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Goa BJP MLA claims traffic cops prioritising challans over road safety

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Goa BJP MLA claims traffic cops prioritising challans over road safety

Panaji, June 23 (IANS) BJP’s Calangute MLA Michael Lobo on Saturday alleged that the Traffic Police were prioritising targets to issue challan against traffic violations instead of taking measures to stop accidents.

Former Minister Lobo expressed concerns over the rising number of accidents in the coastal state and advocated the need to take measures at accident-prone zones.

“Accidents are taking place due to rash and negligent driving and also because of lack of traffic signage boards, unpainted speed breakers and uneven roads. Officers and local bodies should see that all these things are done properly,” Lobo said, adding people’s lives are more important.

“Strict measures should be taken. They (Traffic Police) are taking these measures to issue challans to traffic violators. They are busy giving challans for violation of seat belts, no entry, etc. They stand in such places, where ‘No Entry’ boards are not properly seen and then take action against the public,” he said.

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“They are trying to show that the order given by authorities has to be obeyed and hence they fulfill a target of 50 challans per day. All traffic cells have been given a target and to accomplish it traffic cells are issuing challans. This can’t be accepted,” Lobo added.

“I will speak about this issue with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and will raise the issue in the Assembly session. Such targets will not reduce the number of accidents,” he said.

Earlier, MLA Lobo had said that Traffic Police harass tourists by imposing fines, which should be stopped or the wrong message will be sent by the state.

Lobo is the third BJP MLA, who has openly alleged that Traffic Police harass tourists visiting the coastal state.

Earlier, Goa Revenue Minister Atanasio Monserrate and Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte had also alleged that tourists were being harassed by the Traffic Police.

–IANS

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Chandrababu Naidu compares Jagan Reddy to Pablo Escobar

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Chandrababu Naidu compares Jagan Reddy to Pablo Escobar

Chandrababu Naidu compares Jagan Reddy to Pablo Escobar

Amaravati, July 25 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday launched a scathing attack on his predecessor Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, comparing him to late Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

Speaking in the state Assembly while releasing a White Paper on law and order, Naidu said in his 40-year political career, he has not seen a politician like Jagan Reddy as he went on to compare him with Escobar.

Naidu’s attack came a day after a protest by the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) leader in Delhi over what he called deteriorating law and order situation in Andhra Pradesh, and the attacks on YSRCP leaders and cadres after the formation of the TDP-led coalition government in the state.

“Pablo Escobar was a Colombian drug lord… he was a narco-terrorist. He turned politician and then launched his cartel to sell drugs. He earned $30 billion at that time, which is now worth $90 billion,” Naidu said.

The Chief Minister added that Escobar was arrested in 1976 and in 1980, he became the richest drug lord in the world.

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“One can become rich by selling drugs as well,” he said.

“Jagan Mohan Reddy aimed to become richer than Tata and Ambani. That’s why I always say few have needs, few have greed and few have mania and these maniacs can do anything,” he said.

Naidu also spoke in detail about the life of Escobar, who became an MP 1982. He mentioned that Escobar resorted to retaliatory attacks when he was barred from politics. The drug lord was killed by Colombian police in 1993.

“A series was also made on Escobar’s life. I want people in the state to watch it,” he said.

TDP leaders have been claiming that Andhra Pradesh became the drug capital of the country during Jagan Reddy’s rule.

–IANS

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HC seeks reports from state, Centre over rising HIV cases in Tripura

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HC seeks reports from state, Centre over rising HIV cases in Tripura

HC seeks reports from state, Centre over rising HIV cases in Tripura

Agartala, July 25 (IANS) Acting on a PIL, the Tripura High Court has issued notices to both the state and Central governments seeking comprehensive reports on the rising HIV cases in the state within two weeks, officials said on Thursday.

Court sources said the PIL was taken up suo-moto by the high court after the reports of an alarming increase in HIV cases and deaths, particularly among the students and the youth of the state.

A division bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh and Justice Arindam Lodh took up the PIL following a letter from Justice T. Amarnath Goud, a judge of the high court, which highlighted the gravity of the issue.

The bench expressed its deep concerns over the rising HIV cases in the bordering state, a court official said.

The court noted that new cases must be identified regularly and necessary actions should be taken at the earliest.

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The high court also asked the governments to explain the reasons behind the surge in HIV cases, the measures currently in place, and the strategies to curb students injecting drugs through the intravenous mode, a key factor for the spread of the disease in Tripura.

Between April 2007 and May 2024, 828 students registered as PLHIV (People Living With HIV), 47 of whom died during the 17 years.

The Project Director of Tripura State AIDS Control Society, Samarpita Dutta, said that in 2022-23, 67 persons, including two students, died, while in 2023-24, 44 people died after being infected by HIV.

Presently, Tripura has approximately 8,000 known HIV-positive cases, though experts believe the figure represents only a fraction of the actual numbers, as many cases remain untracked.

The state recorded its first HIV case in 1996. Since then, there has been a marked increase in the number of infections, especially among high-risk groups such as youths using intravenous drugs, female sex workers, truck drivers, migrants, and gay people.

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–IANS

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Delhi HC allows CM Kejriwal to attend two additional legal meetings with his lawyers

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Delhi HC allows CM Kejriwal to attend two additional legal meetings
 with his lawyers

Delhi HC allows CM Kejriwal to attend two additional legal meetings
 with his lawyers

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) The Delhi High Court has allowed Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who faces corruption and money laundering charges in the alleged liquor scam, two additional legal meetings with his lawyers through video conferencing in a week till he is confined to Tihar Jail.

Allowing CM Kejriwal’s plea seeking permission to spend more time with his legal team, the court said that his request for additional meetings cannot be termed unreasonable.

A bench of Justice Neena Bansal Krishna rejected the prosecution’s contention that no special status can be given to the incarcerated Chief Minister as not available to other inmates under the jail policy.

“The opposition that no special status can be given to the petitioner as available to other jail inmates, again has no merit because it is not a situation of seeking any special favour as it has sought to be argued on behalf of the state, but it is a fundamental right which is sought to be enforced,” it said.

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In its detailed judgment, the Delhi HC said that it could not be ignored that similar relief of additional legal meetings has been allowed to co-accused Sanjay Singh.

Earlier on April 10, a Delhi court had rejected Kejriwal’s plea to enhance the number of meetings to five per week. Special Judge Kaveri Baweja of Rouse Avenue Court observed that CM Kejriwal was not even utilising the permitted two legal interviews per week with his counsel solely for discussing his pending litigations and has rather used the allotted time for purposes other than legal interviews. In his application, the AAP supremo had claimed that two weekly meetings with his lawyer, as permitted by the court, were insufficient as he faced multiple cases in various states and needed more time for consultations.

–IANS

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Rs 10,000 crore proposed for Hyderabad development in Telangana budget

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Rs 10,000 crore proposed for Hyderabad development in Telangana budget

Rs 10,000 crore proposed for Hyderabad development in Telangana budget

Hyderabad, July 25 (IANS) Telangana Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka proposed Rs 10,000 crore for the development of Hyderabad in the state budget for 2024-25 presented in the Assembly on Thursday.

Stating that Hyderabad is central to the growth of Telangana, he said the integrated growth of Hyderabad would enable the government to mobilise huge resources for the development of the state.

Claiming that such a huge allocation was never proposed for the development of Hyderabad, Vikramarka said the areas on the outskirts of Hyderabad have the potential to develop into self-sustainable areas.

“It will reduce the pressure on civic bodies. It is our aim to promote the development of satellite townships around Hyderabad. We will encourage the construction of affordable houses at reasonable rates. We will plan and strive to provide all kinds of amenities in these townships viz: parks, community halls, commercial centres, schools etc,” he said.

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The minister also proposed Rs 1,525 crore for Regional Ring Road (RRR) which will connect Hyderabad to other parts of the state. The northern road from Sangareddy-Toopran-Gajwel-Choutuppal is 158.6 km long and the southern side, it is 189 km from Choutuppal-Shadhnagar-Sangareddy and both are proposed to be upgraded to facilitate their declaration as national highways. RRR will be constructed with the standards of an expressway. The land acquisition process for this project is already in progress. It will be initially constructed as a four-lane highway and will be extended to 8 lanes commensurate with the increase in traffic.

The region between ORR and RRR will attract industries, services and transport parks. As per initial estimates, the northern part of RRR will cost Rs 13,522 crore and the southern part will cost Rs 12,980 crore.

The budget proposed Rs 3,065 crore to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), Rs 500 crore to the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) and Rs 3,385 crore to the Metro Water Works.

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The Deputy CM also proposed Rs 200 crore for the newly-created HYDRAA (Hyderabad Disaster Relief and Asset Protection Agency. The agency will look after the Core Urban Region (CUR), which is up to Outer Ring Road. The population in CUR accounts for 48.6 per cent of the state population and this region is very crucial in the economy of the state and its GSDP growth.

The growth rate in urban areas in Telangana is 3.2 per cent which is higher than the national average. Due to the location of various IT, pharma, defence, and aerospace industries and their rapid growth, there is an impact on the urbanisation of Hyderabad’s outskirts which is growing at a record rate.

Stating that the Musi Riverfront development project is one of the main priorities of the government, Vikramarka proposed Rs 1,500 crore for the project, which proposes to revive the ecosystem around the Musi River and aims to improve 110 km of urban area.

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“Through the Musi Riverfront development project, we can effectively solve the complex problems encountered in water management. Infrastructure facilities can be improved in an environment-friendly manner. As part of this project, recreation zones, people’s plazas, children’s theme parks, and entertainment zones will be developed,” he said.

The government also proposed Rs 100 crore for the extension of the Metro to the airport, Rs 200 crore for the ORR, Rs 500 crore for the Hyderabad Metro Rail, Rs 500 crore for extension of the Metro to the old city and Rs 50 crore for MMTS.

–IANS

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Govt launches upgraded Steel Import Monitoring System 2.0 Portal

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Govt launches upgraded Steel Import Monitoring System 2.0 Portal

Govt launches upgraded Steel Import Monitoring System 2.0 Portal

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) Union Minister of Steel and Heavy Industries H.D. Kumaraswamy on Thursday launched SIMS 2.0 portal, the upgraded Steel Import Monitoring System, to provide actionable intelligence to stakeholders for effective decision-making and strategic planning.

SIMS, introduced in 2019, has played a crucial role in providing detailed steel import data to the domestic industry. Based on industry feedback, the Ministry has revamped the portal to develop a more effective SIMS 2.0, a significant step forward in monitoring steel imports and promoting the growth of the domestic steel industry.

Availability of such detailed data not only provides input for policy-making but also signals areas for production and growth to the domestic steel industry.

SIMS 2.0 features API integration with multiple government portals, enhancing quality control and streamlining processes for improved efficiency and effectiveness.

Integration of various databases enable stakeholders to locate areas of risk and, thereby, permit better risk management, for example, if an import consignment declares a particular source of import, which is not licensed by BIS, then the Ministry will be enabled to not recommend its import.

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The detailed data will enable Customs to conduct better analysis and risk management of steel imports.

The development of SIMS 2.0 is a collaborative effort, with contributions from the DGFT, BIS, and MSTC Ltd., a CPSE under the Ministry of Steel.

The minister emphasised that the launch of SIMS 2.0 is a key achievement, highlighting its inclusion in the government’s 100-day agenda.

He noted that this milestone represents a crucial step forward in the nation’s endeavour to bolster the domestic steel industry and achieve self-sufficiency in steel production, aligning with the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat.

Nagendra Nath Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Steel, pointed out that while India maintains its position as the second-largest steel producer globally, the country’s finished steel imports remained significant at around eight million tonnes in 2023-24, underscoring the need for enhanced domestic production capabilities.

Accurate monitoring of steel imports is vital to maintaining a healthy trade balance, driving growth, and attracting sustained investment in India’s steel industry. He expressed confidence that the upgraded SIMS 2.0 would play a significant role in achieving these objectives.

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H.D. Kumaraswamy also released the second volume of the book “Safety Guidelines for Iron of Steel Sector” containing the guidelines for 16 different processes being used by the iron and steel sector.

It extends the work of the Steel Ministry of publishing 25 safety guidelines in 2020 covering specific risks.

–IANS

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