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Odisha records 60.07 per cent turnout in penultimate phase of LS/Assembly polls

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Bhubaneswar, May 25 (IANS) Odisha recorded a 60.07 per cent voter turnout, till 7.45 p.m. in the six Lok Sabha constituencies and 42 Assembly segments, which went to poll in the penultimate phase of Parliamentary and Assembly elections on Saturday.

Polling was held in Sambalpur, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, and Puri parliamentary constituencies and 42 assembly segments under them.

Voters exercised their franchise at 10,515 polling booths in the six parliamentary constituencies for the third phase of polling in the state.

Chief Electoral Officer Nikunja Bihari Dhal said that the voting for the third phase of polling witnessed some skirmishes between different political groups during the polls at some places in the state. He, however, said that the commission has not yet received any demand from the political parties regarding repolling at any booth in the state.

“There have been minor skirmishes at some places and we have video footage of those incidents also. Appropriate action will be taken in all those cases,” Dhal said during a press conference here.

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He also stated that as many as 201 ballot units, 214 control units and 501 VVPATs were replaced after technical glitches came to the fore during mock polls as well as the actual polling.

Prominent candidates in Saturday’s phase included Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan from Sambalpur, and BJP spokesman Sambit Patra vs BJD candidate and former Mumbai Police Chief Arup Patnaik in Puri.

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Heavy rains in Maha's Konkan disrupt normal life, administration on high alert as rivers rise

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Mumbai, July 14 (IANS) In the wake of heavy rains and rising water levels in many rivers, the District Collectors of Raigad, Ratnagiri, and Sindhudurg in Maharashtra’s Konkan region have asked officials to be vigilant and swiftly undertake rescue and relief operations.

This is in the wake of the IMD issuing a red alert in Ratnagiri, Kolhapur, and Satara, an orange alert in Raigad and Sindhudurg, Pune, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, and Gondiya, and a yellow alert in Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Sangli, and Solapur.

According to the state government sources, In Sangameshwar taluka of Ratnagiri, the roads in Kond, Ambed-Dingni-Karjuve, Dhamani, Kasba, and Phanaswane areas are flooded and vehicular movement has been ordered stopped.

The administration has swung into action to evacuate the people from low-lying areas.

As flood waters of the Vashisti river have entered Chiplun city, there has been heavy water-logging in the markets and the administration has asked traders and citizens not to venture out. An NDRF team has been deployed there.

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Due to floods in the Khed-Diwan Khavati area of Ratnagiri district, connectivity to seven villages has been snapped and seven hamlets are also cut off from Ganeshwadi. Life in rural areas of Ratnagiri district has been disrupted due to heavy rains and revenue and police officials are maintaining a close vigil.

The Mumbai-Goa highway is also closed. Traffic has been stopped at the Borghar bus stop on the highway due to the water logging.

The incessant and heavy rains in Raigad district since Saturday have led to a rise in the level of the Kundalika, Patalganga, and Amba rivers, which have crossed the warning level. The district administration has warned the citizens of Roha, Nagothane, Khalapur, Khopoli, and Apta areas to be alert. The bridge over the Kundalika river in Roha town has been completely closed to traffic due to the flow of flood waters.

The NDRF is monitoring the water level of the Savitri river in Raigad.

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The powerloom town of Bhiwandi and rural areas have also been hit by heavy rains and water has accumulated up to 3 to 4 feet in the Khadipar area and has entered many houses.

Rainwater has also accumulated in large quantities in Tin Batti, Vegetable Market, and the Eidgah Road.

The Kalyan city has also been hit by heavy rains. The Raita bridge on the Kalyan-Nagar route has been closed to traffic due to the swelling water level of the Ulhas river. The administration has appealed to those coming to Kalyan to use the Goveli-Titwala route.

–IANS

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DPS Dwarka student 'harassment': Delhi Education Minister Atishi assures action

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New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) Delhi Education Minister Atishi on Sunday assured that action would be taken with regard to the alleged harassment of students by Delhi Public School Dwarka over outstanding fees.

Asked about some parents’ claim that their children were being subjected to harassment by the school authorities over the dues, Atishi, at a press meet here, said: “Action will be taken.”

On Saturday, parents of at least 20 students of DPS Dwarka accused the institution of not allowing their children inside classrooms and publishing their wards’ names on its official website over their outstanding fee dues.

According to some parents, the action followed their refusal to pay the revised fee, which, they claim, was increased “without following Directorate of Education (DoE) norms”.

They said that the public display of their children’s names breached their ward’s Fundamental right to personal space and privacy.

Parents accused the school of harassing their children by demanding “unapproved” revised fees. “We have submitted numerous complaints since 2021 but got no relief,” a parent had said.

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“We moved the court against the DoE and the school… and the court ordered that parents will have to pay 50 per cent of the revised fee and names which had been struck off from the rolls should be immediately restored immediately but the school has no respect for the court order either,” another parent had claimed.

–IANS

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Odisha: ‘Ratna Bhandar’ of Jagannath Temple opened after 46 years

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Bhubaneswar, July 14 (IANS) The Ratna Bhandar (treasure trove) of Jagannath Temple in Puri was finally opened after a gap of 46 years on Sunday.

The treasury of the 12th-century shrine opened in the presence of an 11-member team headed by retired Justice Biswanath Rath.

Rath is the chairman of the high-level inspection committee formed by the state government to supervise the opening of Ratna Bhandar.

Speaking to media persons after returning from the Ratna Bhandar, Arabninda Padhee, the chief administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), said the team has carried out the task of opening the treasury as per the SOP issued by the state government.

“We entered the outer chamber of the Ratna Bhandar after opening the locks with the keys kept with Gajapati Maharaj, the king of Puri, SJTA and the Bhandar Mekap servitor. The ornaments stored in the outer chamber have completely been shifted to the temporary strong room inside the temple premises and later it was sealed in the presence of a magistrate,” Padhee said.

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Padhi further added that it took a long time to make a record of the ornaments stored in the outer chamber.

“Later, the team reached the gate of the inner chamber but all the three locks on the gate could not be opened with the keys brought from the district treasury. As the SOP of the state government has also mandated that in case the locks don’t open with the keys then the locks shall be broken. The locks were broken with the help of the servitor members. Then the whole committee entered the inner chamber and found that whatever ornaments stored there have been kept in some Almirahs and chests,” added Padhee.

Justice Rath said the team managed to enter the inner chamber after cutting the locks in the presence of the magistrate and others. He stated that videography was conducted inside the chamber after entering it.

He further added that more than four hours had elapsed by then.

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“As seven to eight members of temple management are part of the team, they are busy as the Bahuda Yatra preparations have started, so we couldn’t get more time for further checking and shifting of the ornaments. So we decided to fix another date for the shifting of the ornaments and precious stones of the deities,” added Rath.

Rath said it would not be possible to do the shifting of ornaments to the temporary strong room from the inner chamber keeping in view the Rath Yatra-related rituals and the presence of a huge number of devotees during the period.

He said another day would be fixed after the deities return to their sanctum sanctorum on Friday for the opening and shifting of the ornaments from the inner chamber.

He also rubbished several myths surrounding the Ratna Bhandar such as the presence of huge snakes inside the inner chamber.

Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi also expressed joy over the opening of Ratna Bhandar, the treasure trove of the 12th-century shrine after 46 years.

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–IANS

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Residents welcome decision to halt dump yard project on Dwarka Expressway

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Gurugram, July 14 (IANS) The residents of Dwarka Expressway have expressed their happiness and relief following the government’s decision to halt the ongoing and planned work on the proposed dump yard in the area.

The decision came after a strong agitation from the local community, supported by various Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWAs), villages and social organisations.

Recently the residents, villagers and farmers have raised significant concerns regarding the adverse health impacts the dumpyard could have on children and the elderly, leading to widespread protests.

The community’s collective voice was heard by the Chief Minister, who promptly took cognizance of the issue.

In response, the Haryana Chief Minister instructed the Deputy Commissioner of Gurugram to put the project on hold and seek an alternative site for the dumpyard.

“We are looking for fresh sites such as Sohna, Nuh, Tauru and Farrukhnagar. We have also discussed the plan to have multiple sites so that bulk waste can be dumped at different sites. We are planning to take land owned by panchayat and rent will be paid to them so that they have a rental income,” said an administration officer.

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Wing Commander R.D. Deshpande (Retd), Secretary of Rise Always Welfare Association, expressed gratitude towards the government, stating: “The decision to put a hold on the dumpyard is going to positively impact the lives of people around the area. We were very much concerned about the health of children and the elderly. The worry seems to be over with the intervention of the Hon’ble Chief Minister.”

The Dwarka Expressway, one of the most significant and expansive residential hubs in the National Capital Region (NCR), stands to benefit greatly from this decision.

The government’s responsiveness has not only alleviated immediate health concerns but also restored faith among the residents in proactive governance and community welfare.

The RWAs and social organisations involved are extremely pleased with this outcome and look forward to a sustainable solution that ensures the well-being of all residents.

–IANS

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Heart diseases increasing at alarming rate among young: Cardiologists

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Chandigarh, July 14 (IANS) Heart diseases are increasing at an alarming rate, with many young patients in their 20s and 30s succumbing to heart attacks in India. This trend is a huge concern for cardiologists, world-renowned interventional cardiologist H.K. Bali said here on Sunday.

HEART Foundation organised a day-long academic program, CIIST360, to highlight the latest advances in the field of cardiology. Around 250 cardiologists and physicians from northern India attended the conference.

Speakers delivered lectures on cardiac diseases, including coronary artery diseases, structural heart diseases, and heart failure. Delegates had the opportunity to interact with distinguished speakers and discuss specific patient cases, enhancing the collaborative spirit of the event.

Bali, the founder patron of HEART Foundation, highlighted advances in the medical field that are now saving the lives of heart patients, especially those with poor heart function, considered untreatable, or those in which traditional methods could not be performed.

The notable advancements include protected angioplasty in which a miniature pump ‘Impella’ is inserted for better results and faster recovery.

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He emphasised the importance of image-guided angioplasty using IVUS or OCT, which provides better short-term and long-term results.

In addressing the needs of elderly patients at high surgical risk, Bali discussed the non-surgical treatment of aortic valve stenosis through the percutaneous technique called TAVI (transcatheter aortic valve implantation). This procedure can even be performed safely in elderly patients with surgical risks.

M.K. Das from Kolkata emphasised that artificial intelligence is going to play an increasingly important role in the diagnosis and management of patients with heart failure. He said already in many hospitals, artificial intelligence is being used to better manage heart failure patients to reduce recurrent admissions in hospitals.

T.S. Kler from Delhi explained that irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) is becoming a very common clinical problem and it can be an important cause of strokes.

–IANS

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