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V. Somanna, Shobha Karandlaje assume charge as ministers in Modi 3.0

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Bengaluru, June 11 (IANS) Union Minister of State (MoS) of Ministry of Jal Shakti, and Ministry of Railways V. Somanna along with MoS of Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Ministry of Labour and Employment Shobha Karandlaje on Tuesday assumed charge at their respective ministers in New Delhi.

“I began my work with the blessings of the late Shivakumara Swamiji and the late Balagangadharanatha Swamiji,” Somanna said after assuming the charge.

Bagalkot MP P.C. Gaddigoudar and former MPs G.S. Basavaraju and Umesh Jadhav were present on the occasion when Somanna assumed new responsibilities at the ministry.

Shobha Karandlaje, after assuming charge of her ministry said, that she looks forward to work with her new team for the betterment of the country.

Meanwhile, Union Minister for Heavy Industries and Steel H.D. Kumaraswamy said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has trusted Karnataka leadership with important ministries.

“We will not only bring revolutionary changes in Karnataka but will also work honestly and successfully to bring changes at the national level,” he stated.

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V. Somanna also thanked Kumaraswamy for the wishes, saying that he would like to have the same coordination with the JD-S Chief in future as well.

–IANS

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Chandrababu Naidu to review capital development work on June 20

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Amaravati, June 19 (IANS) For the first time after assuming office as Chief Minister last week, N. Chandrababu Naidu will visit Amaravati capital region area on Thursday to examine the progress of the work related to development of the state capital.

He will review the status of various buildings under construction in different parts of the region.

The Chief Minister will begin his tour from Praja Vedika, a meeting hall which was demolished by the previous government of the YSR Congress.

He will then move to the area where Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation for the capital in Uddandarayunipalem in 2015.

Chandrababu Naidu will visit the Seed Axis Road, the housing complexes being built for the All India Service officers, the Ministers and the High Court Judges and later move to the sites where construction works were started during the earlier TDP regime for the iconic buildings.

Naidu has already declared that the TDP-Jana Sena-BJP government will develop Amaravati as the sole state capital.

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In 2019, Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government reversed the decision by the earlier TDP government to develop Amaravati as the state capital and announced that three state capitals will be developed.

The YSCRP government had mooted Visakhapatnam as the administrative capital, Kurnool as the judicial capital and Amaravati as the legislative capital.

Naidu assured that Visakhapatnam will be developed as a financial capital and a modern city, and Kurnool will be developed in all respects.

After assuming office as minister for municipal administration and urban development on June 16, P. Narayana said that state capital works will be completed in two-and-a-half years.

Narayana said work in Amaravati would resume soon.

“We will do a review in 15 days and decide a time-bound programme,” he said while making clear that Amaravati will be developed as the old master plan.

Narayana said development of Amaravati in three phases would cost Rs 1 lakh crore.

The first phase was taken up by the earlier TDP government at a cost of Rs 48,000 crore.

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He recalled that tenders were called to undertake work to provide basic amenities covering a major part of the capital and to construct residential quarters for ministers, secretaries, officials and other employees.

The then government had also made payments to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore.

He claimed that 90 per cent of the works relating to residential blocks of ministers, secretaries and officials were completed.

–IANS

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After outcry, Goa CM says report on Smart City project will be ready soon

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Panaji, June 19 (IANS) After public outcry, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Wednesday that a report on the Smart City project is being prepared which will have the details of the works completed and the actions taken against the project consultant and other persons.

“A report on the Smart City project is being prepared. Whatever work has been done so far and the actions taken against a consultant and others will be reflected in this report. We will not spend additional money on works that have collapsed, and ask the contractors to complete them soon. The report will be ready very soon,” CM Sawant told mediapersons here.

Earlier, the Chief Minister said that the project consultant has been removed and action will be taken against the erring contractors.

“We are conducting a detailed audit of the works. The project consultant has been removed. We will also take action against the erring contractors,” Sawant said.

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Earlier, Panaji BJP MLA and Revenue Minister Atanasio Monserrate termed the ongoing works for the Smart City project sub-standard.

Claiming that the standard of work has been compromised for corruption worth Rs 1,140 crore, the Congress had demanded the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) prepare a special audit of all the 47 projects reportedly undertaken by the Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Ltd (IPSCDL) under the Smart City and Amrut Mission.

It had demanded action against the contractors alleging that sub-standard work added to the problems of the city.

Alleging corruption in the Smart City project, Goa Forward Party MLA Vijai Sardesai had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to order a comprehensive audit of the project, encompassing financial, quality, and safety aspects.

In his letter to PM Modi, Sardesai claimed there are grave allegations of massive corruption and financial misappropriation associated with the project.

The residents of Panaji have also vented anger against the government for failing to complete work on time, causeing inconvenience to the people.

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–IANS

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Uttar Pradesh to begin Sarus Crane census on Thursday

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Lucknow, June 19 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh government, under the direction of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, will commence the Sarus census on Thursday.

The counting of Sarus cranes, which is the state bird, occurs twice a year, during both summer and winter seasons.

In 2024, the counting will take place over two days starting Thursday, with sessions to be conducted both in the morning and evening and cooperation of officers and employees of the Forest Department, as well as students and nature lovers.

The Yogi Adityanath government’s efforts to conserve the Sarus crane are showing promising results. In the 2023 count, 19,522 Sarus cranes were recorded in Uttar Pradesh.

Each Divisional Forest Officer will submit the count and photographs of cranes found in their respective divisions to the Chief Forest Conservator, Eco Development, Lucknow by July 1.

The Sarus cranes are counted twice annually, during the summer and winter. The summer count for 2024 will take place on June 20 and 21. For this, the Divisional Forest Officer will be the coordinator of their respective areas. The forest guard will be the leader of the counting team.

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The highest count between these two sessions will be considered the actual number. Additionally, GPS readings will be taken at each counting site.

In regions with abundant wetlands, it is recommended to form multiple teams for the Sarus crane count. Public awareness initiatives will inform the general population about this effort. Schools, colleges, children, nature enthusiasts, and NGOs are encouraged to participate in the count, and participants will receive certificates for their involvement.

Over the years, the Sarus crane population has shown significant growth.

Following the Covid-19 pandemic, 17,329 cranes were recorded in the state in 2021. This number increased to 19,188 in 2022 and further to 19,522 in 2023.

With the upcoming count scheduled to begin on Thursday in 2024, it is anticipated that the crane population will continue to rise.

–IANS

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Finger found in ice-cream belonged to factory worker in Pune

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Mumbai, June 19 (IANS) The ‘human finger’ found in a Yummo ice-cream delivered to a Mumbai doctor may have belonged to an injured worker of a Pune-based contract manufacturer, police investigation revealed on Wednesday.

The young worker had ostensibly sustained an injury to his middle finger while working in the Fortune Dairy’s plant located in Indapur, Pune, which manufactures ice-creams for Yummo.

The Malad police station in Mumbai has already carried out a medical examination and DNA test on the worker along with forensic tests to confirm if they match with the finger that was detected in the ice-cream delivered to Brendan Ferrao.

A company source confirmed on Wednesday that the worker was from Fortune Dairy and Yummo Ice-Creams has already stopped all its third-party manufacturing there immediately after the matter came to light, besides withdrawing all stocks from the markets and warehouses.

The police probe has found that after the finger reportedly got severed in the factory accident, he was sent for treatment to a private hospital but nobody realised where the finger part had vanished – till it emerged in Ferrao’s ice-cream, sparking a huge controversy.

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The particular batch was manufactured almost a month prior to the incident that was reported on June 12, and after travelling through nearly half a dozen storage locations in Pune and Mumbai, it finally reached the unsuspecting customer’s home in an online order.

This week, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) inspected Fortune Dairy’s factory premises and suspended its manufacturing licence till the investigation is completed.

–IANS

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Cabinet okays Rs 76,220 crore Vadhavan port project in Maharashtra

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New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) The Union Cabinet during a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the setting up of a major port at Vadhavan near Dahanu in Maharashtra with an investment of Rs 76,220 crore that includes the cost of land acquisition.

The project will be constructed by Vadhavan Port Project Limited (VPPL), an SPV formed by Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA) and Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) with a shareholding of 74 per cent and 26 per cent, respectively.

The Vadhavan Port will be developed as an all-weather Greenfield deep draft major port at Vadhavan in Maharashtra’s Palghar district.

The total project cost, including the land acquisition component, is Rs 76,220 crore.

This will include development of core infrastructure, terminals and other commercial infrastructure in public-private partnership (PPP) mode.

The Cabinet also approved establishing the road connectivity between the Port and National Highways by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and rail linkage to the existing rail network and the upcoming Dedicated Rail Freight Corridor by the Ministry of Railways.

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The port will comprise nine container terminals, each 1,000 meters long, four multipurpose berths, including the coastal berth, four liquid cargo berths, a Ro-Ro berth, and a Coast Guard berth.

The project involves the reclamation of 1,448 hectares of area in the sea and the construction of 10.14 km of offshore breakwater and container/cargo storage areas.

The project will create a cumulative capacity of 298 million metric tonnes (MMT) per annum, including around 23.2 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalents) of container handling capacity.

The capacities created will also aid EXIM trade flow through IMEEC (India Middle East Europe Economic Corridor) and INSTC (International North South Transportation Corridor).

The world-class maritime terminal facilities promote public-private partnerships (PPP) and leverage efficiencies and modern technologies to create state-of-the-art terminals capable of handling mainline mega vessels plying on international shipping lines between the Far East, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

Vadhavan Port, on completion, will be one of the top ten ports of the world, the statement said.

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The project, aligned with the objectives of PM Gati Shakti programme, will add to further economic activity and also have the potential for direct and indirect employment opportunities for around 10 lakh individuals, thereby contributing to the local economy, the statement added.

–IANS

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