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African Swine Fever kills 5,430 pigs in Mizoram

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African Swine Fever kills 5,430 pigs in Mizoram

Aizawl, July 11 (IANS) Pig farmers and rearers in Mizoram have suffered colossal losses of over Rs 20 crore due to the outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) since February causing the deaths of over 5,430 pigs and culling of over 10,300 pigs, officials said on Thursday.

Officials in the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary (AHV) Department said that as the ASF outbreak continues unabated on average over 100 pigs die every day while over 200 pigs are being culled every day in different districts due to the infectious disease.

The officials said that pigs in over 160 villages in six districts – Aizawl, Champhai, Lunglei, Saitual, Khawzawl and Serchhip – have been infected by the ASF outbreak so far after the disease was first reported on February 9.

The ASF first reported bordering Mizoram in 2021, when according to the AHV officials, 33,420 pigs and piglets died due to the contagious disease while 12,800 pigs and piglets died in 2022 and 1,040 in 2023.

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The first case of ASF in Mizoram was reported in mid-March, 2021, from Lungsen village in Lunglei district along the Bangladesh border and since then, the disease has resurfaced every year.

Following the outbreak of ASF, the AHV department has declared various villages and localities in the six districts as infected areas under the Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Disease in Animals Act, 2009, officials said.

With the fast spreading of the infection, the department has barred the supply of pigs, piglets and pork from the infected areas.

The state government also banned the import of pigs and piglets from neighbouring states and countries where often ASF infestations are being reported, AHV department officials said, adding that the outbreak of ASF mostly occurs when the climate begins to warm up and pre-monsoon rain commences in the state.

The government has so far provided compensation to several hundred families for the loss of pigs due to the disease.

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According to experts, the outbreak of ASF may have been caused by pigs or pork brought from neighbouring Myanmar, Bangladesh, and the adjoining states of the northeast.

Mizoram shares a 510-km-long unfenced border with Myanmar and 318 km with Bangladesh.

Pork is one of the most common and popular meats consumed by both the tribals and non-tribals in the northeastern region.

With heavy demand for pork in the region, its annual business is worth around Rs 8,000-10,000 crore in the northeast region, with Assam being the largest supplier.

–IANS

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Our party's goal is that CM Siddaramaiah should resign: K’taka BJP

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Our party's goal is that CM Siddaramaiah should resign: K’taka BJP

Our party's goal is that CM Siddaramaiah should resign: K’taka BJP

Bengaluru, July 20 (IANS) The leader of the opposition in Karnataka Assembly, R. Ashoka, said on Saturday that the BJP’s goal is that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah should resign, the duped Dalit community members should get their money back, and the culprits in the tribal welfare board scam should be punished.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here, Ashoka claimed the Congress government has made a clear decision to cover up the Karnataka Maharshi Valmiki Scheduled Tribes Development Corporation (KMVSTDC) scam.

“The mask of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has fallen off, revealing how clean he really is. The CM is shifting the blame for the tribal welfare board scam to his officials.

“The CM has given himself a clean chit, and blamed his officials for all the mistakes. If the officials are at fault, what was the Chief Minister doing? If an official has made a mistake, why is he continuing in the same position,” Ashoka asked.

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The senior BJP leader also claimed that the state government has put people’s money in fraudulent accounts.

“Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has no role in this. The bank officials wanted to hand over the probe to the CBI. But the state government handed it over to a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to cover up things.

“The CM is scared. I have provided over 40 records, but the CM has not made any clarification on them. Instead, he has blamed (MD of the ST corporation) J.G. Padmanabha for everything,” Ashoka said.

He added that if the ministers were not at fault, why did B. Nagendra resign?

“This means the CM abandoned him halfway. Nagendra and Basanagouda Daddal worked hard for the Lok Sabha elections, collected funds for the Congress, and sent them to Telangana,” the LoP claimed.

“We are ready to investigate all the 21 scam allegations levelled against the previous BJP government by the Chief Minister. Let him step down from his post, and give us the authority,” he added.

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–IANS

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Pact for waste-to-charcoal plants in Faridabad, Gurugram

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Pact for waste-to-charcoal plants in Faridabad, Gurugram

Pact for waste-to-charcoal plants in Faridabad, Gurugram

Chandigarh, July 20 (IANS) Taking a step towards waste management in Haryana, waste-to-charcoal plants, also known as green coal plants, will be established with the Centre’s assistance.

This project will be the first-of-its-kind green initiative and will be set up in Faridabad and Gurugram.

A memorandum of understanding was signed between NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd (NVVNL), a subsidiary of NTPC Ltd, and the Municipal Corporations of Gurugram and Faridabad in the presence of Union Minister Manohar Lal, Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini and Minister of State for Urban Local Bodies Subhash Sudha.

The Chief Minister said today is a very important day for Haryana as an MoU has been signed for setting up plants to produce green charcoal.

According to the pact, NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd will establish waste-to-charcoal plants in Gurugram and Faridabad under the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign of the Central government.

He said green coal plants would be set up in Bandhwari in Gurugram and Motuka in Faridabad at a cost of around Rs 500 crore each. These plants will convert 1,500 tonnes of waste collected daily from Gurugram and Faridabad into charcoal.

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The Municipal Corporations will provide 20 acres of land each for these plants. NTPC will soon take possession of the land and start setting up the plants, which are expected to be completed in about 30 months. These plants will be based entirely on indigenous technology.

Earlier, Commissioner and Secretary (Urban Local Bodies Department) Vikas Gupta said with the increasing urbanization, the generation of waste is also continuously rising, making waste disposal a major challenge in cities.

“To address this problem, we have initiated this step with NVVNL under the guidance of the Chief Minister. The setting up of these plants in Gurugram and Faridabad will strengthen waste management,” he added.

–IANS

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Thackeray to grassroots cadre: Poll codes in 41 days, reach out to masses

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Thackeray to grassroots cadre: Poll codes in 41 days, reach out to masses

Thackeray to grassroots cadre: Poll codes in 41 days, reach out to masses

Mumbai, July 20 (IANS) Cracking the whip, Shiv Sena (UBT) President and former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Saturday that the model code of conduct for the Maharashtra assembly elections in October is likely to be announced in 41 days and called upon the party’s grassroots cadres to reach out to the masses at the village levels.

Speaking to the liaison heads of the party at various levels, Thackeray exhorted them to organise a ‘Saffron Week’ from August 4-11 all over the state and review the status and preparations of each Assembly constituency which must be submitted to the party headquarters in Mumbai.

He also asked them to undertake reviews of various programmes and remain present in the Assembly segment for at least two days in a fortnight for the next three-four months till the elections are over.

Thackeray has directed all the liaison heads of the party to undertake extensive tours of their respective regions along with other district and taluka level office-bearers, organise meetings right up to each Panchayat Samiti level, with the participation of the local party leaders/activists in those villages.

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These liaison teams shall be expected to provide details of the party’s local influence like, how many Shiv Sena (UBT) active members are present in each village, the number of new voters registered, villages where the party has no branches or a significant presence and when this would be rectified.

Earlier this week, the other Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) constituents Congress and Nationalist Congress (SP) also organised high-level meetings addressed by state-national leaders and initiated major efforts to reach out to the masses with the aim to oust the ruling MahaYuti government in the next elections.

Over the coming weeks, top MVA leaders including Congress state President Nana Patole, NCP (SP) President Sharad Pawar and Thackeray, besides other smaller allies, shall embark on state-wide pre-election tours to drum up support of the masses ahead of the polls as their teams hammer out the contentious seat-sharing formula.

–IANS

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MUDA land scam: Complaint lodged with Karnataka Lokayukta against CM Siddaramaiah

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MUDA land scam: Complaint lodged with Karnataka Lokayukta against CM Siddaramaiah

MUDA land scam: Complaint lodged with Karnataka Lokayukta against CM Siddaramaiah

Bengaluru, July 20 (IANS) A complaint was lodged on Saturday with the Karnataka Lokayukta against Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in connection with his alleged involvement in the Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA) land scam.

The complaint has been lodged by former Bengaluru South District BJP President N.R. Ramesh. He also lodged a complaint against the officials involved in the scam.

Ramesh submitted more than 400 pages of documents and ‘proof’ along with the complaint, urging the Lokayukta to investigate the matter.

“CM Siddaramaiah, who was the Deputy Chief Minister in 1997-98 during the tenure of the late J.H. Patel-led government has ensured that the acquired land in Devanuru Third Stage Layout is let off through de-notification using influence,” he alleged.

N.R. Ramesh further alleged that “Siddaramaiah, who was again the Deputy CM in the late N. Dharam Singh-led government in 2004-05, had got conversion of the same land in the name of one deceased person, Linga”.

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During his first tenure as the Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, violating all the rules, got consent from the MUDA to allot 14 alternative sites measuring 39,000 square feet. Later, in 2022, when he was the leader of the opposition, he got 14 alternative sites registered in the name of his wife, the BJP leader said.

“The estimated value of the allotted sites is about Rs 50 to Rs 60 crore. CM Siddaramaiah, using his influence and power, being in a higher post, had misused his position and indulged in the scam,” Ramesh mentioned in his complaint.

–IANS

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Amit Shah sounds poll bugle in Jharkhand, slams 'most corrupt' Soren govt

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Amit Shah sounds poll bugle in Jharkhand, slams 'most corrupt' Soren govt

Amit Shah sounds poll bugle in Jharkhand, slams 'most corrupt' Soren govt

Ranchi, July 20 (IANS) Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday launched the BJP’s campaign for the upcoming Assembly elections in Jharkhand, calling for ousting the Hemant Soren government and bringing the BJP to power with a full majority.

Addressing BJP workers during the extended executive committee meeting at the Prabhat Tara ground in Ranchi, Amit Shah described the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-Congress-RJD government led by Hemant Soren as the “most corrupt in the country”.

He also alleged that the Jharkhand government is embroiled in multiple scams, including a Rs 1,000 crore MGNREGA scam, a Rs 1,000 crore mining scam, and a Rs 300 crore land scam.

The Home Minister recalled that Rs 300 crore was recovered from the house of a Congress MP while Rs 30 crore was seized from the house of a personal assistant to a minister in Jharkhand.

“But the Congress is planning to give ticket to the same minister whose PA was detained with Rs 30 crore and is currently in jail,” the Home Minister said.

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Holding Chief Minister Hemant Soren responsible for the ‘Bangladeshi influx’ into the state, Amit Shah said the JMM leader calls himself a tribal CM but instead of caring for the tribals, he is “protecting the intruders who, through land and love jihad, are looting their land”.

“The number of tribals in Jharkhand is decreasing continuously. Intruders are snatching away their rights. They are getting jobs instead, but Hemant Soren is only concerned about increasing his vote bank,” Amit Shah said.

He also promised that as soon as the BJP forms the government in Jharkhand, a white paper will be released to ensure that the tribal population does not shrink, and they get the actual benefits of reservation.

Highlighting the BJP’s commitment to tribal welfare, he cited the elevation of Babulal Marandi as the state’s first tribal Chief Minister, and Droupadi Murmu as the country’s President.

He also claimed that the Narendra Modi government had done more for the tribals, Dalits, and backward classes than any previous government, including ensuring 27 per cent reservation for the OBCs and setting up a commission for the backward classes.

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Shah also compared the BJP’s development initiatives in Jharkhand with the Congress’ alleged neglect of the state during its 10-year rule at the Centre, claiming that the BJP allocated Rs 3,84,000 crore for the state’s development, compared to the Congress’ Rs 84,000 crore.

The event was also addressed by Union Agriculture Minister and Jharkhand BJP election in-charge Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, Union Minister Annapurna Devi, Jharkhand BJP in-charge Lakshmikant Vajpayee, Union Minister of State for Defence Sanjay Seth, Jharkhand BJP President Babulal Marandi, former CM Arjun Munda, and leader of opposition Amar Kumar Bauri, among others.

–IANS

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