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5 dead, several injured as passenger bus falls off overbridge in Odisha

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Bhubaneswar, April 15 (IANS) Five persons, including a woman, died while several other passengers sustained serious injuries after a bus fell off an overbridge on National Highway-16 in Odisha’s Jajpur district on Monday evening, officials said.

As per official sources, the bus, carrying around 55 passengers including women and children, was en route to Haldia in West Bengal’s East Medinipur district, when its driver reportedly lost control and the vehicle fell off the overbridge near Barabati Chowk in the Rasulpur area of Jajpur at around 8 p.m.

Upon receiving information, fire services personnel from Rasulpur and Chandikhol fire stations immediately reached the accident spot and rescued the victims with the help of locals.

The fire personnel rescued the injured using gas cutters.

As many as 16 ambulances and cranes were used in the rescue operation.

Jajpur’s Superintendent of Police, a team of doctors and other district administration officials also rushed to the accident spot to supervise the rescue operations.

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As many as 40 injured passengers were taken to the nearby hospital in Dharmasala where five persons were declared dead by the doctors. Meanwhile, more than 10 passengers have been shifted to the SCB Medical College and Hospital for advanced treatment.

Expressing sorrow over the tragic accident, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has expressed sorrow and announced ex gratia of Rs 3 lakh each for the next of kin of the deceased. He also declared that the state government would bear all the medical expenses for the treatment of the injured.

–IANS

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No feasibility study needed for solar rooftop connections up to 10 kW in TN

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Chennai, May 28 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) has directed the state power utility TANGEDCO not to conduct a technical feasibility study for solar rooftop proposals of up to 10 kilowatts.

The regulatory commission in the state in an order dated May 23, has directed the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) to exempt consumers using solar rooftops of up to 10 kilowatt power based on Rule 7(A) of Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Amendment Rules, 2004.

The TNERC came out with the directive after TANGEDCO ordered an exemption on solar rooftops with a capacity of up to only 3 kilowatts.

The directive was required after several households complained that there was a delay in installing rooftop solar systems in households by the TANGEDCO.

The regulatory commission also directed TANGEDCO that the sanction power of the Grid Interactive Solar Photovoltaic Power System capacity of up to 10 kW should be delegated to the lower-level field officers.

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While TANGEDCO has to conduct the study and produce the feasibility report for a solar rooftop project in households within a fortnight, consumers told IANS that there has been an inordinate delay.

Meenakshi Sundaram, a retired College professor, who wanted to install a solar rooftop connection of 8 kW, told IANS that there has been a long delay from Tangedco and several consumers like her were dejected.

–IANS

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LS polls: PM Modi to campaign in Jharkhand, Bengal today

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New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi will campaign in Jharkhand and West Bengal on Tuesday for the seventh and final phase of the Lok Sabha elections.

The Prime Minister will hold a public meeting in Jharkhand’s Dumka at 12:15 p.m., followed by another two in West Bengal’s Barasat at 2:30 p.m. and Jadavpur at 4:00 p.m.

Prime Minister Modi is also scheduled to offer floral tributes at the statue of Subhas Chandra Bose in Kolkata Uttar at 5:55 p.m. and then begin a roadshow. After the roadshow, he will offer floral tributes at the statue of Swami Vivekananda at 7:00 p.m.

Major political developments that will unfold across the country on Tuesday:

* Union Home Minister Amit Shah will hold public meetings in Odisha’s Chandbali at 12:30 p.m., Jajpur at 2:15 p.m., and Puri at 4:00 p.m.

* BJP President J.P. Nadda will address public meetings in Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur at 11:00 a.m., Mandi at 1:15 p.m., and Rohru at 3:15 p.m.

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* INDIA bloc partners Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav will address ‘Parivartan Sankalp Sabhas’ in Uttar Pradesh’s Rudrapur (Bansgaon Lok Sabha constituency) at 3:15 p.m. and Gangapur (Varanasi) at 5:10 p.m.

* Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will address election rallies in Pipiganj, Gorakhpur at 11:10 a.m. and Mirzapur at 1:00 p.m. From there, he will go to Bihar to hold public meetings in Fatuha (Patna) at 3:10 p.m., Bhojpur at 4:30 p.m. and Patliputra at 6:00 p.m.

* Samajwadi Party leader Dimple Yadav will address an election rally at 1 p.m. in Uttar Pradesh’s Dohrighat (Mau) for the INDIA bloc candidate from the Ghosi Lok Sabha constituency.

* Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and Nishad Party chief Sanjay Nishad will address a public meeting in the Chauri Chaura Assembly constituency of the Bansgaon Lok Sabha constituency.

* Gujarat Congress President Shaktisinh Gohil will address a press conference at 12 noon at the party headquarters in New Delhi.

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–IANS

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IndiGo flight receives bomb threat at Delhi airport

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New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) An IndiGo flight bound for Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh received a bomb threat at Delhi airport on Tuesday morning, prompting authorities to declare an emergency, police said.

According to airline officials, IndiGo flight 6E2211 operating from Delhi to Varanasi had received a specific bomb threat at the airport. The threat call was received at around 5.40 a.m., said officials.

“All necessary protocols were followed and the aircraft was taken to a remote bay as per guidelines by airport security agencies. All passengers were safely evacuated via the emergency exits,” said an airline official.

“The flight is currently undergoing inspection. Post completion of all security checks, the aircraft will be positioned back in the terminal area,” the spokesperson added.

More details are awaited.

–IANS

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Mamata Banerjee not to attend INDIA bloc's June 1 meeting

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Kolkata, May 27 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday announced that she will not be able to attend the crucial meeting of the opposition INDIA bloc, convened by Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, in New Delhi on June 1.

Banerjee, who is also the Trinamool Congress chief, cited two reasons behind her inability to attend the meeting.

“First of all, on June 1, there will be the final and seventh phase of Lok Sabha polls for nine constituencies in West Bengal. Secondly, because of Cyclone Remal, many people have been displaced and are currently residing in temporary shelters. I will have to supervise that as well. These two factors are important for me and hence I will be staying back on June 1,” she said while addressing an election meeting in Kolkata Uttar Lok Sabha constituency for party candidate and sitting MP Sudip Bandopadhyay.

However, Banerjee did not make it clear whether she would send a representative for the meeting.

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In her speech at the election meeting, she again launched a scathing attack against both the Congress and the CPI-M.

“These two parties have the only aim in West Bengal. That is to benefit the BJP by dividing the opposition votes,” she claimed.

–IANS

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TN: Police ‘requests’ tribals to surrender unlicensed country-made guns voluntarily

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Chennai, May 27 (IANS) Tirupattur Police in Tamil Nadu has “requested” the tribals of Jawadhu Hills to surrender their country-made guns voluntarily and in return get a general amnesty.

Police have communicated to the village heads of Jawadhu Hills to surrender the guns at a common place like temples so that the identity of those in procession of the guns is not revealed.

The Tirupattur Superintendent of Police Albert John told IANS that recently during a routine vehicle checkup, police seized some unlicensed guns leading to the convening of a meeting of the village elders and asking them to surrender these guns.

Police said that there are 177 licensed guns in the district which were surrendered in the local police stations in the district due to the Lok Sabha elections.

The natives of Pudur Nadu, Nellivasal Nadu and Pungampattu Nadu in Jawadhu Hills have had a tradition of keeping illegal arms since pre-independence days. This was for hunting as also for protecting themselves against theft and to deliver the hill and forest produce to the local markets and safely return back to the villages.

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Police said that there is no requirement for such illegal and unlicensed country-made guns for the villagers and hence “requested” them to surrender these unlicensed guns.

–IANS

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