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PM inaugurates new airport in Odisha’s Jharsuguda

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Jharsuguda

Jharsuguda |Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday inaugurated a new airport at Jharsuguda, which he said will attract investors to the mineral-rich area and would act as a lifeline in the western region of the state.

The prime minister said the airport would go a long way in transforming the state into a modern and developed one.

Noting that only one major airport existed in Odisha for so many years, Modi said Kutch district in Gujarat alone has five airports. “Now, the second airport of the state would act as a lifeline in the western region of Odisha and attract investors to the mineral-rich region,” he said.

Asserting that the BJP-led government has been taking concrete steps for strengthening the aviation sector, he said only 450 aircraft operated in the country since Independence, while steps have been taken for 950 new aircraft during the last one year.

Highlighting the importance of Jharsuguda Airport, Modi said it would act as a junction for neighbouring Raipur and Ranchi and strengthen connectivity.

Development of eastern Indian states, including Odisha, West Bengal and Assam, is essential for achieving a balanced development of the country, the PM said.

Modi said the new airport is named after freedom fighter Veer Surendra Sai, as demanded by the Odisha government.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, while addressing the ceremony, thanked the prime minister for naming the new airport after Sai, and said steps should be taken for quick introduction of regular commercial flights from Jharsuguda.

He said the state government has provided land and free power for setting up the airport.

Modi also inaugurated the Garjanbahal open cast mine of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), which has coal block reserves of 230 million tonnes with an annual production capacity of 13 million tonnes. It will generate direct employment opportunity for 894 people and indirect job opportunities for 5,000.

The prime minister also launched the 53.1-km long Jharsuguda-Serdega railway line constructed by the MCL and said it would strengthen connectivity in the tribal-dominated region.

Modi also dedicated to the nation Dulanga Coal Mining Project of NTPC in Sundargarh district. This is the second mine of the state-run company to be operational and its first in Odisha.

Coal produced from this mine shall be used in the under-construction 1600-MW Darlipali Super Thermal Power Plant of NTPC in Sundargarh district, officials said.

The Jharsuguda Airport has been developed by the Airports Authority of India in collaboration with Odisha government at an estimated cost of Rs 210 crore, with Rs 75 crore contribution from the state. The airport has been developed under the Centre’s UDAN scheme.

Spread across over 1,027.5 acres of land with a 2,390-metre long runway, the area of terminal building of the airport is 4,000 sqm.

The airport has been developed for all-weather operations, including night operations for A-320 type of aircraft.

National

Four arrested for assault on a TV journalist in Mumbai

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Tv Journalist

Mumbai | Four persons have been arrested for allegedly assaulting a television journalist near his house in south Mumbai, police said on Monday.

The accused, all city residents aged between 20 and 25 years, were nabbed late Sunday night from Tardeo area, a senior police official said. Herman Gomes, working with a private TV channel, was returning home along with a friend in a taxi on Sunday when he saw four to six men waiting near his house in Gamdevi area.

The men started abusing Gomes and later allegedly assaulted him and also hit his friend, as per the victim. Gomes was injured in the attack and later received six stitches near his eyes.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (zone-II) Dnyaneshwar Chavan, said prima facie it appears the incident might have taken place in the heat of the moment following some argument. “However, we are trying to go into the depth of the matter,” he said, adding, the accused do not have any criminal background.

Based on Gomes’ complaint, the Gamdevi Police had registered a case under IPC sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 324 (voluntary causing hurt by dangerous weapons) and other relevant provisions.

Journalists’ associations in the city had Sunday condemned the attack and alleged that police did not file the victim’s complaint promptly. The Mumbai Press Club termed the attack on Gomes a “dastardly act”.

An association of crime reporters in the city have urged Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to take action against police officers who allegedly delayed registration of the First Information Report (FIR) in the matter.

Minister of State for Home (urban), Ranjit Patil had later said an investigation was on into the incident and “correct steps will be taken in the direction”.

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Delhi court grants bail to Naveen Jindal, others in coal scam related case

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Naveen Jindal

New Delhi | A Delhi court on Monday granted bail to industrialist and Congress leader Naveen Jindal and 14 others, accused of money laundering in a case pertaining to irregularities in the allocation of a Jharkhand coal block.

Special Judge Bharat Parashar granted the relief on a personal bond of Rs one lakh and one surety of the like amount.

Besides Jindal, those granted relief are Jindal Steel and Power Ltd’s then adviser Anand Goel, Mumbai’s Essar Power Ltd’s Executive Vice-Chairman Sushil Kumar Maroo, Nihar Stocks Ltd’s Director BSN Suryanarayan, Mumbai-based KE International’s Chief Financial Officer Rajeev Aggarwal and Gurgaon-based Green Infra’s Vice-President Siddharth Madra. Those arrayed as accused also include K Ramakrishna Prasad, Rajiv Jain and Gyan Swaroop Garg.

The case filed under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) pertains to the allocation of the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand.

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Kolkata: Nagerbazar blast death toll rises to three

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Nagerbazar blast

Kolkata | A 36-year-old man who was injured in an explosion at Nagerbazar area succumbed to his wounds at a state-run hospital here, an official of the medical establishment said on  Monday.

With this, the death toll in the explosion has risen to three. The man identified as Sharat Sethi, a washerman, was sitting at a nearby tea stall when the low-intensity blast took place on October 2 morning. Sethi died at the RG Kar Hospital here Sunday night, the official said. Another victim of the blast, Ajit Halder, had passed away at the hospital on Saturday night.

West Bengal CID, which is investigating the blast, said the death of fruitseller Ajit Halder on Saturday night would slow up their probe. “He (Halder) was giving us important information on what had happened on that day,” a senior officer of the CID said.

A seven-year-old boy was killed and nine people, including his mother, were injured in the low-intensity explosion in front of a fruit stall in the northern suburb of the metropolis. The boy’s mother is undergoing treatment at the SSKM hospital, an official of the state-run facility said.

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