Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath along with Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Sunday flagged off Gorakhpur-Lucknow flight service under Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS)-UDAN scheme, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) informed.
According to a press statement issued by the AAI, the dignitaries also laid the foundation stone for expansion of the Gorakhpur Airport terminal building in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur. “The existing terminal building of the Gorakhpur Airport commissioned in the year 2018 was designed to cater 100 passengers and has an area of 1890 sqm. The passenger traffic at the Gorakhpur airport has grown exponentially in a very short span of time. Thus, to increase the passenger handling capacity of the airport and make the airport suitable for Airbus 320 type of Aircraft, AAI has planned the extension of the existing terminal building at a cost of Rs 26.87 crores,” the statement said.
The spread in an area of 3440 sqm, the extended terminal will be equipped with 10 check -in- counters and two conveyor belts in the arrival hall. An additional security hold area will also be created at the first floor, after which the terminal building will be able to handle the 200 passengers during peak hours, it added.
The newly expanded building will have escalators, lifts, and enough space for a restaurant and commercial activities.
Minister for Civil Aviation of Uttar Pradesh Nand Gopal Gupta, AAI chairman Anuj Agrawal and other senior officials of AAI along with many other dignitaries were also present at the event.
Gorakhpur Airport belongs to IAF and AAI maintains a Civil Enclave. Presently Indigo, Alliance Air, and Spicejet are operating scheduled flights from the airport to Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi and Hyderabad.
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Maharashtra SSC, HSC exams postponed amid corona crisis
Maharashtra government on Tuesday postponed the date of SSC (class 10th) and HSC (class 12th) board exams which were scheduled to be held in April in view of a steep rise in Covid-19 cases in the state. The board exams of class 12th, which were to begin from 23 April, will be held in May. The board exams of class 10th, which were to start from 30 April, will take place in June.
The decision was taken in a meeting between Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad after consultations with various stakeholders: students, teachers, parents, elected representatives from across parties, academicians and tech giants.
“Given the current #Covid-19 situation in Maharashtra, we’ve postponed state board exams for class 10th and 12th. The present circumstances are not conducive for holding exams. Your health is our priority,” said Gaikwad.
“During the consultations, various alternative assessment options were evaluated keeping the health, well-being, and future of our students in mind. Postponing exams seemed to be the most pragmatic solution. We’ll also be writing to the CBSE, ICSE, IB, and Cambridge boards, requesting them to reconsider their exams dates,” she wrote on Twitter.
HARYANA IMPOSES NIGHT CURFEW IN WAKE OF SURGE IN CORONA CASES
Chandigarh: In wake of the surge in Corona cases in Haryana, the government has imposed night curfew in the state. It is pertinent to mention that the Home Minister Anil Vij had already warned and appealed to the people saying that they should follow the guidelines properly so that the deadly disease can be controlled immediately. In case people don’t do the same, it will make the government come up with strict measures. The casual approach of the people towards the disease has compelled the state government to impose the night curfew which will be in force from 9 pm to 5 am till further orders. Anil Vij, the Home Minister of the state also shared the information regarding the same on social media platform.
The order issued by the Haryana State Disaster Management Authority clearly says that any person violating the norms will be liable to be proceeded as per the provision of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act 2005 besides taking legal action under Section 188 of the IPC and other legal provisions as applicable. In view of the emergent nature of the order, it is being ex-parte and is addressed to the public in general. There shall be prohibition on movement of individuals for all non-essentials activities. No persons shall leave their home and move on foot or by vehicle or stand or roam around on road or public places during the above said period. The activities belonging to essential services in hospitals, chemist shops, and ATMs shall be allowed. Besides, the movement of pregnant women and patients getting medical-health services along with those passengers going and returning from airport or railway stations will be exempted. Besides, there shall be no curbs on inter-state and intra-state movement of essential and non-essential goods. All vehicles/persons in bonafide transit (inter- state/intra-state) shall be allowed to pass, but only after verification of point of origin and destination.
It is worth mentioning that Haryana continues to witness more than 2200 cases a day which has put the health department in a state of problems. Besides, more than 10 deaths per day are being reported in the state, which is an alarming situation. Besides, a huge decrease has been reported in the recovery rate.
“The health department continues to mull every possible strategy to tackle the disease in the state and no stone is being left unturned to control the disease”, said Director General ,Health Dr. Veena Singh. In wake of this, sufficient arrangements are being made to increase awareness so that the infection can be controlled, she added.
Apart from this, it is learnt that the way cases are getting increased, the government is likely to come up with some strict decisions in future which would undoubtedly lead to spurt in the problems for everyone. The experts are of the opinion that the rise in the cases has left the government with no options except imposing night curfew.
MAMATA INSTIGATED PEOPLE LEADING TO COOCH BEHAR DEATHS, SAYS AMIT SHAH
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday alleged that it was West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who instigated people to snatch away the guns from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), which led to firing in Cooch Behar on Saturday that resulted in the death of four people.
Addressing a public meeting in Dhupguri, Amit Shah said, “The fourth phase polls were held in North Bengal. Didi instigated people and told them to gherao CRPF and loot them. People listened to her, weapons were snatched, bullets were fired and four people died. Didi had you not instigated them they would not have died.”
“A fifth person also died. A youth, Anand Burman had gone to cast his vote but TMC goons shot him dead. Didi is speaking about the four but nothing on Anand Burman. Why? It’s because he belonged to the Rajbongshi community that is not a part of her vote bank,” he added.
Shah said that Banerjee criticising the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a futile exercise. “Didi is abusing BJP unnecessarily. You are mistaken that BJP is contesting against you. It is the mothers, sisters of North Bengal, Rajbongshi community, the Gorkha community, the tea garden workers, the farmers who are contesting against you.”
“If you listen to Didi’s speeches you will find that she talks more about me than she talks about Bengal. Now it is being said ‘Amit Shah resign’. I will resign the day people of Bengal ask me to. But you will be ready with your resignation on May 2,” he further said.
Amit Shah said BJP will not only form the government in West Bengal, but it will do so with absolute majority.
Polling for the first four phases in West Bengal already took place. Violence erupted at a polling booth in Cooch Behar during the fourth round of polling. The ruling TMC alleged that Central Forces opened fire twice at polling booths in Cooch Behar where people were casting their votes. Official sources in Cooch Behar had earlier confirmed the death of four people in firing.
Polling for the first four phases has been concluded in West Bengal. The fifth and sixth phases of the ongoing elections will take place on 17 April and 22 April. Counting of votes will take place on 2 May.
AFTER EC, BJP MOVES SC PANEL OVER TMC CANDIDATE’S DALIT REMARK
A day after BJP knocked at Election Commission (EC) doors over TMC candidate Sujata Mondal’s remarks allegedly against the Dalit community, the saffron party on Monday approached the Scheduled Caste Commission, demanding strict action be taken against her for allegedly likening Dalits with beggars.
A party delegation led by Dushyant Gautam, BJP Rajya Sabha MP, met SC Commission chairperson Vijay Sampla and submitted the memorandum for the same. The delegation also had singer turned politician and Karol Bagh MP Hansraj Hans and Sunita Duggal, who represents Hisar constituency in Loksabha. Later, speaking with media persons at the BJP HQ, Gautam said the remarks made by Sujata Mondal has exposed the very anti-Dalit mindset of the TMC and added that the growing support for BJP has baffled Trinamool Congress.
“TMC leaders can’t digest the fact that Dalits are realising how Trinamool have always exploited them for electoral gains and therefore, now shifting towards BJP after being impressed by the leadership of PM Modi. This has rattled Mamata Banerjee and her cadre and such statements are actually manifestation of their frustration.”
Speaking to The Sunday Guardian, Sampla, SC Commission chairperson, said that notices have been issued to West Bengal Chief Secretary, State and Central Chief Election Commissioner and DGP to know about their stance on the entire row since the onus to conduct smooth elections lies on them.
On Sunday, the BJP had filed a complaint before the EC against Mondal, who has allegedly described Scheduled Caste voters as “beggars by nature” in a video clip which has now gone viral in the poll-pound state.
HC tears into Gujarat govt’s ‘inaction’ on Covid front
Taking a serious note of reports that Gujarat’s health machinery has failed to handle the worsening condition of Covid-19 in the state, the Gujarat High Court on Monday slammed the state government and asked it some scathing questions during the hearing of a suo motu PIL.
The HC questioned some policies of the government: Why is Remdesivir injection available in one place? Why can’t people get injections at home? If there are enough beds and oxygen in hospitals? Why is there a line of 40 ambulances outside hospitals? With such questions, the High Court has directed the government to take immediate action. The PIL, titled “Uncontrolled Rise in Covid Control and Serious Management Issues”, will now have a further hearing on 15 April at 11 am.
A bench led by Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Bhargava D. Karia held a hearing on the PIL registered suo motu on Sunday. Advocate General Kamal Trivedi is representing on behalf of the Gujarat government and Chief Secretary of Gujarat Anil Mukim, Additional Secretary of Health Department Dr Jayanti Ravi and Health Commissioner Jayaprakash Shivahare participated in the hearing online. The bench expressed displeasure over the government’s policies in handling Covid-19. The HC questioned the shortage of Remdesivir injections as well as the large number of people gathering in public places.
After the cases came down, the government forgot in February that Covid-19 was there, the Chief Justice said. “You say, but here the situation is different. Tests for normal people take five days, you know? Not knowing what is going on in other states. We want to know what happens in Gujarat.” Advocate General Kamal Trivedi said that some people take the test only to allay their fears. “It’s not fun to get someone tested,” he said.
At one point in the hearing, the government argued that reports in the media were unfounded and irresponsible. Hearing the argument, the bench reacted sharply, saying: “We look at both media reports and the actual situation. On the contrary, the media is now doing responsible journalism. Instead, the government will present an affidavit of any action taken by the 14th and the next hearing is scheduled on the 15th.”
At one stage, the HC Chief Justice had stopped the public prosecutor from comparing Gujarat with other states. He said, “We don’t need to compare any other state. If we are in Gujarat, talk about Gujarat. Though we are so modern, why is this situation? Even today, it takes 4-5 days for a common man to get the result of RT-PCR test. Reports are received by evening if there is a VIP. Why is Remdesivir not available in private hospitals? If there was a long line outside Zydus, why does one agency have all the control?”
Mamata to sit on dharna against EC’s 24-hour ban on her from campaigning
The Election Commission (EC) on Monday banned West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee from campaigning in the ongoing state elections for 24 hours after she made “highly insinuating and provocative remarks laden with the serious potential of the breakdown of law and order and thereby affecting the election process”.
In its order, the poll panel condemned her statements “portent with serious law and order problems across the state (s)” and sternly warned her “to desist from using such statements while making public utterances during the period when Model Code of Conduct is in force.”
The Commission said it has carefully considered the matter and “is of the considered view that Ms Mamata Banerjee, who happens to be the Chief Minister of the state, has in violation of the provisions of Model Code of Conduct as well as Section 123 (3) and (3A) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and Sections 186, 189 and 505 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 made highly insinuating and provocative remarks laden with the serious potential of the breakdown of law and order and thereby affecting the election process”.
“The Commission also imposes a ban of twenty-four hours on Mamata Banerjee from campaigning in any manner from 8 pm of April 12, 2021, till 8 pm of April 13, 2021,» the EC order stated.
The ban comes into force ahead of the fifth phase of the West Bengal Assembly polls which is due on 17 April.
Reacting to the ban, Mamata Banerjee said she would “protest the undemocratic and unconstitutional decision of the Election Commission”. Her tweet came less than an hour after the EC suspended her from campaigning.
“To protest against the undemocratic and unconstitutional decision of the Election Commission of India, I will sit on dharna tomorrow at Gandhi Murti (in) Kolkata from 12 noon,” Mamata tweeted late Monday night.
Meanwhile, on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out against Mamata Banerjee at an election rally, saying she has waged an
open war against the state’s Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Castes (OBC).
Referring to TMC candidate Sujata Mondal’s recent statement, Modi said, “Didi’s people abuse Bengal’s Scheduled Caste community and call them beggars. Babasaheb’s soul would be hurt by hearing such bitter words. Didi calls herself the ‘Royal Bengal Tiger’. Such comments on the Scheduled Castes cannot be given by any TMC leader without Didi’s will.”
“Didi… has started a campaign to discredit the ordinary voters of Bengal,” PM Modi said. “Close associates of Didi have started saying that people who vote for the BJP will be thrown out! Do people approve of this sort of language, these lines, this arrogance? Is this democracy?” he added.
He also pointed out the violence taking place during the Bengal polls and questioned if Banerjee had appealed for peaceful elections during her rallies. “Has Didi appealed even once for the peaceful conduct of elections? Has she even once said that strict action will be taken against those who get involved in violence and try to obstruct voting?”
PM Modi on Monday also said the people of West Bengal have “clean-bowled TMC and hit so many fours and sixes that BJP has already scored a century of seats” in the last four phases of the Assembly polls, which has irked the Trinamool Congress chief.
“The people of Bengal failed the plan of Didi. She was preparing to hand over the captaincy of the party to bhaipo (nephew), but the public caught her ‹khela› in time…Didi›s entire team has been asked to go out of the field by the people of Bengal. She knows once Congress and the Left went out of Bengal, they never came back. Didi once you go, you will never come back again. TMC is going to lose,” said Modi. The fifth and sixth phases of the ongoing elections in West Bengal will take place on April 17 and April 22, respectively. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
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