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Kuwait fire tragedy: Around 40 Indians killed, says MEA; Jaishankar speaks to Kuwaiti FM

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Kuwait fire tragedy: Around 40 Indians killed, says MEA; Jaishankar speaks to Kuwaiti FM

New Delhi, June 13 (IANS) External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Wednesday spoke to his Kuwaiti counterpart Abdullah Ali Al-Yahya about the fire tragedy in Kuwait City in which around 40 Indians are feared to have died.

According to reports by Kuwaiti media, the fire broke out in a six-floor building that was crammed with migrant workers in the city’s al-Mangaf area.

EAM Jaishankar, in a post on X, said: @Spoke to Kuwaiti FM Abdullah Ali Al-Yahya on the fire tragedy in Kuwait. Apprised of the efforts made by Kuwaiti authorities in that regard. Was assured that the incident would be fully investigated and that responsibility will be fixed.”

S. Jaishankhar said that he urged the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister for the early repatriation of the mortal remains of those who lost their lives.

“He emphasized that those injured were getting the requisite medical attention. We will review the situation after MoS Kirtivardhan Singh reaches Kuwait tomorrow,” he added.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier on Wednesday chaired a review meeting on the fire tragedy in Kuwait at his residence.

PM Modi also announced ex-gratia relief of Rs 2 lakh to the families of deceased Indian nationals from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.

The Prime Minister expressed his deep sorrow at the unfortunate incident and extended condolences to the families of the deceased. He also wished speedy recovery for those injured.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the External Affairs Ministry (EAM) said: “In an unfortunate and tragic fire incident in a Labour housing facility in Mangaf area of Kuwait, around 40 Indians are understood to have died and over 50 injured. The Embassy is ascertaining the full details from the concerned Kuwaiti authorities and the company. We offer our deepest condolences to the bereaved families.”

The EAM statement mentioned that those injured are presently admitted to five government hospitals in Kuwait and receiving proper medical care and attention. According to hospital authorities, most of the admitted patients are stable.

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The EAM statement further said: “Following the incident, Ambassador of India in Kuwait, Adarsh Swaika, immediately visited the location of the incident and also the hospitals to ascertain the welfare of the Indian nationals. The Embassy continues to coordinate with local authorities to assist Indian nationals who have been injured in this unfortunate incident and extend all possible support. The Embassy is receiving full cooperation from the Kuwaiti authorities.”

The statement also said that the Indian Embassy in Kuwait continues to remain in touch with local authorities to provide relief to those affected.

“The Embassy has established a helpline +965-65505246 (WhatsApp and regular call) for family members to get in touch. Regular updates are being provided through the helpline,” the EAM said.

The fire broke out while the workers were asleep, and some residents had to jump from the building in an attempt to survive, Kuwaiti newspaper al-Qabas reported, citing witnesses.

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Kuwait’s Emir Meshal Al Ahmad has ordered investigations to determine the cause of the blaze and bring to account those found responsible, Kuna said.

–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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Tribal population in J'Khand declined by 10 per cent, B'deshi intruders behind this: Nishikant Dubey in LS

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Tribal population in J'Khand declined by 10 per cent, B'deshi intruders behind this: Nishikant Dubey in LS

Tribal population in J'Khand declined by 10 per cent, B'deshi intruders behind this: Nishikant Dubey in LS

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) Nishikant Dubey, a BJP lawmaker from Jharkhand made some explosive ‘revelations’ in the Lok Sabha on Thursday and said that the tribal population was witnessing a ‘fast decline’ because of the influx of Muslims from neighbouring Bangladesh. He also called for preparation of a National Register of Citizens (NRC) to arrest the disturbing and damaging trend in the area’s demography.

The BJP Parliamentarian, speaking in Lok Sabha, claimed that the Bangladeshi men were intruding into tribal-dominated state and marrying the tribal women and this was happening under the nose of ruling JMM-Congress government.

“When Jharkhand separated from Bihar in 2000, the Dalit population in Santhal Pargana (one of the divisions of Jharkhand) was 36 per cent which has now reduced to 26 per cent. I want to ask where the 10 per cent tribes have gone, how have they vanished?” Nishikant Dubey wondered, while claiming that none including the state government was paying heed to their pangs.

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“Bangladeshi intruders are marrying tribal women, not just at one place but across the belt. This is not a Hindu-Muslim issue. There are many tribal women who are contesting polls on tribal quota, but their husbands are Muslim men,” he mentioned.

District council chairman, a tribal woman, is married to Muslim man while many women village head’s husbands are Muslims, he said citing some examples.

“Madhupur, one of the Assembly in his Lok Sabha constituency, registered a rise of 117 per cent in Muslim population,” he claimed.

As the BJP MP met with resistance in the House, he dared the Opposition to prove him wrong.

“If I am proven wrong on any of these facts, I am ready to resign,” he asserted.

He also said that the rise of Muslim population, particularly in West Bengal’s two districts — Malda and Murshidabad — was creating troubles for local community and also held them responsible for the recent communal riots in Dangapada and Taranagar Ilaami.

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Nishikant Dubey also demanded that the Centre takes stock of the situation and turns the two districts of Bengal, with ‘abrupt Muslim population growth’ into Union Territories.

–IANS

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Liquor policy case: Delhi CM Kejriwal's judicial custody extended till Aug 8

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Liquor policy case: Delhi CM Kejriwal's judicial custody extended till Aug 8

Liquor policy case: Delhi CM Kejriwal's judicial custody extended till Aug 8

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) A court here on Thursday extended, till August 8, judicial custody of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in connection with the alleged liquor policy scam.

Special Judge Kaveri Baweja of Rouse Avenue Court passed the order upon the expiry of the previously granted judicial custody.

Last week, the Delhi High Court reserved its verdict on a plea filed by CM Kejriwal challenging his arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the corruption case.

A Bench of Justice Neena Bansal Krishna also reserved its verdict on his plea seeking release on interim bail.

The Supreme Court, on July 12, ordered CM Kejriwal to be released on interim bail in connection with the money laundering case linked to the excise policy case.

However, he was not able to walk out of jail since he was arrested by the CBI.

–IANS

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Hearing on Bengal Guv’s defamation suit adjourned for a day

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Hearing on Bengal Guv’s defamation suit adjourned for a day

Hearing on Bengal Guv’s defamation suit adjourned for a day

Kolkata, July 25 (IANS) A crucial hearing on Thursday on an appeal by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Calcutta High Court challenging an earlier order on a defamation suit filed by Governor CV Ananda Bose was adjourned for a day.

The Division Bench of Justice Indra Prasanna Mukerji and Justice Biswaroop Chowdhury will hear the matter on Friday.

However, the reasons for adjournment of the hearing were not known.

On July 16, a single-judge Bench of Justice Krishna Rao had put an interim stay on any kind of derogatory statements against Governor Bose till August 14.

The Bench ordered the interim stay acting on a defamation suit filed against the Chief Minister, where Trinamool Congress leader Kunal and party legislators Sayantika Banerjee and Reyat Sarkar were also made parties.

However, the Chief Minister challenged that order claiming that it was in violation of the provisions of the Freedom of Speech.

The Chief Minister’s counsel argued that the interim stay was ordered without making any observation on whether there was any defamation in the first place.

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He also claimed that the Chief Minister didn’t make any comment which might be deemed as defamatory.

–IANS

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