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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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Bihar govt takes preventive measures to tackle floods

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Patna June 19 (IANS) Every year, monsoon floods wreak havoc in Bihar, particularly in the northern districts of the state.

While the government spends crores of rupees to take preventive measures each year, the situation has not changed much over the years.

“The state government is keeping an eye on all the concerned developments. We have constituted a dedicated control room besides deploying trained people at places where floods have a greater impact,” said Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, state Minister for Water Resources.

This year, the Water Resources department has worked on 150 pre-flood schemes and spent around Rs 350 crore, sources said.

Every year, a large number of people die due to the floods. Even though the monsoon is yet to arrive in Bihar, the water level in the Kosi River in north Bihar has started rising. On Tuesday, a bridge on the Bakra River in Araria district collapsed due to a sudden rise in the water level.

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The Water Resources department started preparing for the floods from June 1.

The control room is functional now, while the leave of all the employees of the department, including engineers, has been canceled. The department is monitoring the water level in the rivers, along with the condition of the catchment areas and embankments.

It has taken several measures to protect the more than 3,700 km long embankments in Bihar. More security personnel have been deployed on the embankments while experts have been deployed in the control room for constant monitoring.

In 2021, the Bihar government spent Rs 1121.73 crore for 317 schemes, Rs 748.54 crore for 296 schemes in 2022, Rs 898.04 crore for 330 schemes in 2023, and Rs 350 crore for 149 schemes in 2024 as part of its flood control measures.

A large number of people die due to floods in Bihar each year. According to the data of the Bihar State Disaster Management Authority, the number of people drowning between June and December is continuously increasing in the state, with 205 people drowning in 2018, 630 in 2019, 1,060 in 2020, 1,206 in 2021, while 1,256 people died in 2022.

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Former Water Resources Minister and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Jha always maintained that Bihar would not get relief from floods until dams are not be built in Nepal.

Experts in water management feel that Bihar will get relief from floods only when the water coming from Nepal is controlled. For this, the Centre and the state will have to work together because it is an international matter.

Dinesh Mishra, a scholar and an expert on the flood situation in Bihar, holds the state government responsible for the flood menace.

“Everyone in the government, including the engineers in the Water Resources department, knows about siltation. Instead of coming up with a permanent solution to resolve the problem, the government looks only at temporary measures.

“When the Kushaha tragedy on the Kosi River happened in 2008, the Nitish Kumar government gave compensation to the affected family members and they remained silent. No one asked about permanent solutions.

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“The state government opens a control room in Patna to monitor the flood situation every year from June 1 to October 15. Every year, floods happen in July. Why doesn’t the control room remain functional throughout the year? They know well about the problems but fail to address them,” Mishra said.

–IANS

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Calcutta HC allows autopsy of BJP worker to be done in front of his wife or kin

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Kolkata, June 19 (IANS) The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday allowed the post mortem of an arrested BJP worker who died under mysterious circumstances in hospital, to be done in front of his wife or anyone else deputed by her.

Sanjay Bera, a BJP worker from Debra in West Midnapore District of West Bengal allegedly died after being repeatedly admitted to hospital. His family members have alleged that he died due to injuries inflicted by the police.

The single-judge Bench of Justice Amrita Sinha gave the direction after the first hearing on a petition by Bera’s family seeking a CBI probe, as well as an autopsy at a central government-controlled hospital in Bengal.

However, Justice Sinha directed that the post- mortem be conducted at the state-run SSKM Medical College & Hospital.

She also allowed the wife of the deceased or any other representative deputed by her, to be present during the autopsy.

Justice Sinha also directed video-recording of the entire post-mortem process and handing over of the body to the family members after the process is over.

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The next hearing in the matter is scheduled on June 26.

The family members moved the petition at Justice Sinha’s Bench just hours after the Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari demanded a CBI probe into the matter.

“Police arrested Bera on June 4 and he was sent to judicial custody. He got admitted to Medinipur Medical College after that but he was sent back to judicial custody on June 11. He was again sent to hospital and he died on Tuesday. Police are giving a lame excuse that he incurred a head injury after falling down,” Adhikari claimed.

On Wednesday, Bera’s family members claimed that when he was arrested on June 4, he had no injury marks on his body. However, when he was presented in court the next day he had injury marks on his head.

–IANS

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Agartala Mayor Dipak Majumder sworn in as Tripura Assembly member

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Agartala, June 19 (IANS) The Mayor of the Agartala Municipal Corporation, Dipak Majumder, who recently won the Assembly by-poll from Ramnagar on a BJP ticket, was sworn in as a member of the Tripura Assembly on Wednesday.

Assembly Speaker Biswa Bandhu Sen administered the oath of secrecy to Majumder as a legislator in the 60-member House at a brief function.

Chief Minister Manik Saha, his Cabinet colleagues, and other dignitaries were present at the function held in the lobby of the Assembly.

Official sources said that Majumder, who became an MLA for the first time, may keep his Mayoral post.

In the bypoll held on April 19, Majumder defeated CPI-M nominee Ratan Das by 18,014 votes.

The by-election was necessitated by the demise of sitting BJP MLA and former minister Surajit Datta on December 28 last year.

–IANS

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We also want to live but people are scared to talk about presence of bombs: Kannur resident

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Thiruvananthapuram, June 19 (IANS) A day after a 85-year-old man in Kannur died after opening an abandoned tiffin box with a bomb in it, a resident of the area on Wednesday alleged that people were scared to say anything but it is quite a common occurrence in their locality.

The issue of Velayudhan’s death in Eranjoli near Thalassery while looking for coconuts in the compound of a locked house surfaced in Kerala Assembly on Wednesday when the Congress-led Opposition brought it up.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan assured the members that the police were doing their job well and the culprits would be brought to book.

A few hours after CM Vijayan said this, Seena, a resident of Eranjoli after speaking to the newly-elected Vadakara Lok Sabha MP, Shafi Parambil, told the media that Tuesday’s blast was nothing new.

“Most of the homes which are locked are under the control of the party people. Everyone here knows what’s happening and how bombs are being made. None will ever speak out as they fear for their lives as their homes will be attacked with bombs if they do,” she alleged.

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“My plea to you (media) is please help us, we also want to live. Our children are afraid to play as there are bombs everywhere,” said Seena.

Even as Seena was speaking to the media, her mother was seen asking her to stop giving such statements.

Parambil, who visited the area, said the prime accused in the frequent bomb blasts taking place in and around Kannur were the police.

“They are unable to do their job for obvious reasons and those who make these bombs have now become professionals and not a single one of these professionals have been caught. This is a big failure on the part of those who handle the Home portfolio (CM Vijayan). These professionals know that nothing will happen to them,” said Parambil.

Incidentally at the peak of the Lok Sabha poll campaign, in Thalassery a person died and two others were injured while making bombs.

Another resident, Poornachandran, who lost his left palm and right eye at Thalassery in 1998 in a similar bomb explosion involving a tiffin box, said that he shudders to think what happened to him when he was a boy.

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“I was picking old things and found a tiffin box. I took it to a shop and as I was trying to open it with a hammer, an explosion took place. I was in a hospital for more than two months and I lost my left hand and right eye.

“I feel extremely sad how my childhood was lost. So many years after it happened to me, the same thing is happening at Thalassery again and again,” said Poornachandran, who now works as a clerk in the state capital.

Kerala BJP President, K Surendran said, “The CPI(M) leaders who hail from Kannur are well aware of how this is happening and none should forget this is happening in Vijayan’s hometown.

“The CPI(M) wants to move forward by keeping Kannur tense, so people will remain silent. A comprehensive probe into the two recent bomb explosions has to take place.”

–IANS

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Lokesh aims to bring radical changes in education, reaching out to all stake holders

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Amaravati, June 19 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh’s new Human Resources Development Minister Nara Lokesh plans to bring radical changes in the education sector, and had started working on his action plan even before taking charge of his portfolio.

Lokesh, who is the son of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and also holds the portfolios of Information Technology, Electronics & Communication and Real Time Governance, is holding review meetings with senior officers of the Education Department and will soon hold meetings with the leaders of various student unions and parent organisations to know the issues plaguing the education sector for a long time and also find solutions to these problems.

He is very keen that the teachers should not be assigned any other task except supplying quality food during the mid-day meal for all the eligible while they extend quality education to their students.

After being sworn in as the minister, he started holding a Praja Darbar in his constituency Mangalagiri to have first-hand information on the problems that the people are facing. He is interacting with people on a daily basis.

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According to TDP leaders close to Lokesh, the young minister inherited the philosophy of perseverance until the task was completed from his grandfather and the TDP founder, late N.T. Rama Rao, and his father Chandrababu Naidu. They said Lokesh’s target is to provide all the basic amenities in all schools, resolve all issues pending for the past several years in the higher education sector, recruit faculty by finding solutions to the issues pending before the courts for many years, and supply quality school-kits to the students.

Lokesh has also formulated a 100-day action plan to bring the past glory to the IT and Electronics sectors which lost their very existence during the previous five-year YSRCP rule in the state, they said.

When he was the Minister for Rural Development, IT and Electronics only for a couple of years, from 2017 to 2019, he undertook various developmental projects in all the wings. He created a record of sorts by taking steps to construct 25,000 km long CC roads in the rural areas of the state. Lokesh won the prestigious SKOCH Person of the Year Award in 2018 for the revolutionary changes that he brought in rural development and the Digital Leader of the Year award for introducing the latest technology in administration.

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For the successful implementation of various schemes in panchayat raj and rural development, the state has been presented with the Innovation Award by the Centre and the department has also won another prestigious award of the Kalam Innovation in Governance.

On behalf of India, Lokesh got a special invitation in 2018 for the Annual Summit of the Entrepreneurship of the World Economic Forum held in China to represent the country. This apart, Lokesh is the lone Indian leader who has been nominated for the Network of Global Future Councils of the World Economic Forum.

With progressive ideas, he has invited globally renowned IT and electronics companies like HCL, TCS, Celkon and many others to set up their units in the state.

–IANS

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