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PM Modi to inaugurate key infra projects in Varanasi tomorrow

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Varanasi

Lucknow | Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate two major national highways and an inland waterways project at his parliamentary constituency, Varanasi, on Monday.

The two roads have a combined length of 34 km and have been laid at a cost of Rs 1,571.95 crore.

The 16.55-km Varanasi Ring Road Phase-I has been completed at a cost of Rs 759.36 crore, while the four-laning and construction of 17.25-km-long Babatpur-Varanasi Road on NH-56 has cost Rs 812.59 crore, read a statement from the PM’s office.

The Babatpur Airport Highway will link Varanasi to the airport and go on to link Jaunpur, Sultanpur and Lucknow. With the flyover at Harhua and a road over bridge (ROB) at Tarna, the new road plan will reduce travel time from Varanasi to the airport, providing relief to the locals and tourists coming here, the statement said.

The Ring Road, with two ROBs and a flyover, is expected to reduce traffic, fuel usage and pollution on NH 56 (Lucknow-Varanasi), NH 233 (Azamgarh-Varanasi), NH 29 (Gorakhpur-Varanasi) and Ayodhya Varanasi highway, the statement said.

Further the ring road is expected to provide smooth road access to Sarnath, a renowned Buddhist pilgrimage site.

On the day, at a separate event, the prime minister will inaugurate the first multi-modal waterways terminal on the Ganga river as part of the Centre’s Jal Marg Vikas Project which aims to develop the stretch of the river between Varanasi and Haldia for navigation of large vessels weighing up to 1,500 to 2,000 tonnes, an official statement said.

The objective of the project is to promote inland waterways as a cheap and environment-friendly means of transportation, especially for cargo movement. The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the project implementing agency.

National Waterway-1 (Haldia-Varanasi stretch) is being developed with technical assistance and investment support from the World Bank. The total estimated cost of the project is Rs 5,369.18 crore, which will be shared between the Government of India and the World Bank on a 50:50 ratio.

The project entails construction of three multi-modal terminals (Varanasi, Sahibganj and Haldia), two inter-modal terminals, five roll-on-roll-off (Ro-Ro) terminal pairs, new navigation lock at Farakka, assured depth dredging, integrated vessel repair and maintenance facility, differential global positioning system (DGPS), river information system (RIS), river training and conservancy works.

Operation, management and further development of the terminal is proposed to be entrusted to an operator on public-private partnership model and selection of the operator through an international competitive bidding is at an advanced stage and is expected to be completed by December, an official statement said.

The multi-modal terminal project and proposed freight village in Varanasi are expected to generate 500 direct employment and more than 2,000 indirect employment opportunities.

Later in the day, the PM will receive India’s first container vessel that sailed from Kolkata on inland waterways on October 30, carrying cargo belonging to PEPSICO (India).

Modi will be accompanied by UP Governor Ram Naik, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at the function.

Politics

Naveen Patnaik not interested in Odisha’s development: Yogi Adityanath

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adityanath

Bhawanipatna/Nachuni (Odisha) | Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday said his Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik has “betrayed the people” as he is not interested in the development of the state.

Addressing party workers at Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district and later at Nachuni in Khurda district, Adityanath called for a change in the state government to make Odisha prosperous.

He said Odisha can also develop like Uttar Pradesh if a BJP government is installed in the state.

“Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is not interested in the development of the state, rather in his personal agenda. He (Patnaik) has betrayed the people of Odisha,” Adityanath said and called up the people to end the 19-years of BJD rule in order to make the state prosperous.

He criticised Patnaik for not implementing the Centre’s popular welfare schemes like Ayushman Bharat and PM-Kisan.

“The poor people have been deprived of the benefits being given by the BJP-led central government,” the UP CM said.

Slamming the Odisha government for its alleged inefficiency, the firebrand BJP leader said the Naveen Patnaik government has constructed only 17 lakh pucca houses for the people in the last 19-years of its rule while the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh has provided 20 lakh houses to the poor in less than two years.

“If the BJP is given a chance to form the government in Odisha, the state will witness quick development like Uttar Pradesh,” he said.

Odisha will witness the state as well the national elections in a few months.

While lauding the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) scheme, Adityanath said Odisha government’s KALIA yojana has no stability and is shrouded in corruption from the beginning.

“While the UP government has so far identified 1 crore beneficiaries for PM-Kisan, Odisha government has not prepared its list,” Adityanath alleged.

The UP CM also criticised the Odisha government for taking credit in providing rice to poor people at Rs 1 per a kilogram for which “bulk of the finance was borne by the Centre”.

While the BJP-led central government is contributing Rs 29 for one kg of the subsidised rice, the Odisha government’s share is mere Re one, he claimed.

In his speech at both the places, Adityanath showered praise on Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan for his work and said Ujjawala Yojana had provided 12 crore new LPG connections in the last four-and-half-years, more that what was achieved since Independence.

Adityanath also flayed the opposition for making fun of the Centre’s Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY).

“When subsidies under the Ujjwala Yojana started getting credited to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries, they (Opposition parties) understood the PMJDY’s importance,” he said.

The BJP government’s agenda is development for all, irrespective of caste, creed and religion, he said, adding that Odisha has a crucial role to play in the upcoming parliamentary elections to make Narendra Modi Prime Minister for the second time.

He asked party workers to put up a spirited effort to replicate BJP‘s success in the state as they have done during the 2017 panchayat elections.

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Politics

India objects to Pakistan’s use of abusive language at ICJ

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India-Pakistan

The Hague | India on Wednesday strongly objected to the abusive language used by Pakistan’s counsel in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), urging the UN court to draw a redline.

Harish Salve, the former solicitor general of India while presenting India’s case before the ICJ, drew the court’s attention to the abusive language used by Pakistan through its counsel Khawar Qureshi on the second day of the hearing.

“The language echoed in this court… perhaps this Court may lay down some redlines. The transcript is peppered with words such as shameless, nonsense, disgraceful… India takes exception to being addressed in this fashion in an international court.

“India strongly objects to abusive language of Pakistan’s counsel,” Salve said as the International Court of Justice began the second round of public hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.

Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” after a closed trial in April 2017. His sentencing evoked a sharp reaction in India.

On Wednesday, India will have a maximum of 90 minutes to submit its final arguments in the case. Pakistan will also get 90 minutes to respond to India’s arguments on Thursday.

The ICJ is expected to deliver its verdict in the summer of 2019.

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Politics

Govt created situation where calls of violence against Kashmiris being openly executed: Yechury

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Sitaram Yechury

New Delhi | CPIM general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Wednesday alleged that the government has “tacitly and overtly” created a situation in which calls of violence against Kashmiris were being given and executed.

In a Facebook post, he said the terror attack in Pulwama, in which 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives, was a result of “colossal failure of politics” in the state.

“Instead of fixing responsibility, upholding the basic democratic norm of accountability, we see that the Modi government has misused the support given by the political opposition to bring the perpetrators of this heinous terror attack to justice, to hide its failures.

“It has tacitly and overtly created a situation where calls for violence against Kashmiris, who are as much a citizen of India as any RSS member, are being openly given and executed. This is shameful, undemocratic and blatantly ‘anti-national’ politics from BJP-RSS,” he said.

He said there should be accountability and fixing of responsibility for the loss of lives.

“Particularly when the J&K governor talks of intelligence failure. In 2008, after Mumbai terror attack, the Union home minister and the Maharashtra chief minister had to resign. The current establishment cannot hide behind the coffins of our martyred jawans,” he said in his post.

Yechury claimed that the number of local militants has risen during the tenure of this government and alleged that the number of deaths of both civilians and security forces has also risen during this period.

“In playing petty politics, the Modi government has finished all middle ground in Kashmir and strengthened the militancy. Who is accountable for the mess now? BJP governors speak of boycotts of Kashmiris? Will this enable normalcy to return,” he asked.

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