVC and to pay for the inadequacy and structural deficiency of the DVC management. It has to compensate for the damages caused to a vast multitude of the people in the districts of south Bengal from out of its own meagre resources, while adequate funds are not made available by Government of India/NDRF,” the chief minister said.

Similarly, heavy discharge from Sikatia Barrage under the control of Government of Jharkhand, resulted in flooding of Ajoy river.

Referring to an earlier letter she had written on August 4 in this connection, Banerjee said, “I had highlighted the structural factors that give birth to grave man-made flood situations in southern Bengal, repeatedly, pitifully and tragically. Unless the Government of India addresses the basic underlying structural and managerial issues, both on a short term and on a long-term basis, the disasters will continue unmitigated in our lower riparian state.”

The TMC chief said she hasn’t received any reply to her previous letter.

“The issues that I raised affect millions of lives, and I request that the Government of India should get into some serious actions without further delay,” the letter read.

“This annual problem requires immediate short-term and long-term measures so that the sufferings of the people are mitigated and the national loss in terms of loss of life and property is avoided.

“I seek your kind immediate intervention so that the Ministry concerned of the Government of India is requested to engage with the Governments of West Bengal and Jharkhand and the authorities of the DVC, to help in arriving at a permanent solution to this problem of our state occurring year after year,” she said.

National News

CDS chopper crash: Rajnath asks IAF chief to rush to spot

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has asked Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari to reach the military aircraft crash site in Tamil Nadu where the chopper carrying Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat met an accident on Wednesday.

Singh is also monitoring the situation and a meeting of senior ministry of defence officials is underway.

The Defence Minister has also briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the crash.

A military chopper crashed in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor in which General Bipin Rawat along with wife and team was travelling to Wellington to give a lecture.

The number of casualties are still unknown and local police has ascertained only three rescued and searches are on for others.

Along with General Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, Brigadier L.S. Lidder, Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh, Naik Gursewak Singh, Naik Jitender Kumar, Naik Vivek Kumar, Naik B. Sai Teja, Havaldar Satpal and pilots.

Confirming about General Rawat’s presence, Indian Air Force tweeted, “An IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter, with CDS Gen Bipin Rawat onboard, met with an accident today near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu.”

The force said that an inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident.

The rescued people suffered serious injuries and have been taken to Wellington cantonment.

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National News

Sonia Gandhi accuses Centre of being ‘insensitive’ towards farmers

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Sonia Gandhi. (File Photo: IANS)

 Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday accused the Centre of being “insensitive” towards the farmers, adding that the farm laws were repealed in an “undemocratic” manner.

While addressing the Congress Parliamentary party meeting, she paid homage to the 700 farmers who lost their lives during their protest against the farm laws. Rahul Gandhi was also present at the meeting.

Extending unconditional support to farmers demand of legally guaranteed MSP, she called upon the party members to honour the farmers who died during the protest.

Notably, the Congress has been demanding appropriate compensation to the families of victim farmers. Party MP Rahul Gandhi recently placed a list of the dead farmer protesters in the Lok Sabha.

The Opposition has been demanding a detailed discussion on the border situation in Parliament but the Centre is avoiding it, Sonia Gandhi alleged.

Terming suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha MPs “unprecedented and unacceptable”, the veteran leader said the party stands in solidarity with them.

Demanding revocation of the suspension order, Sonia said the Centre will have to reinstate them.

The Modi government is also being accused of selling the country’s assets to recover its economic losses.

On Tuesday, while interacting with the media, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said that MPs were suspended for the entire Winter session for an act which took place in the Monsoon session. If the Centre does not revoke the suspension, the Opposition will resort to a hunger strike.

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National News

‘Red is colour of change’, Akhilesh hits back at Modi

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Akhilesh-Yadav-5

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Lal Topi” comment, saying that the colour of the cap has reached Delhi and hence the panic has engulfed the BJP’s rank and file.

Akhilesh Yadav spoke to IANS on several issues, including the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls due early next year.

Q. Prime Minister Modi has said that you people yearn for only power. What is your reaction?

A. Red colour symbolises revolution, a change. This is also the colour of emotions. BJP does not understand sentiments. Red colour is the most vibrant colour and warns the party in power to be careful. The people of Uttar Pradesh want a change. The brightness of Lal Topi has reached Delhi, so the language of the BJP has also changed as they are panicky. Changes are bound to happen in the state.

Q. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has been taking a dig at the red colour cap and now the Prime Minister has also targeted you.

A. This must have happened for the first time that the Prime Minister has spoken the language of the Chief Minister by rote.

Q. You are continuously claiming to win the upcoming elections, but the BJP is saying that they have defeated you three times in a row — in 2014, 2017 and 2019.

A. Circumstances have changed now. This time, BJP is nervous — farmers, youth, traders and people of the state will show them their real power.

Q. The PM is constantly laying foundation stones and inaugurating events in Uttar Pradesh, what do you have to say?

A. The advertisements they are putting out are false, their development claims are false. They stole a picture of Bengal, of America and of China. Their development claims are hollow.

Q. How many seats are you going to win?

A. The BJP will be wiped out from the state.

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