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Teen cancer survivor gangraped in Lucknow

Even as the Uttar Pradesh Police was observing ‘Women Safety Week’, a 15-year-old girl who survived blood cancer was gangraped by three persons at Sarojini Nagar in the state capital here late on Saturday night.The victim told police that one of her acquaintance called her up for dinner at around 8.30 on Saturday night. She went along with him, only to find a friend of her acquaintance too joining them. The duo took her to a secluded place, raped her, and left her bleeding on the road.But the worst was yet to come. Hearing her cries, a passerby offered to help her, and on the pretext of taking her to the police station, he too raped her.Later, she was taken to the Sarojini Nagar Police Station, where a case was registered and she was sent for medical examination. Police swung into action on the basis of her statement and arrested the passerby. He has been identified as Virendra Yadav of Banthara.”We have already arrested one accused. Efforts are on to nab the two others, including her acquaintance,” said the police officer.The incident has put a big question mark on policing, particularly during the Women Safety Week, which was launched by DGP Sulkhan Singh to provide security and protection to girls and women in Uttar Pradesh.

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Commerce courses take the cake in IDOL admissions

This year, 66.39% (43,804) of the total number of students admitted under IDOL have taken up courses in the Commerce faculty including BCom and MCom. While 18,310 students enrolled for BCom this year, a total of 25,495 students registered for MCom part I and II. “A large number of working students also prefer to take these courses to boost their careers,” said Dhaneshwar Harichandan, Director, IDOL.”
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JNU VC urges Centre to install Army tank on campus as ‘symbol of patriotism’
Former ISRO chief UR Rao, man behind India’s 1st satellite Aryabhatta, passes away
US biologists discover three new toad species

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–><!–end of breadcrumbx–>Commerce courses take the cake in IDOL admissions University of Mumbai
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written ByAnkita Bhatkhande <!–end of artlbotbor–>Tuesday 5 December 2017 6:30 ISTMust readCome to Byculla and attack hawkers: AIMIM MLA Waris Pathan dares Raj ThackerayNCPCR invites tips to arrest CSA crimes<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>Even after a delayed admission season, 65,978 students enrolled under the various courses at the University of Mumbai’s Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL). While the total number has gone down by over 10,000 as compared to 2016-17, demand for Commerce courses remained high even this year.This year, 66.39% (43,804) of the total number of students admitted under IDOL have taken up courses in the Commerce faculty including BCom and MCom. While 18,310 students enrolled for BCom this year, a total of 25,495 students registered for MCom part I and II. “A large number of working students also prefer to take these courses to boost their careers,” said Dhaneshwar Harichandan, Director, IDOL.
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Safety hazard: Metal rods found on CR tracks yet again
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Most children facing sexual abuse feel comfortable reporting it to trusted adults, says study

Arpan, a leading NGO working on the issue of child sexual abuse (CSA) recently launched a case study titled ‘Integration of Personal Safety Education Programme in Schools’.The launch of the report was attended by renowned personalities like Dr David Finkelhor – Director of Crimes against Children Research Center, University of New Hampshire, USA, Javier Aguilar (Chief of Child Protection programs, Unicef India) and Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, Founder, RARE Enterprises.This research report, ‘Integration of Personal Safety Education Programme (PSEP) in Schools: A Case Study’ is an evaluation of the impact of integrating the Personal Safety Education Programme in the Bombay Cambridge Gurukul (BCG) group of Schools. The evaluation was conducted in the five schools of BCG. Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were conducted with 152 children from 5 schools from 5th, 6th and 7th standards. Among these 152 children, individual interviews were conducted with 31 children. Five headmistress and principals, 10 teachers (who conduct Personal Safety Education programme), 5 counsellors, 9 parents, CEO and Head of Dept – HRD (Human Resource Development) were interviewed.The key findings of the study were:Children demonstrated increasing help-seeking behaviour as they identified unsafe situations, used refusal skills, and reported it to a trusted adult almost immediately. All 9 children (out of 31 children with whom the individual interview was conducted) who disclosed about past unsafe experiences in the study sought help from their trusted adults and were able to evolve a plan of action to ‘Get Away’ from the situation. In the Focused Group Discussions conducted with 152 children, all children were able to bring out an immediate response, an intermediary resolution and a long-term solution for unsafe situations that the protagonist faced in the assessment trope that was used to elicit responses. Children’s narratives of using refusal skills and accessing help are also substantiated by parents, teachers and counsellor’s accounts. The Management of schools of BCG developed a Child Protection Policy with a focus on responding to CSA. The child protection policy was child-friendly and responsive and showcases their knowledge on the issue of CSA. Children, across all groups, were comfortable about their body, knew that their body belonged to them and believed themselves to be active participants in ensuring their safety. They were comfortable with naming Private Body Parts and remembered the Personal Safety Rules/Guidelines. Children recognized that Personal Safety Education (PSE) inculcates them with skills to face ‘life’ as “PSE is about life”. Children shared their learning’s with their siblings, cousins or friends or by leaving messages for other children through this evaluation.Parents recognized PSEP as age-appropriate, necessary and adequate. They were comfortable with the content and delivery of the programme. Parents identified the PSEP in aiding their communication with children on personal safety. Teachers were well aware of signs and symptoms of CSA and were proactive in responding to a child’s disclosure.Teachers recognised PSEP as a systematic age-appropriate model with adequate teachings aids and activities. It helped teachers to initiate dialogue on this issue in a non-threatening manner. It also helped to streamline the process of handling disclosures of CSA. Teachers had taken the learnings from the PSE classrooms and had created safe environments in their homes and personal spaces. Pooja Taparia, Founder and Chief Executive of Arpan said, “Arpan has been a pioneer in evolving and conducting a holistic prevention and intervention school-based model, the PSEP. Over time we have seen that when schools take up the PSEP and invest in it, it doesn’t just empower children with the necessary knowledge skills and attitude to prevent instances of Child Sexual Abuse but also empowers their caregivers like teachers and parents in supporting the child in case of any abuse.”
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State makes police verification of school staff mandatory

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the wake of rising concerns over security in schools following the Ryan incident, the state education department has issued a list of rules. Schools across the city have been tasked with adhering to these assignments which includes getting police verification of teachers and support staff.While there has been no clarity on why the department has issued a list in the middle of the session, most believe this is in response to the Ryan International murder case in Delhi.When DNA poke to several school authorities, they confirmed the same. Anisha Shaikh, Principal of FD High School in Jamalpur, said, “Being a girls school, we have stringent rules that we have been following for many years. We have nearly 1,500 girls studying here and their safety is our responsibility. We have recently been issued a list of rules to be followed by the state government. While we have already been following most of them, there are some that are new. For example, the government wants us to issue smart cards to the teachers. Not just smart cards, schools have also been asked to do a police verification of all the staff, including teachers. This has probably been done after taking a learning from the Delhi school murder.”Speaking about the kind of rules they have been following, she said, “A card containing the personal details of the parents have been issued to them, to help us verify. In case there’s an emergency and the child needs to be released before school ends, displaying this card will become mandatory.Many a times, students wish to venture outside the school premises to get lunch. To stop this, we have opened a canteen inside the school where healthy snacks are available. Apart from this, we have installed a box in our lobby area that reads as ‘We Listen’, in which students who are unable to express themselves or voice their concerns in public, can easily do so.”Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasma confirmed this and said, “Ensuring the safety of the students is our prime concern. We had also celebrated safety week in schools recently.” District Education Officer Navneet Mehta was not available for a comment.SAFETY CONCERNSThe state education department has issued a list of rules to schools across the city. Guidelines include getting police verification for teachers, support staff. Edu Min says ensuring students’ safety is the govt’s main concern.

Safety audit: NGO to identify issues at local railway stations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Commuters travelling in local trains and crowded railway stations have been facing harassment issues every day. Recently there have been instances where women commuters had come forward to report about the harassment they faced while commuting at the railway stations. In order to check how safe the railway stations in the city are, a group of activists along with citizens will be conducting a social audit called the ‘safety audit’ at three railway stations on the Western line.While the first safety audit was conducted on November 8, Wednesday at Goregaon railway station, the other two social audits will be conducted in the afternoon at Andheri station on Thursday and Borivali railway stations on Friday.The safety audit is organised by the NGO Safecity to evaluate and improve the safety of citizens by identifying problems and reporting it to the concern authorities.As per the organisers, the objective of the safety audits is to assess the railway stations from the angle of safety and existing infrastructure. The organiser, said, “We will be communicating with commuters of all genders at the stations to understand the occurrence of sexual harassment at these stations. We are building an understanding of the needs of people and infrastructure for safer public transport (railways) and look forward to your suggestions.”Other commuters who want to report any sexual harassment at stations can report it online at safecity.in.A few years ago, as per a study conducted by another NGO revealed that many women have a tendency to not report instances of sexual harassment. They have ignored sexual harassment faced by them or others out of fear of the consequences. It was also found that overcrowded trains, congested platforms, narrow footbridges make train travel more dangerous for women.

Govt’s health dept pulls up DIAL for not destroying seized gutkha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days after the Delhi airport asked the Muslim pilgrims flying to Mecca and Medina to leave behind their gutkha sachets, weighing 270 kg, so as to avoid any tension in Saudi Arabia, the Delhi government’s Health Department has pulled up the airport operator for not destroying the banned product.According to sources, the Delhi International Airport Private Limited (DIAL) had decided to hand over the banned product to Haj committees so that it could be either sold or used to raise funds. The DIAL returned 120 kg of gutkha to the committee and was planning to return the remaining as well.A letter was then sent by the Delhi State Tobacco Control Society on Friday, directing the airport operator to take back the tobacco product sent to Haj committee and destroy it completely.”In view of the above, it is requested that even the gutkha that has been returned to one Haj committee may be taken back immediately and destroyed along with the available gutkha at the airport,” the department wrote in its letter.When contacted, DIAL refused to comment on the issue. Sources, however, said the operator has not received the letter from the department.According to the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on sales) Regulations, 2011, issued by the FSSAI, under the Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006, tobacco and nicotine shall not be used as ingredients in any food products.”This is really surprising that the airport operator that comes directly under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) was not even aware that gutkha is a banned product. Such kind of seized products cannot be stored at all. The letter sent by us has been received by them,” said Dr SK Arora, Additional Director (Health).The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in December, 2016, had issued a complete ban on the production, promotion, and sale of food products containing tobacco and nicotine as ingredients across India.

Kashmir: 72 assaulted in braid-chopping incidents in Valley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In Kashmir, there were 72 cases of people beating up innocents on the suspicion of them being braid-choppers and cases would be registered against all those who took law into their own hands, Director General of Police (DGP) Dr S P Vaid said on Monday.He also said if needed, those accused of beating up the innocent would be slapped with Public Safety Act (PSA), but no innocent person being branded as braid-chopper by the public on suspicion would be booked.”In 72 cases (of braid chopping), people took law into their own hands and beat up the innocent (in Kashmir Valley)”, Vaid told PTI on Monday.Asserting that FIRs would be lodged in all the 72 cases, he said, “The police will deal with miscreants sternly.” The DGP said police would not book any innocent person and in cases where an innocent person have been handed over to the police by the public on the suspicion of being a braid- chopper, police authorities should tell the facts to the media clearly.Vaid said all districts now have Special Investigation Teams (SITs) and officials from Social Welfare and Health department have be involved in it.The health department should depute teams to meet braid- chopping victims and probe the matter, he said.The DGP said, “It (braid-chopping incidents) took place in many parts of northern India and then it was reported in Jammu. Such cases were also reported in south, central and north Kashmir”.”But the difference is that, in Kashmir, there are elements who do not want peace and normalcy,” Vaid said, adding such elements were trying to exploit people’s sentiments to trigger unrest.

GRP’s drive aims to alert female travellers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ahead of Diwali, the Government Railway Police (GRP) will start an awareness campaign for female commuters advising them to take care of their belongings, especially jewellery, during the festive season.Lakhs of residents travel back home during the festive season and tend to carry gold and silver jewellery. The GRP will advise commuters to carry minimum jewellery and cash while travelling.”During vacation period, especially women, should be alert and should immediately contact the GRP helpline in case they sense something suspicious,” said a senior GRP officer.The GRP will also increase patrolling for the safety of commuters travelling in long-distance trains. It also plans to distribute awareness leaflets, conduct workshops and have an awareness kiosk at the GRP helpdesk on railway platforms. “We have conducted a meeting with senior police officers and have instructed them to be alert. The safety of children and women will be our priority,” said another officer.Samadhan Pawar, DCP, Central Zone said, “Most of the outstation trains are on the Central Railway line. We will ensure that the safety of female commuters is taken care of. They should be alert and inform the police if they come across something suspicious. Our quick action teams will ensure that the commuter receives help immediately.”KEEPING A CHECKLakhs of residents travel back home during the festive season and tend to carry gold and silver jewellery.
GRP will advise commuters to carry minimum jewellery and cash while travelling.
It will also increase patrolling in long-distance trains.

Metro trial runs over, Noida- S Delhi commute to get shorter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a big relief to daily commuters, the travelling time between Noida and south Delhi is all set to be cut down drastically. Trial runs for the 12.64-km Kalkaji Mandir to Botanical Garden section of Metro Phase III have been completed successfully and other mandatory clearances, including the fire safety clearance, license for working lifts, preliminary Independent Safety Assessment (ISA), reports for signalling and platform screen doors have also been procured.Currently, commuters heading towards south Delhi have to change trains at Mandi House, from Blue Line to Violet Line. However, with this new section, they will be able to travel directly to the Kalkaji Mandir. Botanical Garden has been developed as NCR’s first-ever interchange station.Once the entire corridor from the Botanical Garden till Janakpuri West (38.23 km) is operational, commuters from Noida will be able to go to Gurugram by changing trains at Hauz Khas. The new route will decongest Rajiv Chowk, which is currently the interchange point for travellers between the two cities.The Botanical Garden to Kalkaji Mandir section has nine stations — Kalkaji Mandir, Okhla NSIC, Sukhdev Vihar, Jamia Millia Islamia, Jasola Vihar, Shaheen Bagh, Kalindi Kunj, Okhla Bird Sanctuary, and Botanical Garden. While the Kalkaji Mandir station is underground, all other stations are elevated. The section will also cater to two major educational institutions – Jamia Millia Islamia and the Amity University in Noida — and a private speciality hospital.Also, Delhi Metro’s third bridge over the Yamuna river has come up at Kalindi Kunj, between the Kalindi Kunj and Okhla Bird Sanctuary stations. The 574-m bridge with 14 spans (41 m each) and 15 piers have come up about 85 m downstream of the existing Okhla bridge over the Yamuna.Once the Commissioner for Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) completes the scrutiny of papers submitted by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and a detailed examination is conducted, a suitable date for inspection of the section will be indicated.

Safety is priority of the Indian Railways; there is no limit to the rail safety fund: Piyush Goyal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government will “very soon” float a global tender to procure tracks for modernising the railways, which can create a million jobs within a year through various areas across its ecosystem, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said on ThursdayHe further said that safety will be priority for the railways and there would be no limit to funding it.The comments of the new railways minister come after a spate of rail accidents in the last few month leading to loss of lives.”I have diverted all available tracks to track renewal so that we can make the existing tracks safer. We are looking to go in for global procurement of rail tracks…this will help fast track the doubling of lines and new projects,” he told reporters at the India Economic Summit of the World Economic Forum (WEF).Asked by when the global tender for tracks modernisation would be floated, Goyal said “very soon, it’s under process”.”There is no limit to safety expenditure. Safety will be the priority of Indian railways. I have also categorised pedestrian foot-over bridges, platforms, entry and exit points as safety items.”I have turned around 100 year old tradition which used to consider all of this as amenities,” he said.He further said that monetising the real estate assets as well as fast tracking some of the existing investment plans would generate a lot of employment opportunities in the railways and the ecosystem around it.”My own sense is, may not be directly jobs in railways, but certainly through engaging people and working in variety of areas across the ecosystem, not less than a million jobs can be created in less than 12 months — only railways and ecosystem around the railways,” Goyal said.The government’s moving aggressively on the rail track and safety maintenance programme alone would create 2 lakh jobs, he added.Besides, leveraging the amount of railway real estate by monetising those assets will help to generate resources without burdening passengers.”If I look at the amount of investment in pipeline and activate that, it will create 2-2.5 lakh jobs in existing projects,” Goyal said.He said India has huge investment potential but a change in mindset is required to transform the country.Goyal said that with sectors like coal, power showing turnaround, it’s the turn of the railways now.On the need for the country rebranding itself, he said the narrative of India is changing.”Over the years India was well known for yoga, Ayurveda, cricket or Bollywood. Narrative is changing, Brand India is being built. India is being now recognised as a country which is honest in its dealings, where technology drives growth,” Goyal said.Stating that mega-structures cannot be built on a weak foundation, he said if India has to prepare itself for global challenges of tomorrow, there is a need to develop a framework that will ensure decades of prosperity.”I think there is no better place in the world today to invest in, no larger market than the Indian market and there is no pole which is going to be more important than India,” he said.

Your cream biscuit is a sugar & fat bowl

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The sugar content in the cream biscuits that you and your child often relish may have more than the recommended quantity. Similar could be the case of the fat content as well, revealed an in-house study by city-based consumer body, Çonsumer Education and Research Centre (CERC).The content details on biscuit packets were also found inaccurate.Experts say despite a rule that the content in food products should be standardised, national food regulator, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), has not come up with any such norms so far.CERC tested samples of 10 brands of cream biscuits that were filled and/or coated. In filled biscuits, cream, jam or chocolate is sandwiched. Coated ones may be covered with chocolate or caramel.In six of the 10 brands tested, the fat content was above 20g per 100g of biscuit. The National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Indian Council of Medical Research, has recommended desirable visible fat intake per day of 20g for both men and women. Similarly, all the 10 brands contained more than 25g sugar per 100g biscuit.It was also found that the actual fat content in at least three brands of biscuits was significantly higher than what their labels claimed. Another fact that came to the fore was that higher price did not ensure better quality — the two least expensive brands fared the best on the health parameters of the rating, according to the study.HOW MUCH IS PERFECTNIN prescribes 20g per day fat intake for both men and women
WHO prescribes 25g, or 6 teaspoons, per day sugar for men and women

MMRDA plans to rent out space on monorail piers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is yet to make the second phase of the monorail between Wadala and Jacob Circle operational, it has now figured that it can at least make some revenue by renting out the space on its piers (pillars) to advertisers.Since construction began in 2008, the pillars for the second phase have been ready for over five years now. “It would be too early to say how much revenue would be generated from the renting of space on the pillars, but the revenue generated from this would be utilised for infrastructure projects in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region,” said Dilip Kawathkar, spokesperson, MMRDA.The second phase is expected to be made operational in December and the MMRDA is going to approach the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) next month to start conducting the trial runs.However, this similar attempt of leasing out space for advertisements — last time inside the coaches — did not yield any fruit, as phase one has been beleaguered by low ridership numbers.

Probe claims against CAT member

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gujarat High Court has directed the central government to look into allegations against a judicial member of the Central Administrative Tribunal-Ahmedabad (CAT-Ahmedabad).The first division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice Vipul Pancholi, through a common order on two petitions, has ordered the central government to examine the petitioners’ allegations against M Nagrajan of CAT-Ahmedabad within six weeks of the order and directed that if it finds substance in the allegations, it should report to the registrar general of the Principal Bench- CAT-Delhi and constitute an inquiry committee.Two petitioners — practicing advocate Sunita Chaturvedi and All India Radio employee Ravindra Parmar — had approached the High Court for protection.Advocate Sunita’s counsel KK Shah’s submission is that the judicial member was acting as judge and lawyer by changing an entire plea and then presiding on it. Therefore, matters that were before the division bench were being now being decided upon by him as a single bench judge.Counsel cited an example, “In one case against the Railways, instead of allowing or rejecting the petition, he directed the authority not to operate the Scheme for Guaranteed Employment of Safety Staff (LARSGEES).When the said order was challenged before the High Court, the latter passed stricture against the judicial member.”Meanwhile, AIR employee Ravindra Parmar’s allegation against the judicial member was that he was partial, autocratic and acts in a vengeful manner.His prayer was to constitute another bench and transfer his service matter before it. He was transferred 10 times by his AIR department, and that he had challeged the last transfer order before the court.During the course of hearing, the High Court had reprimanded the central government for not complying with its order. The court directed the central government to conduct an independent inquiry and submit a report before the court, instead it simply played role of messenger by submitting CAT deputy registrar’s report.CENTRE DIRECTIONDuring the course of hearing, the High Court had reprimanded the central government for not complying with its order. The court directed the central government to conduct an independent inquiry and submit a report before the court, instead it simply played role of messenger by submitting CAT deputy registrar’s report.

DRI unearths tax evasion scam, seizes LED TVs worth Rs 12 cr

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Wednesday said it has seized LED TVs and panels worth Rs 12 crore for lack of approval from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and not meeting the Indian Safety standards.Acting on a specific intelligence that disassembled TVs without designated certificates are being imported as LED TVs in the name of parts and panels, DRI had intercepted two containers and carried out a detailed inspection of each at the Ankleshwar Inland Container Depo in South Gujarat. A release issued by the DRI states it found LED TVs of Samsung and Sony were from Egypt and lacked BIS certification. Those which had the certification did not meet the dates of approval by the BIS.DRI suspects that it might be a part of a large-scale duty evasion scam as it was not satisfied with the statements of the Raj Traders- Mumbai and Ideal Impex Delhi’s owners and managers. The release states that the scam was going on at various ports since long. Once the separate parts of TVs were imported, they were brought to a station and re-assembled and sold in the grey market of India. By false declaration as panels and parts, importers have indulged in tax-evasion, it concluded.The seizure was conducted in the interest of consumers under the Electronics and Information Technology Goods order 2012, DRI said. The order bans import/manufacturing/sale of electronic goods which are neither tested nor meet the Indian Safety Standards of BIS. Further inquiry into this large scale smuggling racket is underway.

Passenger safety topmost priority: New Railway Board chief Ashwani Lohani

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after AK Mittal resigned as the Chairman of the Railway Board, Ashwani Lohani has taken charge. And he has very clearly determined his agenda, in his opening remark. At a time when Railways is facing a trust deficit owing to spate of accidents, passenger safety will be key priority sais, Ashwani Lohani. The railway ministry had yesterday appointed Lohani as the Chairman of Railway Board after A K Mital had tendered his resignation following two derailments within a span of five days killing over 20 people and injuring more than 200. “Safety will be our topmost focus, of course. Other top focus for Lohani will be cleanliness, improvement of stations, ending corruption and VIP culture. Lohani (58) said there were “lot of expectations” from the railways and the national carrier would work hard to improve itself.He further said it was an “emotional moment” for him to take charge of the Railway Board. Being an officer of the railway mechanical service, the railways is the parent organisation for Lohani. He has earlier served as the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Delhi. Lohani said he “feels good” that the government has considered him “worthy” of this position. Underlining that the Railways are a very old organisation and lifeline for India, he said it has several strengths. “We will move forward on those strengths,” he said.
ALSO READ Rail accidents fallout: Suresh Prabhu takes ‘full moral responsibility’, Rly Board Chairman resigns As Lohani entered the Rail Bhawan, he bowed down to pay reverence to his parent organisation. He assumes charge at a time the safety aspect of the railways is under sharp focus after two back-to-back derailments. On August 19, 13 coaches of the Kalinga Utkal Express derailed in Khatauli, Uttar Pradesh, killing 22 passengers and injuring over 150. On August 23, at least 70 people were injured when the Kaifiyat Express derailed in Auraiya in Uttar Pradesh. Hailed as a turnaround specialist, Lohani, was serving as the CMD of now operationally profitable Air India.

Utkal Express Derailment: Rail traffic restored on affected section, most stringent action taken, says Manoj Sinha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rail traffic was restored on the Meerut-Muzaffarnagar-Saharanpur section on Monday, two days after the Utkal train derailment, in the wake of which the Railways promised to upgrade safety features on the tracks.”The 54542 Ambala Meerut city passenger train passed Khatauli (site of last Saturday’s accident in UP) at 1:21 AM today,” the Railways said in a press release.At least 22 people were killed and 156 injured when 13 coaches of Utkal Express derailed on Saturday evening while it was on its way from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand.The Railways yesterday sent on leave three top officials, including a secretary-level Railway Board member, suspended four officers and transfered a track engineer, describing it as an “unprecedented” action. Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha said a probe is underway to fix responsibility for the accident and unprecedented action would be taken against the guilty. Stressing that action had already been initiated against officials, Sinha said, “Once the report comes…the action will be such that has not been seen before.” “On preliminary basis… things that have come to light… based on it I feel that the most stringent action has been taken in the history of the railways,” Sinha told reporters on the sidelines of the ITU-TRAI Asia Pacific Regulators Roundtable in Delhi.Asked whether the preliminary report had pointed to human error for the train mishap, Sinha said, “You are wrongly informed, the inquiry is going on.” Yesterday, Railway Board member (Traffic) Mohd Jamshed had said that equipment to repair tracks was found at the accident spot and that the Commissioner Railway Safety would investigate if unauthorised repair work led to the tragedy. The major accident, which was prima facie caused by negligence at the local level, has put a spotlight on the safety on the tracks.”We are embarking on a mission to provide upgraded safety features on coaching stock,” a top official of the Railways Ministry said in Mumbai while requesting anonymity. “It has been decided that only the Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches will be manufactured from 2018-19 as they are of a superior design that reduces the chances of derailment and mitigates the chances of grievous injury or death in case of accidents,” the official said. “It has been decided to carry out improvement in safety features in existing the Integral Coach Factory (ICF)-designed coaches which have a residual life of over 10 years. About 40,000 coaches will be provided with these features in the next five years,” he said.The ministry, under attack over the rail accidents, also came out with figures to insist that there has been a decline in the number in the last three years. In 2014-15, the number of accidents was 135 which decreased to 107 in 2015-16 and further to 104 in 2016-17, it said in a statement.In the current year, train accidents decreased from 29 to 15 during the April-June span in comparison to the corresponding period of 2016, an improvement of 48.3 per cent, the statement said. “Although every human life is invaluable and (any casualty) is an irreparable loss to us, the number of casualties has also seen a declining trend. The total (number of) fatalities in the first three years of the UPA I (the United Progressive Alliance I) was 759, (and it) increased to 938 during the UPA II…”The first three years of this government have seen the number declining to 652,” it said. Safety measures, including speedy track renewal, ultrasonic rail detection system, elimination of several unmanned level crossings on priority basis, a special safety fund, along with sophisticated the Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches with anti-climbing features, have additionally helped make train travel safer, it said. “Accidents per million train kilometres, an important index of safety , have come down from 0.23 in 2006-2007 to 0.10 in 2015-2016 and further to 0.09 in the year 2016-2017 despite a quantum increase in the volume of traffic carried by Indian Railways over the years,” said a senior railway official.While derailments have continued to be a thorn for the railways, with 63 such cases in 2014-2015, 65 the next year and 78 in 2016-2017, the largest transporter has eliminated 4258 unmanned level crossings (UMLC) in last three years, leading to drop in fatalities from UMLC accidents from 64 per cent of total fatalities in 2013-14 to 16.81 per cent in 2016-17, the statement said. “Investments for safety have increased from Rs 33,972 crore per year during the UPA II to Rs 54,031 crore every year under this government, a jump of 60 per cent. The average vacancy in safety positions during the period 2009-10 to 2013- 14 was 18.65 per cent of the total sanctioned strength. This has dropped down to 16.86 per cent in 2017 despite the sanctioned strength increasing by five per cent from 2014 to 2017,” it said.In the Railway Budget 2016-17, the government had announced ‘Mission Zero Accident’. It comprises two sub- missions — The elimination of unmanned level crossings (UMLC) along broad gauge tacks in the next three-four years and the Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS).”There are 27,181 level crossings in India of which 19,480 are manned and 7,701 are unmanned. Planning has been made to eliminate unmanned level crossings along broad gauge tracks by 2020,” the official said. The allocation of fund for track renewal has been almost doubled from the last five years average of Rs 5,548 crore to Rs 9,961 crore in the Budget Estimate of 2017-18, he said.

Utkal derailment: Rail traffic restored on affected section;

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rail traffic was restored on the Meerut-Muzaffarnagar-Saharanpur section today, two days after the Utkal train derailment, in the wake of which the Railways promised to upgrade safety features on the tracks. “The 54542 Ambala Meerut city passenger train passed Khatauli (site of last Saturday’s accidentin UP) at 1:21 AM today,” the Railways said in a press release. At least 22 people were killed and 156 injured when 13 coaches of Utkal Express derailed on Saturday evening while it was on its way from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand. The Railways yesterday sent on leave three top officials, including a secretary-level Railway Board member, suspended four officers and transfered a track engineer, describing it as an “unprecedented” action. Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha said a probe is underway to fix responsibility for the accident and unprecedented action would be taken against the guilty. Stressing that action had already been initiated against officials, Sinha said, “Once the report comes…the action will be such that has not been seen before.” “On preliminary basis… things that have come to light… based on it I feel that the most stringent action has been taken in the history of the railways,” Sinha told reporters on the sidelines of the ITU-TRAI Asia Pacific Regulators Roundtable in Delhi. Asked whether the preliminary report had pointed to human error for the train mishap, Sinha said, “You are wrongly informed, the inquiry is going on.” Yesterday, Railway Board member (Traffic) Mohd Jamshed had said that equipment to repair tracks was found at the accident spot and that the Commissioner Railway Safety would investigate if unauthorised repair work led to the tragedy. The major accident, which was prima facie caused by negligence at the local level, has put a spotlight on the safety on the tracks. “We are embarking on a mission to provide upgraded safety features on coaching stock,” a top official of the Railways Ministry said in Mumbai while requesting anonymity. “It has been decided that only the Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches will be manufactured from 2018-19 as they are of a superior design that reduces the chances of derailment and mitigates the chances of grievous injury or death in case of accidents,” the official said. “It has been decided to carry out improvement in safety features in existing the Integral Coach Factory (ICF)-designed coaches which have a residual life of over 10 years. About 40,000 coaches will be provided with these features in the next five years,” he said. The ministry, under attack over the rail accidents, also came out with figures to insist that there has been a decline in the number in the last three years. In 2014-15, the number of accidents was 135 which decreased to 107 in 2015-16 and further to 104 in 2016-17, it said in a statement. In the current year, train accidents decreased from 29 to 15 during the April-June span in comparison to the corresponding period of 2016, an improvement of 48.3 per cent, the statement said. “Although every human life is invaluable and (any casualty) is an irreparable loss to us, the number of casualties has also seen a declining trend. The total (number of) fatalities in the first three years of the UPA I (the United Progressive Alliance I) was 759, (and it) increased to 938 during the UPA II… “The first three years of this government have seen the number declining to 652,” it said. Safety measures, including speedy track renewal, ultrasonic rail detection system, elimination of several unmanned level crossings on priority basis, a special safety fund, along with sophisticated the Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches with anti-climbing features, have additionally helped make train travel safer, it said. “Accidents per million train kilometres, an important index of safety , have come down from 0.23 in 2006-2007 to 0.10 in 2015-2016 and further to 0.09 in the year 2016-2017 despite a quantum increase in the volume of traffic carried by Indian Railways over the years,” said a senior railway official. While derailments have continued to be a thorn for the railways, with 63 such cases in 2014-2015, 65 the next year and 78 in 2016-2017, the largest transporter has eliminated 4258 unmanned level crossings (UMLC) in last three years, leading to drop in fatalities from UMLC accidents from 64 per cent of total fatalities in 2013-14 to 16.81 per cent in 2016-17, the statement said. “Investments for safety have increased from Rs 33,972 crore per year during the UPA II to Rs 54,031 crore every year under this government, a jump of 60 per cent. The average vacancy in safetypositions during the period 2009-10 to 2013- 14 was 18.65 per cent of the total sanctioned strength. This has dropped down to 16.86 per cent in 2017 despite the sanctioned strength increasing by five per cent from 2014 to 2017,” it said. In the Railway Budget 2016-17, the government had announced ‘Mission Zero Accident’. It comprises two sub- missions — The elimination of unmanned level crossings (UMLC) along broad gauge tacks in the next three-four years and the Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS). “There are 27,181 level crossings in India of which 19,480 are manned and 7,701 are unmanned. Planning has been made to eliminate unmanned level crossings along broad gauge tracks by 2020,” the official said. The allocation of fund for track renewal has been almost doubled from the last five years average of Rs 5,548 crore to Rs 9,961 crore in the Budget Estimate of 2017-18, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Derailment: Probe team to scan audio clip

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An audio clip of a purported conversation between a railway employee and a mediaperson, in which the former claimed that “negligence” led to yesterday’s tragedy in Khatauli, would be looked into by a team probing the derailment, a top railway ministry official said today. Member Traffic, Railways, Md Jamshed said the inquiry team probing the derailment, in which 22 passengers were killed, would look into the 15-minute audio clip. The clip has since gone viral. In the clip, the railway staff apparently posted at a crossing near the accident site in Khatauli in Muzaffarnagar claimed that “poor patrolling” on the track where maintenance work was underway was one of the reasons behind the tragedy. “Welding work was underway at a section of the railway track… but the workers did not fix the block of the track and left it loose. Gates near the crossing were closed. A piece (of the track) was not fixed and when the Utkal Express arrived, 14 of its coaches got derailed,” he is heard saying. “Neither the line, on which the work was under way, was fixed nor they had put any flag or a signboard (as a stop signal). The accident occurred due to negligence. It seems all (employees concerned) will be suspended.” He also talks about how the workers had left some equipment between the tracks after finishing their work. “At least, they could have removed the machine and put a red flag there, perhaps the tragedy could have been averted,” the staffer, presumably a gateman, is heard saying. Commissioner of Railway Safety Shailesh Kumar Pathak is going to begin his probe tomorrow and the clip’s veracity will be probed, officials said. “We have got the clip from the media and heard it. In the clip, it sounds like a conversation between a railway worker and a mediaperson. In it, the worker is saying that the work was going on on the track and it was being done negligently. We are verifying its authenticity. “In fact, during the commissioner’s inquiry, the common people will be asked to provide any information that they have on the accident,” Jamshed said here earlier in the day.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Train on fire, but no panic: it’s India’s first disaster

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Trains falling into rivers and coaches catching fire will be common sights in the country’s first ‘Railways disaster management village’ expected to come up on the outskirts of Bengaluru by December next year. A senior official of the railways ministry said “overaged rolling stock” will be used to replicate train accidents so that real time rescue operations could be carried out to improve such efforts. “It will be just like the mock drills carried out by security personnel. It will be as real as it can get,” he said. The railways has earmarked the 3.32-sq km village of Hejjala, with a population of 3,483 people, to develop its Disaster Management Institute and Safety village at a cost of Rs 44.42 crore, according to the blueprint accessed by(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mishaps on decline after safety measures in place: Rly data

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There has been a slight decline in the number of train accidents after implementation of a series of safety measures, including use of modern technology, according to Railway Ministry data. In 2014-15, the number of accidents was 135 which decreased to 107 in 2015-16 and further to 104 in 2016-17, it said. This year, train accidents decreased from 29 to 15 during April-June in comparison to the corresponding period of 2016, an improvement of 48.3 per cent. “There is a focus on accident prevention measures with safety getting top billing. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had launched ‘mission zero accident’ in the Rail Budget 2016-17 for carrying out a special drive to curb mishaps,” said a senior Railway Ministry official. Safety measures, including speedy track renewal, ultrasonic rail detection system and elimination of many unmanned level crossings on priority basis, have been undertaken to prevent rail accidents. The 2016-17 fiscal saw elimination of 1,503 unmanned level crossings and 484 manned level crossings by construction of road over-bridge and under-bridge, a record so far, the official said. Since unmanned level crossings are responsible for maximum number of train accidents, the railways intends to eliminate all such crossings on broad gauge section by 2020. Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh, a special safety fund, was created in the Budget 2017-18 with a corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore over a period of five years for financing critical safety- related works. The railways has also inducted LHB coaches replacing conventional ones in a phase-wise manner resulting in reducing the chances of derailment and mitigating the possibility of grievous injury or death in case of accidents, the official said. LHB coaches have anti-climbing features and provision of superior braking and lesser chances of uncoupling of coaches in case of accidents. Besides, the railways has speeded up the use of modern technology such as ultrasonic system to detect defect on tracks, train protection warning system (TPWS) and train collision avoidance system (TCAS) to prevent accidents, the official said. While the TPWS has been installed on 342-km route, the TCAS is being tried on 350-km route. Good track condition is crucial for safe running of trains and so track renewal has been undertaken on a priority basis and adequate fund has been allocated for this, said the official. The allocation for track renewal has been almost doubled from the last five years average of Rs 5,548.6 crore to Rs 9,961 crore in the Budget Estimate of 2017-18.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SPEAK UP: Women’s safety on Mumbai local in peril

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Following a series of flashing and molestation incidents on the Central and Western Railway premises, the Government Railway Police (GRP) has increased vigilance on railway platforms and on board the trains.Most of the recent incidents that made news took place in broad daylight, and this has raised questions on the safety of women in the city, and the implementation of the Women Safety Drive initiated by the GRP. Issues such as non-functioning helpline numbers or delayed response from railway officials has also been raised by commuters.Concerns have also been raised by the State Women’s Commission, who in their latest report to the State government revealed that government agencies spring into action to nab offenders only after public outrage. Several such cases go unnoticed when not reported, the report said. The commission raised these concerns following a rise in cases of molestation and rape in the state at large.As the recent cases sparked renewed concerns on women’s safety in Mumbai, DNA spoke to citizens, and asked women if still felt safe travelling on railway trains in Mumbai.RAILWAY CASE FILESJuly 10: Woman travelling in the ladies compartment from Borivli to Dadar was flashed at and threatened of rape by a youth travelling in the adjacent handicap compartment
July 12: A man flashed at a 22-year-old woman working at a child rights NGO at the CST premises
July 15: Teen molests woman on a platform at Churchgate railway station CITIZENS SPEAKThough local trains are a faster option, they can be quite unsafe. If the ladies compartment is relatively empty, drug addicts and perverts tend to board the compartment and harass women. Steps need to be taken by the railway ministry to ensure women’s safety by fixing emergency alarms and securing railway station entrances from non bonafide passengers. Handing security over to a private agency may be a better option.— Aparna Vhatkar, commutes on Mumbai local daily from Andheri to ChurchgateIt is shameful that women are becoming victims of such perverts, and that too, on public transport in a city like Mumbai. Authorities need to take stringent action against such perverts and also take necessary precautions for the safety of women.— Kailash Babubhai Patel, Borivli residentThere is a need to increase security on local trains to prevent flashing incidents. Rise in such incidents shows that railways is going soft on the issue. Co-passengers also need to stay vigilant of anti-social elements.— Akalakh Khan, Andheri residentI feel quite safe travelling at night as there’s a policeman deployed in the ladies compartment. But during the day there have been instances of young men from the slums passing lewd comments at women standing near the door. Slum dwellers living along railway lines need to be sensitised.— Darshana Pinto, College Student, Chembur residentI often travel by train post 9 pm and have seen an improvement in safety since the installation of CCTV cameras and posting of a police personnel in the ladies compartment. But it is important to ensure that cameras are installed in all trains and that they remain in working condition. Officials also need to ensure that instant help is available when commuters call the helpline— Saniya Gabhare, Architect, Borivli residentPolice presence needs to be felt during less crowded hours. Many a times, we do not see railway police at stations, and lighting at some spots can be poor. The security needs to be upgraded and manning of platforms must be done. Also, action taken against perverts who flash or molest women should be publicised so that it can deter others.— Vera Alvares, Bandra residentEXPERT SPEAKIncidents of molestation and flashing have increased. Security agencies must ensure that women travelling on local and outstation trains feel safe. Rise in such incidents questions the capability of the police force. It’s a woman’s right to feel secure when she step out of her residence. The onus is on the police in Maharashtra, and they must be prompt when responding to such untoward incidents. Mumbai local is the city’s lifeline, and such incidents create panic and insecurity among women, which is shameful.— Dr Vijaya Rahatkar, Chairperson, Maharashtra State Women’s CommissionOverall, cases of molestation on Railway premises have come down. Such incidents are unacceptable and addressing the issue is a priority. We have cracked 99 per cent of such cases, arresting and chargesheeting offenders involved in flashing and molesting women on railway premises. Posting of night guards in the ladies compartment has brought down incidents of molestation at night. The GRP helpline number is also accessible to commuters seeking help.— Niket Kaushik, Commissioner of Government Railway Police

Transferring DIG Prisons D Roopa a decision taken in Public interestt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday defended his action of transferring Deputy Inspector General (Prisons) D Roopa, who exposed irregularities in Parappana Agrahara Prison, stating that the action was taken ?in view of the Government’s commitment to public interest, truth and justice.? The Chief Minister pointed out that despite the immediate institution of inquiry into the irregularities; both Roopa and Director General of Police (Prisons) H N Sathyanarayana Rao went to the media to discuss the case. ?The interaction of both police officers with the media during the course of inquiry was unwarranted, and amounted to a serious violation of All India Services Conduct Rules,? an official release from the Chief Minister?s Office said. ?In order to maintain the sanctity of the inquiry process and safeguard it from further interference, the Government has asked the DGP (Prisons) H N Sathyanarayana Rao to proceed on leave, while DIG (Prisons) D Roopa has been transferred as Deputy Inspector General of Police and Commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety, Bengaluru,? it added. The Chief Minster said the government is committed to allow the inquiry to proceed unhinged, so that evidence based truth emerges, following which necessary and strict action will be taken to bring the guilty to book. Roopa has been transferred to the traffic department as the Inspector General of Police and Commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety, while Sathyanarayana Rao to was asked to go on leave. Slamming the government, former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa said that by transferring Roopa, incumbent chief Siddaramaiah had sent out a clear message that there is no space for honest officers in his rule. Yeddyurappa said that instead of taking action on Roopa’s report and interrogating the irregularities, the authorities have transferred her. “Nobody could have imagined that such things were happening in the jail. And instead of taking action on the police officers report and put a halt on the illegal business going inside the jail, she has been transferred. The CM has given a message to the entire police department that no honest officer should come out with the truth,” said Yeddyurappa.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Delhi govt issues notification to ensure safe city roads

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government has issued a notification, reconstituting the State Road Safety Council headed by the transport minister, in order to ensure safety of all road users, including pedestrians. The 21-member council will suggest proper and effective installation of signages besides redesigning of city’s roads to ensure safety of the people. The move comes days after a study found that nearly 70 per cent of road signs in Delhi are wrongly designed and placed and could be behind traffic violations which resulted in accidents. According to the notification issued by the Delhi, the transport department, DTC chairman, principal secretary (PWD), transport secretary, health secretary, education secretary, all three municipal commissioners and special commissioner (traffic) are among the members of the council. “The council will ensure coordination between multiple agencies for safety of all road users including pedestrians, non-motorised and motorised transport,” stated the notification which was issued on July 7. It added that the council will also incorporate safety features and proper facilities for road users at designing, re-designing and maintenance stages. According to a senior government official, the council will meet at least twice a year or according to requirements. Last month, Delhi-based Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE) had released a study, saying that of around 1,514 regulatory, warning and information signages on the surveyed stretch, 1,098 (75 per cent) do not meet prescribed norms. Similarly, it was found that most of the primary and secondary traffic signals at intersections were not functioning in accordance with prescribed standards or were wrongly installed.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Govt awaiting Prez nod to road safety law, B’bay HC told

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Maharashtra government today told the Bombay High Court that it was awaiting presidential assent to the Maharashtra Transport and Road Safety Act 2017 aimed at penalising needless honking by vehicles and reducing noise pollution. Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhkoni told a division bench of justices A S Oka and Vibha Kankanwadi that the Act has been passed by the Maharashtra Assembly in April this year but is yet to be implemented as the state government is waiting for presidential assent to it. The section 20 of the Act prohibits drivers from honking “needlessly or continuously or more than what is necessary to ensure safety” besides honking in silence zones and using multi-toned horns that create harsh, shrill, loud or alarming noise and also from driving vehicles after modifying exhaust silencer, making it more noisy. The section 23 of the Act provides penalty of Rs 2,000 for each of the contraventions. The government apprised the court of its wait for the presidential assent to the law today during hearing of a bunch of petitions seeking strict implementation of the Noise Pollution Rules especially during the festive occasions like Ganeshotsav, Navratri and Dahi Handi.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

DNA Edit: Security guards in societies need to be well-trained

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Recent crime incidents in Noida’s high rises have raised serious questions on the safety measures in residential complexes that are manned by 24×7 security guards. The case of a drunken security guard, who tried to rape a woman as he entered a flat in one of the housing complexes in Greater Noida is alarming. In another recent incident a woman was shot dead in the parking of a residential complex. The entire incident was captured on CCTVs. If the footage was monitored by a person in real time someone could have raised an alarm and saved the woman, who was killed after being chased by her killer. After investigation it was found that the killer was known to the woman and they were friends.Having security is one thing, but are these security personnel well trained and competent at their job? Background checks of these security guards are also crucial for the safety of residents.The builders along with the police need to put in place a mechanism to regulate the private security companies providing guards to these residential complexes.With housing complexes mushrooming in the National Capital Region the security and safety is one of the key areas that need to be addressed. It is important to note that many of these have come up in areas that have been hotbeds of criminal activities.

Drunk society guard arrested in Greater Noida for attempted rape

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A drunk society guard has been arrested for allegedly trying to rape a 19-year-old student in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. The society guard was caught and thrashed by people around and handed over to the police. This is another incident related to the safety of women in Uttar Pradesh, where state government appointed Romeo squads are said to be working actively to nab eve teasers and molesters.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

FSSAI plans labelling of GM foods

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is planning a regime of labelling genetically modified (GM) foods, which do not exist in India as of now.The move comes after India’s apex regulator for GM foods, the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), approved India’s first transgenic food crop GM Mustard for commercial cultivation last month. The environment ministry has to take a final call.FSSAI, though responsible for testing food standards, is passing the buck on independent testing of the impact of GM foods on human health. Its officials said that the environment ministry should look at it.”We had a meeting with FSSAI two weeks back and requested it to take over the approvals of processed GM foods. But they asked GEAC to continue appraising proposals for processed foods until they are ready to take over the entire regulation of GM foods and imported processed foods. Meanwhile, they will handle the labelling process,” said Amita Prasad, additional secretary of the Environment Ministry.Till now only one GM crop — Bt Cotton — is grown in Indian fields. The only other food crop to receive all approvals was Bt Brinjal. However, the government blocked its introduction. There has been widespread political and public opposition to the technology.As per Section 22 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, FSSAI has the responsibility to regulate GM organisms and products once they are approved by GEAC. FSSAI even submitted a status report before the Supreme Court, which is hearing a case against commercial cultivation of GM Mustard, and stressed that no regulation is yet framed to regulate GM foods. DNA has reviewed a copy of the status report.The development comes after GEAC flagged in April the absence of any regulatory mechanism to deal with the import of processed GM foods.India is dependent on imports to meet its demand for edible oils, including mustard oil. But there has been opposition from some farmer groups that the GM technology will lead to industrialisation of food production and compromise food security.While the Environment Ministry had excluded approvals of processed GM foods from its mandate through a 2007 notification, the Union Health Ministry requested it to continue regulating GM processed foods till FSSAI is able to look into the matter in a scientific manner.As a result, the Environment Ministry began keeping the 2007 notification in abeyance at regular intervals, till it last expired on March 2016.Speaking to DNA, FSSAI’s chief executive officer, Pawan Kumar Agrawal, said, “Regarding GM foods, we come into the picture when GEAC allows certain crops to be cultivated in India. After clearance, all GM foods would be subject to the same standards that apply to regular food.””The only requirement will be to see if it is above a certain threshold of certain GM protein found, then that has to be declared and that is what we are working on…the categories of food for which the labelling requirement will be made mandatory,” he said.In its status report before the top court, FSSAI dwelt on the complexity of the labelling regime. “Any labelling regime… will have practical implications on trade as it will necessitate implementation of large-scale threshold testing regimes and traceability protocols with back up documentation, which would cause significant escalation of costs.”Activists said that FSSAI should go beyond simply labelling GM foods. “We are talking about rigorous independent health safety assessment, and FSSAI should not get away from that role and also look at edible oils derived from GM crops,” said Kavita Kuruganti of the Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture, a loose network of more than 400 organisations from 20 states working on farm issues.

HC directs govt to take steps for implemenaion of FSSA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court today directed Tamil Nadu government to take steps for effective implementation of Food Safety Standards Act. The First Bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar gave the order on a PIL by R Karthikeyan seeking to issue a direction to authorities for preventing production and marketing of unsafe milk by private milk producers and confiscate unsafe milks available in the markets. Tamil Nadu government itself had stated that the milk marketed by some private companies contained formaldehyde which is a harmful substance and it would cause cancer to the consumers, the petitionerr said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Exit from Jharia coal belt to cost railways Rs 2,500 crore

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian Railways is staring at a possible loss of over Rs 2,500 crore annually due to imminent closure of the 41-km long line between Chandrapura and Dhanbad as the land around the section in Jharia coalfields has started caving in due to underground fire. Rail traffic on the section will be completely suspended from June 15. The closure of the section in Jharkhand will affect the daily movement of 37 passenger and freight trains resulting in a loss of about Rs 7 crore a day. Jharia, one of India’s biggest coalfields is estimated to have nearly 80 cases of underground fire since 1916. According to experts, unsafe and illegal mining has led to fire in coal deposits under the surface of the Jharia coalfields. The continuous fire now pose a serious risk to the population living in the area and a threat to rail transport. The Director General of Mining Safety has stated in its reports that land around the coalfield has finally started caving in and public utility assets including the age-old railway tracks are no longer safe now. The PMO held a meeting last month with officials from the Railway Ministry, the Coal Ministry, the Jharkhand government and other ministries concerned to take stock of the situation and in principle it was agreed upon to shift all utilities and railway line from the affected area. “We have been asked to consider the exit plan from Jharia coalbelt to draw up its diversion path for the Dhanbad- Chandrapura line,” said a senior Railway Ministry official who attended the meeting. The meeting chaired by Nripendra Mishra, the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, was also attended by senior officials from the Geological Survey of India and NITI Aayog to discuss the action plan to divert the double line from the area. Besides the goods trains that carry excavated coal from the mines, the affected 37 pairs of daily train services some of the important trains include the Howrah-Ranchi Shatabdi Express, Patna-Ranchi Janshatabdi Express, Dhanbad-Patna Pataliputra Express, Hatia-Gorakhpur Maurya Express, and Dhanbad-Alappuzha Express. There are a number of problems associated with the task of closing down the Dhanbad-Chandrapura line, said the official. Drawing out a completely new line entails acquiring of land, ensuring alignment with the existing network, setting up rail tracks and station infrastructure which will take a minimum of three years. Though multiple committees and expert groups have advised the government ways to douse the underground fires since nationalisation of mines began in 1971, only around 10 fires out of 80 have been extinguished using different methods. Railways is also mulling the possibility of keeping the track alive by mitigating fire-related circumstances at the most vulnerable points by pushing nitrogen foam mixed with water through boreholes in affected mines; filling up of cavities with sand and mud to cut-off oxygen supply and sprinkling water to lower temperatures. Dhanbad Deputy Commissioner A Dodde has said that he had received a letter from the PMO in this regard and a meeting with the Dhanbad divisional rail manager and other officials would be held soon to chalk out the further course of action. Executive director (civil engineer) of the railway board, Anil Kumar Lahoti, had written to the General Manager of the East Central Railway, D K Gayen, for the closure of the railway line due to coal mines fire and subsidence in Jharia coalfield. Lahoti, in his letter, said the Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) had submitted a report on the railway line, saying a 14-km stretch of the total 38 km track was the “most dangerous” due to the underground mines fire. “So, having considered DGMS’ reports based on inspection and study, the (Railway) board has decided to stop operation of passengers and goods traffic with effect from June 15. So take immediate and necessary action accordingly,” the letter said. An expert committee had been set up by the Dhanbad deputy commissioner after ECL’s Lalmatia mines mishap, in which nine miners were killed on December 29 last year, for assessment of the railway line in January. The committee had recommended suspension of train movement owing to mines fire spreading towards the track.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Posh eateries serving unhygienic food, says Delhi food department

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a shocking discovery, the Department of Food Safety (DFS) of Delhi has found that many posh restaurants and upscale brands in the Capital are serving “unsafe” and “unhygienic” food to Delhiites. According to the department officials, food samples collected from restaurants in Connaught Place which included KFC, Ardor and restaurants belonging to the ITC Maurya in Pancharipuri, were found to be unsafe and not fit for consumption.As per the report prepared by the DFS, a sample of chocolate truffle cake was taken from a restaurant in the ITC Maurya, a piece of chicken stripe from KFC and a sample of aloo sabzi from Ardor restaurant in the month of March.Apart from these restaurants, samples were also lifted from other parts of Delhi and sent for testing.”These samples have been found unsafe. A notice has been sent to all the eateries for further action,” said Pawan Kamra, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Food Safety, Delhi government.Officials said that the chocolate truffle cake was contaminated with pathogenic bacteria, the aloo sabzi from Ardor was coloured with unpermitted oil soluble synthetic colouring matter and the KFC chicken stripe had the anti-caking agent — silicon dioxide. According to health experts, presence of pathogenic bacteria in food can lead to food poisoning and the presence of the other chemicals in the food samples are worrisome When asked to respond, most of the eateries said that they have challenged the report.”We have challenged the report of the Food Analyst and the matter is sub-judice. The food sample has also been tested by an independent National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accredited laboratory which has found the same to be fit for human consumption,” said a spokesperson from ITC Maurya.”We maintain utmost hygiene standards and don’t use any synthetics or artificial flavours in our food. We have sent the samples for retesting to higher authorities through the department only. In case that also fails, then we will take legal recourse against MDH because those are the spices that we use. This too would be done after complete calibration,” said Suveeth Kalra, owner, Ardor.”The safety and health of our customers is our top most priority. We are in compliance with the laws of the land. All ingredients that we use in our food and beverages are approved by food safety authorities, including the FSSAI. We would like to assure our customers that we have stringent processes in place to make sure that the food and beverages we serve at KFC are safe and meet the highest quality standards,” said a spokesperson from KFC India. However officials disagree and say complaints have been filed against KFC in the past. It was filed by a consumer on February 1, alleging that a worm was found inside a chicken piece served by KFC.

NGO demands ‘unconditional’ maternity benefits for all woman

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A non-governmental organisation (NGO) here had demanded “unconditional” maternity benefits for all women provided by the Centre under the Food Safety Act. The changes made in the Maternity Law, 1961 are benefiting women working only in organised sector, the NGO said. “But the benefits have reduced for the poor and deprived women working in the unorganised sector, which is unacceptable,” said Kavita Srivastava, the convenor of Rozi- Roti Adhikar Abhiyan. The outfit, through Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, has demanded that the Centre looked into the issue. Srivastava claimed that every year nearly 13.5 lakh deliveries take place in Rajasthan, but a large section of women do not get maternity benefit. “We oppose different benefits on different conditions to a woman on every delivery, providing financial assistance in instalments, providing maternity benefit only on live births,” she said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Fake’ ghee being sold in UP govt canteens

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thinking of following the age-old wisdom and introducing ‘desi ghee’ in your diet? Hold your horses if you are a resident of western Uttar Pradesh (UP), especially Baghpat, Badaut, Bulandshahr, and Mathura, for these areas are teaming up with shops selling ‘fake’ ghee. In fact, if the UP government employees’ association is to be believed, this adulterated ghee is being supplied in some government canteens as well.The association had written a letter in this regard to the state’s Food Department, a copy of which is with DNA. Sources said this ghee was a combination of refined oil, vanaspati oil, and desi ghee scent, and hazardous chemicals were being used to prepare it.Reportedly, instead of milk fat, this fake ghee has animal fat, crushed animal bones for the granular texture, palm oil, and desi ghee essence.UP Food Safety and Drug Department Assistant Commissioner (Meerut zone) Ram Naresh Yadav confirmed to DNA that they have received complaints regarding these illegal units in western UP being engaged in making adulterated ghee.According to the government staffers’ association, the reach of this racket is so deep that this ghee is being supplied even to the government canteens. When asked about the action being taken in the matter, Yadav said that senior officials in the department have been informed.

ITO-Kashmere Gate ‘Heritage’ line to be launched on Sunday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ITO-Kashmere Gate ‘Heritage Line’ of Delhi Metro will be thrown open on Sunday with the railway safety commissioner clearing the decks for its long- awaited commercial launch, the DMRC said today. Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will jointly inaugurate the line at 10 am and it will be open for public use from 12 pm onwards, DMRC chief spokesman Anuj Dayal said. The Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety (CMRS) gave the green signal for the formal launch of the 5.17-km-long corridor yesterday following a two-day inspection early this week. With its launch, metro will make a major foray into old Delhi or the ‘Walled City’, with three stations– Delhi Gate, Jama Masjid and Red Fort. The new line, which is essentially an extension of the Violet Line that runs between Faridabad and ITO presently, will take considerable load off the Chandni Chowk and Chawri Bazar stations of Yellow Line. Once the section is launched, residents of the densely- populated area, made up of areas in and around the Mughal seat of power ‘Shahjahanabad’, will have direct access to commercial centres such as Connaught Place, Janpath, offices in Central Secretariat, and the satellite town of Faridabad. ‘Shahjahanabad’, with the Red Fort as its crowning glory, was founded by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the mid 17th century. The three stations of this line, all underground, have been designed in accordance with the heritage of the area to provide glimpses of its rich past and vibrant present. The DMRC had approached the CMRS, the nodal body that deals with matters pertaining to the safety of rail travel and train operations in the country, for the inspection of the line in March. The DMRC has also submitted papers to the ISA (Independent Safety Assessor) for safety certification of signalling systems of the section, where trial runs of trains had begun last August. The CMRS declares any corridor fit for commercial operations after taking several civil and engineering aspects into consideration. DMRC chief Mangu Singh had said the line was well on course for launch last December but a labour crunch triggered by a ban on construction and demolition activities and demonetisation led to the delay.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Metro services crawl on Violet Line due to safety inspection

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Services on Delhi Metro’s Violet Line were severely affected today due to the safety inspection of the upcoming stretch between ITO and Kashmere Gate stations. Currently, trains operate between Faridabad’s Escorts Mujesar and ITO on the line. However, due to the inspection, Mandi House station was used as the terminal station of the route for some time. “In view of the confirmatory run of CMRS (Commission for Railway Safety) between ITO to Kashmere Gate section, some trains were reversed from Mandi House instead of ITO between 3.15 pm and 4 pm,” a metro official said. The restriction triggered a cascading effect leading to slowing down of services along the entire 36-km-long corridor. Meanwhile, the two-day safety inspection of the 5.17 km- long-extension, has ended, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said. Following CMRS clearance of the extension, with three stations Delhi Gate, Jama Masjid and Red Fort, metro will make a major foray into old Delhi. Once the section is launched, residents of old Delhi, made up of areas in and around the Mughal seat of power ‘Shahjahanabad’, will have direct access to commercial centres such as Connaught Place, Janpath, offices in Central Secretariat, and the satellite town of Faridabad. ‘Shahjahanabad’, with the Red Fort as its crowning glory, was founded by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the mid 17th century.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

HC says it can’t give direction on liquor bottle warning

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court today refused to give a direction to increase the size of statutory warning on liquor bottles and packaging, saying it is in the realm of policy making. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Navin Chawla, however, directed the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to consider the plea as a suggestion and take a firm view in this regard. “The subject matter of the writ petition and the prayers made are in the realm of policy making and it is the respondents who are best placed to examine the same and take a view. “Even otherwise, the matter complained of and the prayers made are in the nature of policy decision making which are beyond the writ jurisdiction of this court,” the bench said. It disposed of the matter, saying if any action is required to be taken to mitigate the grievances pointed out in the petition, the same may be taken at earliest. The court was hearing pleas by Delhi resident Ved Pal and by an NGO Community Against Drunken Driving (CADD). They had file the plea suggesting written and pictorial warnings on liquor bottles against dangers of consuming alcohol and drunken driving. They have also sought directions to alcohol manufacturers to increase the size of the existing statutory warnings on the alcohol bottles. The petitions sought directions to the governments “to mandate all alcohol producers, manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, sellers, etc., nationwide to print in large font the dangers of consuming alcohol and driving”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

American centres bar visitors with laptops, tablets, iPads

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Following a security assessment, the US embassy here has barred visitors from carrying laptops, tablets or iPads in the American Centres in the national capital, Mumbai and Kolkata from today. All kinds of electronic devices are already banned at the Chennai centre. The US, which undertook such security exercise at all its government establishments worldwide, said the safety of its guests and personnel is “paramount”. The restriction on “personal electronics” will apply to all models of laptops and tablets, including netbooks, chromebooks, iPads, Kindles, and MacBooks, a US embassy statement said. “This change was made as part of an assessment of security in US government facilities worldwide. The safety of our guests and personnel is paramount,” a US Embassy spokesperson said. However, the visitors will be allowed to carry mobile phones in New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, unlike in the Chennai centre. The statement also emphasised that there will be no facility for visitors to store these devices.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Nilgiri Mountain Rail services cancelled till May 15

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The services of Nilgiris Mountain Rail (NMR) between Mettupalayalam and Coonoor has been cancelled for two more days till May 15, owing to track restoration work between Kallar and Hillgrove station. The services were cancelled between these stations following landslide and uprooting of trees on the track on May seven. The cancellation was in view of safety of passengers and also a precautionary measure, railway release said today.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NC’s youth wing for ‘uninterrupted dialogue’ with Pak

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Opposition National Conference’s youth wing today passed a resolution at a day-long orientation programme here, demanding an “uninterrupted dialogue” with Pakistan and the stakeholders in the Valley for resolution of the Kashmir issue. “The Youth National Conference (YNC) passed a unanimous resolution supporting the efforts of the party leadership in seeking an uninterrupted dialogue with Pakistan and stakeholders in Kashmir paving way for the just and acceptable resolution of the Kashmir issue,” a spokesman of the party said. He said the resolution was passed at the one-day youth orientation programme, conducted to deliberate on various current and political issues and also place historical facts and incidents in the right, fair and objective perspective. NC General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, who inaugurated the programme at Nawa-e-Subah headquarters of the party here, said in the present circumstances it becomes all the more important to engage with the youth and inform them about the party’s stand on various issues. Party provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani asked the party workers to reach out to the youth to ensure that “our youngsters are made aware of history in its right context in the face of sustained propaganda by divisive forces to distort history”. “Such programmes will go a long way in empowering the youth with facts and will in turn help in engaging with them in efforts to bring the state out of the present morass,” he said. YNC provincial president Salman Ali Sagar said they would continue to organise such programmes and conventions to reach out to the youth. “The youth has to play an important role in guiding the state out of the present atmosphere of hopelessness and despair. “YNC will continue with such efforts and we are going to involve more youth across the length and breadth of the valley to evolve a consensus for the welfare of the state,” he said. Salman condemned what he called “anti-youth policy” of the state government and said “wanton arrests, indiscriminate harassment and imposition of Public Safety Act on the youth will further alienate them and compound the already grave situation in the valley”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Plastic rice, sugar, scare hits Capital

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ever thought the rice you eat might be made of plastic? Yes, bizarre as it may sound, the Delhi food department is collecting samples from various parts of the city after the rumours of rice being made of plastic surfaced. According to sources, it isn’t just rice, sugar too is being said to contain some percentage of plastic.“There were videos on social networking platforms about rice and sugar being made of plastic. We have started a check and are collecting samples from different parts of Delhi,” said an officer from the Department of Food Safety.In the last two weeks, the Department of Food Safety has collected around 20 samples of rice and sugar from various parts of the Capital. Around 20 such samples have been collected and sent to the lab.“The report will come out in two weeks. If the samples will fail the quality test, strict action will be taken against the supplier,” added the official.According to doctors, plastic rice, when ingested along with real rice, is not digested and can lead to serious gastric problems.“Rice adulterated with plastic can be cancerous, and consumers should be really careful about it,” said Dr SK Sarin, Director, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences.“Contamination with plastics is a less research issue in context of medical effects; but one of increasing importance to India. In animal experiments, such contamination can affect liver, reproductive system and heart, and it’s even known to cause diabetes,” said, Dr Anoop Misra, member, National Control Programme for Diabetes and Cardiovascular Diseases, Union health ministry.Dr Ram Chandra Soni, Gastroenterologist, Asian Hospital said, “Foreign particles like plastic will create absorption issues, if consumed. The cells in the large intestine are not able to absorb the food consumed as they become weak and that leads to deficiency. If a person over a time consumes plastic it can have an adverse effect on the endocrine system causing hormonal changes. It might lead to cancer of the liver.”The food department in Delhi carries out surprise inspections and raids of food establishments. It draws up samples of food articles that can be adulterated.ARTIFICIAL CONCERNSSocial media videos showed plastic rice, sugar is being sold in the Capital
Delhi Food Dept has taken 20 rice and sugar samples
If ingested, plastic can cause severe gastric problems

1,707 abattoirs registered under FSSA; most in TN, MP, Maha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A query under the Right to Information has revealed that only 1,707 slaughterhouses in the country are registered under the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006. There are no abattoirs registered under the 2006 Act in Arunachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. Further, these states/Union Territories do not have a single slaughterhouse which has a license issued by either the state or the Central authority. Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP government is clamping down on illegal slaughterhouses, is not in the top three states where the highest number of slaughterhouses registered under FSSA are located. These top three states are Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Chandrashekhar Gaud, an RTI activist, obtained this information under RTI from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). “These figures show that there are large number of illegal slaughterhouses in the country,” he said. FSSAI data showed that Tamil Nadu has the highest number of slaughterhouses registered under the Act (425), followed by Madhya Pradesh (262) and Maharashtra (249). In other words, 55 per cent of abattoirs registered under FSSA are located in these three states. Uttar Pradesh, in news recently over closure of illegal slaughterhouses, has only 58 which are registered under the Act. Meanwhile, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in a press release here has said that there are an estimated 30,000 unlicensed slaughterhouses in the country. Leather industry has no system in place to ensure that the skins used as raw material are not sourced from illegal slaughterhouses, it said, and appealed for closure of all unlicensed slaughterhouses.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India, France recommit to take bilateral railway cooperation forward

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Railway ministers of India and France on Thursday recalled the long standing technical cooperation in the railways sector and reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening it further. Taking the Memorandum of understanding signed in 2013 as the benchmark for future cooperation, both ministers, Suresh Prabhu and Alain Vidalies, expressed a desire for a regular sharing of experience in order to address the common challenges. Both sides agreed that mutual collaboration and exchange of expertise will benefit stakeholders in both countries. They said that this collaboration between the two countries will in particular focus on the following areas: . High speed and semi-high speed rail . Modernisation of current operations and infrastructure . Station renovation and operations . Suburban trains . Safety systems, operations and security India has over 66,600 kilometers of railways and over 7000 stations, while France has 30,000 kilometers of railways, more than 2000 kilometers of high speed tracks and about 3000 stations. The high speed network is still expanding. A global reflection on the place and purpose of stations in the city has been carried out recently and led to major renovation works in France. The security and improvement of the facilities is of course a constant concern in France. On semi-high speed trains, the technical and execution study for upgrading on the current rail corridor between Delhi and Chandigarh (244 km) up to 200 kmph is likely to be completed by September 2017. Relevant partners, including government entities, agencies and companies, scientific and technical research bodies and private companies, will be invited to join the cooperation, when appropriate, and under the umbrella cooperation program of two sides.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BMC diploma programme on disaster management

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is all set to roll out a one-year diploma programme in Disaster Management in Fire and Industrial Safety (DMFIS) to enable security guards to handle disasters like fires without waiting for specialist emergency services to arrive for rescue operations.The disaster management cell has already prepared the course details, and, if all goes to plan, the first batch of the programme will attend classes at the Mumbai University’s Kalina campus by June or July.The civic body believes that the training programme will make housing societies and industrial units more secure as their own security guards or other staff can react to disasters like fires or building collapses without wasting time.It has been observed that a delay in launching rescue operations leads to higher casualties. The presence of someone trained to handle such situations at the incident site could prove crucial during such emergencies.“We have noticed that when a fire breaks out or a building collapses, residents have to wait for the fire department or the disaster management team to reach the spot and start rescue operations. However, by the time the rescue team arrives, crucial time is lost and the chances of reducing casualties also go down,” said a senior official from the disaster management cell of the BMC.“The aim of the training programme is to start rescue operations within the golden hour, save more lives and minimise losses,” said the official.The target of the course are security guards as they guard housing societies and industrial units and can be the first responders to fire or disaster emergencies, without wasting time.With an intake of 40, the one-year programme will have classes on weekends, so that working people can also attend it.A presentation regarding the course is likely to be given to the civic chief and other senior officials next week. A senior official said, “We have already worked out the details of the course and the people to be targeted for the course.”The training programme will be open to all. The civic body will also try to arrange placement of successful candidates.

UP has more than half of approved abattoirs in India: govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP government is clamping down on “illegal” slaughterhouses, accounts for more than half of the approved abattoirs and meat processing plants in the country, the Centre today said. Minister of State for Health Faggan Singh Kulaste in a written reply in Lok Sabha said licenses have been issued to around 1,700 slaughterhouses by the country’s food regulator FSSAI. According to figures given by Kulaste, Uttar Pradesh has 42 out of the total 76 approved abattoirs-cum-meat processing plants or standalone abattoirs. Maharashtra is second with 13 abattoirs while Punjab and Andhra Pradesh had five approved abattoirs each. “As per the information available in the Food Licensing and Registration System (FLRS) of the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the total number of slaughter houses (mechanised or non-mechanised) for which license or registration have been issued under Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2006 is 1,707,” Kulaste said. He said the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) registers integrated abattoir-cum-meat processing plants or standalone abattoirs engaged in export. Asked whether any domestic need assessment was done before such licenses were granted, he said, “No such assessments are carried out before grant of licences”. “In terms of section 31 of the FSS Act 2006, all food business operators have to obtain license or registration for commencing any business,” he added. After coming to power, new UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered the closure of illegal slaughterhouses and strict enforcement of the ban on cow smuggling to fulfil a key electoral promise of the BJP, which led to their closure. This has reportedly created scarcity of meat in the state leading to the shutting down of many meat shops, according to reports.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Shiv Sena disrupts LS, warns of boycotting NDA meet if flying

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A belligerent Shiv Sena today held out the threat of disrupting Air India’s operations in Maharashtra and boycotting an NDA meet while its MPs forced repeated adjournment of the Lok Sabha over its demand for revocation of the flying ban on its MP Ravindra Gaikwad. Gaikwad, who attended the proceedings for the first time since the incident when he assaulted an Air India employee and boastfully claimed on national TV about having hit him with slippers 25 times, played a victim, insisting he had only retaliated against provocation. As the ruling NDA ally made an all-out attempt to get the ban lifted, a string of meetings followed to break the impasse, with first signs of a possible resolution emerging when Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured the House that discussions will be held with the stakeholders to find an “amicable solution” at the earliest. The day started with combative Shiv Sena MPs creating an uproar in the Lok Sabha where they surrounded Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju after the latter refused to concede their demand for lifting the ban. The House watched in shock as Sena MPs banged Raju’s bench in unbridled fury and refused to allow him to leave. Among those who joined in creating the ruckus was the lone Sena minister in the union cabinet Anant Geete. Rajnath Singh had to intervene to placate the agitated Sena members and usher Raju out. “Aircraft is a machine where people fly. Safety is important. Safety cannot be compromised,” Raju had earlier said, while responding to the Shiv Sena’s demand. His response left the Sena MPs fuming. Before Raju spoke, Geete too joined his colleagues in condemning the action against Gaikwad and appeared to be taking a dig at the government when he said it is a people’s government but the “one-sided decision” was “shameful and tragic”. Gaikwad, the MP from Maharashtra’s Osmanabad, read out a statement in the House which was a mix of defiance and an attempt at reconciliation. However, all the while he played the victim card as he sought “justice” for himself. Having repeatedly bragged about how he beat up the elderly Air India staffer R Sukumar, attempted to throw him off the stationary aircraft on landing at Delhi airport and held up the plane for an hour, Gaikwad today claimed he had only pushed him, that too after being provoked. The Sena MP claimed that an official, when asked about his identity, told him that he was “Air India ka baap” (Air India’s father) and taunted him by asking “are you Narendra Modi”, when he said he was a Lok Sabha MP. Gaikwad claimed he just pushed the official only after he was pushed around. Air India’s charge that he fought with its officials over a seat was “wrong”, he said, adding that airline officials got angry with him when he demanded a complaint book. He also lashed out at Air India and other airlines for barring him from flying. Many members were seen smiling when he said he has been a teacher and humility is his nature. He said he had the video clippings of the incident which “will prove my case.” Gaikwad also cited the comments of an Air India air hostess, claiming she had blamed the airline official for the incident. Gaikwad struck a somewhat conciliatory note when he tendered an apology to Parliament but insisted he owed no apology to the airline officials. Soon after, Shiv Sena leaders held a press conference where they declared the party would not attend a proposed meeting of the ruling NDA on April 10 if the ban was not lifted by then. “If seperatists, rapists and terrorists are allowed to travel on flights then why not an MP. There are so many MPs, who are involved in agitation. Are you (the airlines) going to impose a travel ban on them as well? “We will not attend the NDA meeting on April 10 if the travel ban on Gaikwad is not revoked,” Shiv Sena’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said. Seeking to add more weight to the threat, he told journalists it is an “instruction from party chief Uddhav Thackeray”. Raut denounced registration of an FIR against Gaikwad under section 308 of IPC related to attempt to murder. “He should have been booked for assaulting (the Air India Officer) with a chappal. Instead, he has been booked for attempt to murder,” Raut said. After the reported threat by Shiv Sena to stall Air India’s operations at Mumbai and Pune airports, the national carrier said it was stepping up the security of its staff there. “We are enhancing security of our staff deployed at Mumbai and Pune Airport in the wake of threat to ground flight operations at these aerodromes,” an Air India source said. Some Air India employees’ unions in Mumbai and Pune are affiliated to Shiv Sena’s trade union Bharatiya Kamgar Sangh. Amid tough posturing by Shiv Sena and following Rajnath Singh’s assurance about efforts to find an amicable solution to the imbroglio, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan held a meeting with MPs of Shiv Sena and TDP, to which Raju belongs. The Sena and TDP MPs also held talks after their meeting with Mahajan, who too pitched for the matter to be resolved amicably.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Food regulator receives over 1,722 complaints in eight months

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has received over 1,722 complaints in last eight months through its consumer grievance platforms, majority of which remain unresolved.In a period of June 2016 to February 2017, the maximum number complaints, ie 1,307, that consumers filed to the country’s apex food regulator were about food packaging. Another 415 grievances were about parcelled packages or takeaways, 98 were about food adulteration, and 74 were on sale of expired food packages. A concerned FSSAI convened a meeting on Friday with respective food business operators and the state enforcement agencies to address the problem.A team handled these complaints and sifted through and categorised them depending on the nature of the complaint. Then the team referred the complaints to the food business operator or the state enforcement agency for appropriate action within the defined timelines. However, a strict scrutiny of the complaint redress showed that a large number of complaints were pending with the food business operators and the state governments.”The food safety authority would soon come up with quantifiable metrics to accurately gauge the performance and efficiency of each food business operator vis-a-vis their resolution of consumer complaints. We want to make sure that no complaint goes unresolved,” said Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI. “The food business operators should be sensitised to the rights of consumers, particularly their right to quick and satisfactory resolution of their complaints,” he said.In order to tighten the complaint resolution system, the FSSAI is planning a series of workshops with food business operators as well as state food safety officers. “We regret that companies, particularly the larger ones, were prone to complacency when it came to consumer complaints. This has to change. They should understand that criticism is good, and start to take it as a learning experience,” said Ashish Bahuguna, Chairman, FSSAI.During the meeting, the FSSAI insisted that food business operators should nominate a nodal officer for redress of consumer complaints. FSSAI has also taken an initiative to develop a Food Safety Phone Network (FSPN) wherein all food regulatory authorities shall be operating in a Closed User Group (CUG) across the country. This network will bring more coherence in the efforts of maintaining food safety standards in the country, but shall also reduce the response time to the exigencies emerging out of food safety issues, the FSSAI officials said.With its increasing focus on consumer rights, particularly their right to safe food and the right to redress of their grievances, the food regulator has provided as many as eight platforms through which consumers can register their complaints, concerns, views and opinions. Besides the toll-free number 1800112100, consumers can WhatsApp or SMS their complaints on 9868686868 or send in their concerns to the web portal — Food Safety Connect. They can also contact the food regulator through official Facebook and twitter pages, can e-mail a complaint on [email protected], or send it by snail mail to the Regulatory Compliance Division, fourth floor, FSSAI, FDA Bhawan, Kotla road, New Delhi-110002.

Wait, what? Man selling FAKE eggs arrested in Kolkata!

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Kolkata Police on Saturday arrested an egg-seller in the city for allegedly selling artificial plastic eggs.Mohammed Shamin Ansari, who was detained on Friday by the Kolkata Police Enforcement Branch for allegedly selling plastic eggs, was arrested on Saturday morning after questioning, a senior officer of the police said.Meanwhile, a team from the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, led by Mayor-in-Council (Health) Atin Ghosh, and Kolkata Police Enforcement Branch officials raided various markets in the city today and seized eggs which were later sent to the laboratory for testing.The KMC team visited the seller in the Muchipara area from whom Ansari had bought eggs. “One crate of eggs has been seized from the wholesaler who sold the eggs to Ansari. We will also collect samples from other shops in the market and send them to the laboratory for testing,” Ghosh said.Ansari, the police said, had bought eggs worth Rs 1.15 lakh from the wholesaler. “As per the Food Safety and Standards Act, food adulteration is a punishable offence. If these eggs are found to be life-threatening, the offenders may face punishment like life imprisonment and a huge fine,” Ghosh said.Ansari, who was booked on the charges of fraud and criminal conspiracy by the police, was remanded to police custody for four days when produced at a city court.Complaints of artificial plastic eggs being sold were also received from Canning in South 24-Parganas district following which an enquiry was started, the state police said.

After Punjab, drug menace hits Kashmir valley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Behind the breathtaking view of the paradise lies the dark underbelly of drugs and addicts.Poppy, charas, brown sugar, bhang, fukki, intoxicants — name any contraband drug and you will find it in the strife-torn valley.DNA has accessed figures by Jammu and Kashmir police, which have revealed the shocking underbelly of contraband drugs in the restive Kashmir valley.Official figures revealed that the police have seized huge consignments of drugs and intoxicants in different parts of the valley in 2016, including 64 kilogram of charas, 7.5 kilogram of charas powder, 194 kilogram of bhang and bhang dust, 925 kilogram of fukki, 915 kilogram of poppy straw and 3.75 kilogram of brown sugar.As if that weren’t a big enough haul, police also seized 26,457 intoxicating capsules, 10,553 intoxicating tablets and 12,983 bottles of intoxicating syrup in 2016. Despite unrest, police and other security agencies destroyed bhang and poppy crop spread over 2,800 kanals (20 kanals form one hectare) of land in Kashmir in 2016.Around 312 persons were arrested in 2016 of whom 202 were prosecuted and 26 others were booked under Public Safety Act (PSA).Similarly in 2015, police and other security agencies had destroyed contraband drug crops on over 5,034 kanals of land. Police had registered 375 cases and arrested 442 people and 13 others were booked under PSA.Police destroyed contraband drugs including poppy and bhang on 593 kanals of land in 2014. They also registered 224 cases of which 196 were challaned in 2014. Around 151 people were arrested and one person was booked under PSA.”The situation is very bad as drugs have spread in Kashmir. We will not allow it to become Udta Punjab. We will eradicate the drug menace from Kashmir”, Dr SP Vaid, Director General of Police, Jammu and Kashmir told DNA.Turmoil, militancy and post militancy situation has proved to be the perfect breeding ground for the new age drug addicts in Kashmir. Official figures reveal that more than 20,000 youth have been treated in three drug de-addiction centers run by police since 2008.”Jammu and Kashmir police has opened drug de-addiction centers in Srinagar, Baramulla and Anantnag in which over 20,000 affected persons have been treated till now. The department is working towards enhancing the bed capacity of the Srinagar Centre”, said GH Bhat, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Central Kashmir Range.Jammu and Kashmir police has adopted a two-pronged strategy to deal with the problem of drugs in Kashmir. On one side, the police has decided to launch an all-out drive against the drug peddlers and on the other it has started a massive awareness programme using popular forms of theatre as a medium to reach out to the masses. “I appeal to all stakeholders to contribute as police alone cannot fight this menace”, said Dr Vaid.

Pakistani national arrested under PSA in Jammu, sent to jail

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Pakistani national, awaiting deportation after completing jail term for illegally crossing the border, has been slapped with Public Safety Act and sent to Kotbalwal Jail in the district, police said today. The Jammu and Kashmir Home Department had issued a warrant under the Public Safety Act (PSA) against the Pakistan national Khalid Parvez alais Junaid, and it was executed by Samba Police today, a police official said. The detenue has been lodged in the Central Jail Kot Balwal in Jammu, he said, adding that he was awaiting deportation to Pakistan after completing his sentence in a case of illegal border crossing four years ago.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

27 officers having doubtful integrity holding sensitive posts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As many as 27 out of 63 officers having doubtful integrity in various government departments in Himachal Pradesh are holding sensitive posts, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh informed state Assembly during the Question Hour. In reply to a question to Narinder Thakur (BJP), Singh said that some of these officers are functioning on sensitive posts as non-sensitive posts are not available in the cadre. The chief minister said that the officers having doubtful integrity are the ones against whom the criminal or departmental proceedings are pending in courts or at departmental level or who have been acquitted on technical grounds with reasonable suspicion on their integrity during trial. The reply said that two Food Safety Officers, including a woman, in Health Safety and Regulation department, 14 officers having doubtful integrity (some Senior Engineers, Executive Engineers and Assistant Engineers) in Himachal Pradesh States Electricity Board Limited (HPSEBL) have been given sensitive postings. Similarly, out of 12, four such officers in the Public Works Department are serving on sensitive posts. Five Block Development Officers having doubtful integrity in Rural Development department and a Tehsildar in Revenue department are serving on sensitive posts. In reply to supplementary that why some officers are working sensitive posts when non-sensitive posts are available at the headquarters of HPSEB and pointed out that it was defiance of high court orders wherein it has been mentioned that officers of doubtful integrity cannot be posted on sensitive jobs, the chief minister said that the government would look into the matter. In reply to another question of Gulab Singh Thakur, Randhir Sharma, Ravinder Ravi, Suresh Kumar and Virender Kanwar (all BJP), the chief minister said the state government had received in-principle approval of 61 national highways announced by Union Ministry of Surface Transport and highways in September 2016, and of four more roads earlier this month. Singh said it was a long and cumbersome procedure to get final approval from the Centre and the state government is in the midst of completing formalities, including appointment of consultants for preparing Detailed Project Reports (DPRs).(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

President greets on eve of International Women’s Day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President Pranab Mukherjee today conveyed his greetings on the occasion of International Women’s Day saying generations of Indian women have made an invaluable contribution to the development and progress of the country. “On the occasion of International Women’s Day, I extend warm greetings and best wishes to women in India and in all parts of the world,” he said in a message. Mukherjee said that the government has introduced and implemented historic legislations and far sighted programmes for their empowerment and equal participation in nation building and referred to the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign. All support should be given so that women realise their aspirations and “enjoy the safety, dignity and unfettered equality that is their sacred right,” he said. ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ is an important initiative to prevent female foeticide and provide educational opportunities for female children in India, he said. The President said that with their incomparable compassion, tolerance and hardwork, generations of Indian women have made an invaluable contribution to the development and progress of the country. “On this day, I call upon the people of India to reaffirm their commitment to gender equality and the true empowerment of women. “Let us rededicate our efforts to give them all the support they need to develop to their full potential, realise their aspirations and enjoy the safety, dignity and unfettered equality that is their sacred right,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Can’t pick and choose eateries to maintain hygiene: HC to govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hygiene and safety standards have to be maintained across all eating joints in the city and the Food Safety department cannot just pick and choose restaurants or other eating joints to implement this, the Delhi High Court said today. Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva made the observation while ordering withdrawal of notices issued against Kake da Hotel, a popular eating joint in the heart of the capital, over alleged lack of hygiene and safety standards. A controversy had recently erupted due to a video allegedly showing dough being kneaded by foot atop the hotel in Connaught Place. “You cannot pick and choose between restaurants. You have to ensure that same standards are maintained everywhere,” the court told the Food Safety department of Delhi government. The eatery said it has complied with all requirements, barring two deficiencies of lack of non-hand operated taps and a chimney, which it said would be rectified within a week. The submission was endorsed by the Food Safety department which said that the eating joint was now “one of the most hygienic places” in the city. The department also assured the court that it would inspect all eateries and restaurants and action would be taken against those not complying with the mandatory safety and hygenic standard requirements. In response, the court said if the department actually inspected and took action, like it did in the instant case, then it expected to see hundreds of petitions before it soon. The department had issued a notice on February 22 for emergency prohibition to Mehak Cuisines Pvt Ltd, which runs the eatery, in the wake of a video which allegedly showed dough being kneaded by foot by a worker of the hotel. During the brief hearing today, the Food Safety Officer (FSO) told the court that when he inspected the premises on February 28, there was a dough kneading machine installed, though it was not there during earlier inspections. Advocate Chander M Lall, appearing for Mehak Cuisines, said there was no evidence of dough being kneaded by foot. He also said the standards which Kake-da-Hotel was being asked to maintain, was not being followed in other eating joints, including the lawyers’ canteen of the Delhi High Court. He said in no other hotel in the city do the food handlers wear masks and added that it was impossible to wear them for long hours at a stretch.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kake-da-Hotel under HC scanner over food standards

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A popular eating joint in the heart of the capital today came under the scanner of the Delhi High Court in the wake of a controversy erupting due to a video allegedly showing dough being kneaded by foot. Kake-da-Hotel in Connaught Place here was asked to come out clean on the issue of food safety and standards of hygiene by the high court. “You are one of the oldest restaurants in city. Why can’t you maintain proper standards? In some countries, street vendors have better standards than our restaurants,” Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva told Mehak Cuisines Pvt Ltd which runs the famous eatery on the outer circle of the Connaught Place. “So show to the world that one of the oldest restaurants has the best standards in hygiene,” the court also said and asked it to maintain proper standards. The lawyers for the restaurant repeatedly told the court that they have rectified all deficiencies which were earlier pointed out by the Food Safety Officer (FSO). The response came after the court said that the FSO, who is the competent authority, has pointed out deficiencies and asked “why cannot you rectify the same?” After the lawyers appearing for the restaurant said all deficiencies have been removed and further steps are being taken, the court asked the FSO to inspect the eatery again tomorrow and file a fresh status report with photographs. With regard to the controversial video, the hotel said the person shown in the video was not kneading dough, but was cleaning clothes. During the hearing the court perused the report and photographs of the eatery placed before it by the FSO who had carried out a surprise inspection of the premises on February 23 on court’s order. The photographs showed that food containers were left open, all serving spoons for vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes were kept together, drains in the kitchen were overflowing and inadequate number of hand-wash basins. The report of the food safety department of Delhi government said that the eatery did not have a chimney, nor were the records or documents certifying that their water and food served to customers was safe and hygienic as mandated under the Food Safety and Standards Act. Mehak Cuisines had moved the court after the FSO had slapped a notice on the eatery on February 21 after the video was shared online.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Jammu and Kashmir: Control on mosques, madrasas & media needed, says MHA’s report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An assessment report prepared by the union government over the situation prevailing in the Kashmir Valley has suggested a need to control mosques and madrasas, reported Indian Express.Though the government report has not made any reference to Pakistan, it has suggested the need to control of the mosque, madrasa, print and TV media, strengthening of intelligence set-up and reaching out to the moderate faction of Hurriyat, said the IE report.The report, compiled after securing inputs from the ground, suggests long-term “actionable points” and has been sent to National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, the report said quoting sources.The Centre’s report has also listed TV channels as pro and anti-India and newspapers that it says should be promoted for ‘perception management’. It also stated that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting needed to revive its Jammu and Kashmir division that is largely defunct.The report said that those indulging in stone-pelting incidents need to be booked under Public Safety Act. It also suggested reviving the Special Operation Group (SOG) to tackle militants from across the border.A week after warning of tough action against those impeding counterinsurgency operations in Kashmir, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat asked security agencies to synergise efforts to effectively deal with the problem of stone-pelting during operations, an army official said.The army chief had on February 15, while paying tributes to soldiers killed during two encounters a day earlier in Kashmir, warned of tough action against those civilians who were impeding the counter-insurgency operations in the Valley by resorting to stone-pelting.

Food dept teams collect samples from midday meal kitchens

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Food department teams today picked up 27 samples from midday meal kitchens, a day after an inspection was ordered by the Delhi government. “In accordance to the government order, 27 samples were collected by food department teams from midday meal kitchens supplying to schools. The inspection and sampling will continue,” a senior government official said. After nine students of a government school in Deoli fell ill on Thursday after consuming midday meal which allegedly had a dead rat in it, the Delhi government has directed its designated officers to visit all midday meal kitchens to check hygiene level there. As per the order issued by the Food Safety Commissioner, all designated officers along with their Food Safety Officers have been directed to visit all midday meal kitchens and transportation facilities under their district to check hygiene and cleanliness as per the standards laid down under FSS, 2006 and Rules and Regulations 2011. “Also, the water used for cooking be lifted and tested. All kitchens to be sampled for full testing including microbiological test,” the directive said. Also National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accredited empanelled private labs have been directed to pick surveillance samples from the kitchen allotted and take them to their labs for testing.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

IndiGo said the incident occurred when its flight was

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>given backtrack on runway 19L at Kolkata, and at the same time Emirates 777 was given line up from taxiway K and cleared for take off. During this time, the SilkAir aircraft was around 5-6 miles from touchdown and as the Emirates plane delayed its take-off that led to a situation wherein IndiGo airplane’s departure was also delayed, it added. “By the time Emirates took off and IndiGo commenced take off roll after cleared by Kolkata ATC, SilkAir aircraft was around 2 miles to touchdown. “IndiGo aircraft took off and followed all instruction of ATC. SilkAir aircraft carried out a go around. This led to a situation of reduction in horizontal separation between the two aircraft,” IndiGo said. Further, the airline noted that no TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System) caution or warning triggered in either aircraft but this reduction in horizontal separation was a breach of ATC norms. Generally, TCAS warning is triggered when an aircraft is in proximity of another one. “Last known information, the said controller was put off duty. No error has been found on part of the IndiGo flight crew. This situation could have been avoided in case the ATC controller would have not cleared IndiGo aircraft for take off and made Silk Air discontinue the approach,” it said. Ordering AAIB probe, the ministry said, “It appears to the central government that it is expedient to investigate and determine the causes and contributory factors leading to the said serious incident and make recommendations to avoid recurrence of such serious incidents in future.” The committee, headed by AAIB Assistant Director Jitender Loura, has Assistant Director Raje Bhatnagar and Air Safety Officer Dinesh Kumar as members is probing the incident. Whenever required, the panel can take the assistance of other experts and agencies. Meanwhile, IndiGo said most events of breach of separation is due to implementation of “High Intensity Runway Operation” wherein the ATC controllers are having difficulty coping up with the increase in air traffic due to lack of sophisticated radars. SilkAir — part of Singapore Airlines group — also said it always takes the safety of passengers and crew seriously, and ensured that all relevant procedures are reinforced.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Pesticides adultery: Mehbooba directs slapping of PSA on

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today directed the authorities to book the dealers found to be involved in the adultery of pesticides and fungicides under the controversial Public Safety Act (PSA). “In a significant announcement, Mehbooba Mufti directed slapping of the Public Safety Act on the dealers found conclusively involved in adultery or selling of spurious pesticides and fungicides in the state,” an official spokesman said. Mehbooba announced this while addressing a gathering of fruit growers and progressive farmers here after launching the High Density Apple Plantation Scheme. She assured the growers that her government had flagged their concerns on priority basis and steps were being taken to address them properly. Terming horticulture as the backbone of the state’s economy, the chief minister said her government was taking a slew of measures to further incentivise the industry. “With a huge market demand and massive scope for potential realisation, the horticulture industry has the capacity to change the fortunes of not only the farming community, but the entire state with its cascading benefits,” she said. Mehbooba said it was a matter of satisfaction that the horticulture industry sustained the economy of the state, much ahead of the other sectors, during the last three decades of difficult times. She announced that 2017 would be observed as the ‘Year of Apple’ to position the fruit industry in the mainstream of the state’s economic discourse. (MORE)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Talgo could run by mid-2018: India head

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Spanish train manufacturer Talgo is in talks with the Railway Ministry to lease its trains for some short-distance routes, preferably under 500 kilometres, on a profit-sharing basis. In a telephonic interaction with DNA, Subrat Nath, Director, India and Asia-Pacific, Talgo said that if everything went according to plan, the rake could be in commercial operation by the middle of next year. Hypothetically speaking, Nath said, if the Railway Ministry accepts a proposal to have Talgo trains on lease by March 31 this year, then the rakes could come in by April 2018 and after a trials of a few months, it could be ready for commercial operation by August 2018. “A three-member team of the Railway Board consisting of additional members is looking into the feasibility of deploying Talgo trains on the Indian Railway network. Only after they submit the report can things move forward.There are two options, first of which is a global tender where there will be several more participants. That could take time. The other is the leasing model that we have suggested where our rakes can be leased over some routes on the Indian Railways on a profit-sharing basis. But as I said all the financial details can be made only after the three-member team submits its report,” Nath said.The current plan, according to him, is to provide just Talgo coaches to the Railways because the Spanish firm during the trials found the quality of Indian locomotives very good. “What we want to do is to provide Talgo coaches to the railways on lease and use locomotives from the railways to haul the train. The locomotives in the railways’ fleet are very powerful, capable of high speeds. That is why we believe the best value for the railways would be to have Talgo coaches hauled at higher speeds by Indian locomotives,” said Nath.Nath said that in case the Talgo is chosen by the railways, it will have to further undergo a full set of trials supervised by the RDSO (Research Design Standards Organisation- the railway’s apex technical authority) and also have to get the approval of the Commissioner of Railway Safety.

Kids can help in spreading road safety message: UN official

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A top United Nations official today said children can play a key role in popularising the message of road safety in society. Jean Todt, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the UN for Road Safety, said children should ensure there is safety at every stage in society and around them. They should insist their parents and friends follow road safety methods, he said while addressing the students of the Sulochana Devi Singhania School here. Todt said nearly 1.3 million people die in road mishaps each year – an average 3,287 deaths a day – world over and additional 20-50 million are injured or disabled. The situation in India is no better and hence children should play a major role in bringing in road safety culture among the members of society, the UN official said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

223 people killed in 3 unrests in Kashmir: J K govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over 200 people were killed in unrests in 2008, 2010 and 2016 in Kashmir, the government told Legislative Assembly today. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, in a written reply, told the House that 76 civilians and two police personnel were killed in “law and order disturbances” in the Valley last year. In 2010, 101 persons were killed and 4,288 others, including security forces, injured, she said. Mehbooba said 46 persons were killed and 1,265 others, including security forces, were injured in 2008. In 2016, as many as 8,587 persons were arrested, out of which 8,473 have been released till January 21, the Chief Minister said. In addition, 522 persons were booked under the J&K Public Safety Act (PSA), and 265 persons among 1,978 booked in the recent unrest were still under detention as on January 21, she said. Mehbooba said as many as 133 buildings, including police stations and schools, were damaged or set ablaze during the “law and order disturbances” in the Valley last year and 213 persons were arrested in this connection She said 2,655 cases have been registered in various police stations across Kashmir since July 8 last year.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Indian Railways neglected, safety being compromised: Mamata on Hirakhand Express derailment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Extending her condolences to the kin of the deceased in the deadly derailment of the Hirakhand Express, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday said the Indian Railways is neglected and being given less priority, adding the safety and security of the people is, therefore, being compromised.Banerjee said the Indian Railways, which is the lifeline of the nation, carries crores of people every day.”We are proud of our Indian Railways employees. However, now Railways is neglected and being given less priority. The Budget is being curtailed. Safety and security are being compromised. Sadly, today also many people lost their lives. My condolences to their loved ones,” she said in a statement.”We do not blame the Minister; he is earnest in his efforts. But the government needs to address issues urgently,” she added.At least 36 people have lost their lives so far and over 100 others injured after nine coaches of Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Express derailed in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh.The incident took place at around 11 p.m. yesterday near Kuneru station when most of the passengers were sleeping. The station is 25 kilometre away from Rayagada station in Odisha.The Ministry of Railways has announced an ex-gratia of Rs. two lakh each for next of kin of those killed in the train accident. It has also announced Rs. 50,000 those seriously injured and Rs. 25,000 for minor injuries.Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has also announced an additional ex-gratia of Rs. five lakh compensation under Chandranna Bima.The Indian Railway has issued the following helpline numbers – Rayagada: 06856-223400, 06856-223500, 09439741181, 09439741071 and 07681878777. The helpline numbers at Vizianagaram are 08922-221202 and 08922-221206.

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