New Delhi [India], February 12 (ANI): Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said that there has not been a single passenger death due to train accidents in nearly 22 months.
Speaking about the condition of the railway bridges in Rajya Sabha, Goyal said, “Over the last 6 years, we have focused more and more amounts on safety. The last passenger death due to a railway accident happened on March 22, 2019. For the nearly 22 months, we have not had a single passenger death due to train accidents.”
The minister said that the government has have focused its attention on bridge repairs and maintenance.
“We have a very robust system of inspection, once before monsoon, once after the monsoon. Data of the last inspection of major bridges, important Road Under Bridges and Road Over Bridges has either been put up on the bridge itself, or the nearest Railway Station,” Goyal said.
“The common public can be aware of how Railways is maintaining bridges, which will generate confidence,” he added.
Goyal further said that the government has gone through an elaborate restructuring of the Railway Board.
“In the new restructured Railway Board, We have designated a director-general of safety for the first time, whose total focus will be on safety,” he added. (ANI)
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President Kovind accorded with guard of honour on his 4-day visit to Andaman and Nicobar Islands
New Delhi [India], February 26 (ANI): President Ram Nath Kovind accorded a guard of honour on his arrival at Port Blair on Friday.
The Rashtrapati Bhavan informed that President Kovind is visiting the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands for the first time as the President of India. He is expected to stay there for a period of 4 days.
“The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, will visit Andaman and Nicobar Islands from February 26 to March 1, 2021,” read the press release by the President’s Secretariat. (ANI)
Gold paste worth Rs 65 lakh seized from aircraft toilet, one held
New Delhi [India]. February 26 (ANI): Delhi airport customs on Friday seized 1.5 kg gold in the form of paste worth Rs 65.44 lakh from the toilet of an aircraft and arrested one passenger in this connection.
The Delhi Airport Customs conducted the search after a special input.
“Based on specific input Delhi Airport Customs recovered 1.5kg gold valued at Rs 65.44 lakhs concealed as chemical paste in the toilet of aircraft of 6E022 that arrived from Dubai on 24/2/21. One passenger arrested under section 104 of the Customs Act. Further investigation is going on,” said Delhi Customs.
The accused had come to India from Dubai. The matter is being investigated further. (ANI)
Violence has defined the tenure of Mamata Banerjee: Smriti Irani
By Joymala Bagchi
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], February 26 (ANI): Union Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Smriti Irani on Friday said that violence has defined the tenure of the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal.
Irani, during her visit to the poll-bound state, said, “Violence has defined the tenure of Mamata Banerjee. Democratic voices across Bengal have decided that they will make sure that TMC this time loses the assembly elections.”
She further stated, “We are grateful that the people of Bengal are coming out in large numbers to support us either in the Yatras or programs that are being conducted by our senior leadership. This indicates that this time in West Bengal the lotus will bloom.”
Violence was reported in Kolkata on February 24 when a clash broke out between Trinamool Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party when BJP’s Parivartan Yatra reached Amherst Street.
“Mamata Banerjee has nothing to say about development. The BJP has taken an oath to lead West Bengal towards development,” Irani remarked.
Irani started her roadshow from police para, Dhalai Bridge, Pachpota, in South 24 Parganas on a campaign vehicle. However, after a short while, she got down and rode a scooter.
The fight to power is getting intense in Bengal especially between TMC, BJP and Left-Congress alliance with each party trying to reach the masses, highlighting each other’s failures and projecting an assurance.
West Bengal is gearing up for the upcoming assembly elections for 294 seats this year. The tenure of the current govt in the state is coming to an end on May 30. (ANI)
Reliance Industries thanks Mumbai police for prompt action after explosives found near Mukesh Ambani’s house
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 26 (ANI): Reliance Industries on Friday thanked Mumbai Police for the prompt action it took after explosive materials were found in a vehicle outside group chairman Mukesh Ambani’s residence on Thursday.
“We are thankful to the Mumbai Police for their quick and immediate action. We are confident that the Mumbai Police will complete a thorough investigation quickly,” the Reliance Industries Limited spokesperson told mediapersons.
“Some amount of Gelatin was found in the vehicle. The vehicle was seized by the police. The offence has been registered under relevant sections of the IPC and Explosive Substances Act. A letter was found in the vehicle. As the investigation is in the preliminary stage, we cannot share contents now,” the Mumbai Police PRO told ANI.
According to sources, the handwritten “threat letter” in “broken English” was addressed to Mukesh Ambani and his wife Neeta Ambani.
The suspect who parked the car (near Mukesh Ambani’s house yesterday) was seen in CCTV footage but has not been identified as he was wearing a face mask and his head was covered with a hoodie, said Mumbai Police.
Mumbai Police has deployed its personnel outside Ambani’s house after explosive materials were found near his residence on Thursday.
A car carrying unassembled explosive materials was found abandoned at Carmichael Road in South Mumbai on Thursday evening, near the house of Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani.
The bomb squad and police teams are conducting a probe.
According to the Mumbai Police, a Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) examined the vehicle and found gelatin, a substance often used to make explosives. (ANI)
ISF to participate in Brigade Meeting called by Left, Cong
Hooghly (West Bengal) [India], February 26 (ANI): Indian Secular Front (ISF) will participate in Brigade Meeting called by the Left parties and Congress on February 28, “to save democracy and fight together,” the Furfura Sharif cleric Abbas Siddiqui said on Friday.
Siddiqui, who announced his outfit today said that an agreement was reached with the Left parties with regard to seat sharing and that ISF would contest on 30 seats.
He said that ISF that discussions are ongoing with the Left parties and Congress regarding seat sharing.
“We have got 30 seats as per our choice and are in talks regarding three to four more seats. We have not reached a clear agreement with Congress on seat-sharing and the talks are on with them. We have demanded 70-80 seats. We want to contest from Nandigram seat,” said Siddiqui.
The newly formed ISF’s leader had on Tuesday said that his party will not oppose Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) in the upcoming West Bengal Assembly polls.
“Asad Sahab came to Bengal. He came to our darbar sharif. We have told him that we are standing with him. I believe in the 2021 Assembly election votes should not be divided and thus wherever Asad Sahab’s party will contest we should not field candidates. It is important to support him. The talks are going on across the table,” Mr Siddiqui told ANI.
During his first visit to Bengal after the announcement of contesting the West Bengal Assembly polls, Owaisi held a discussion at Furfura Sharif in Hooghly district with Abbas Siddiqui.
Since February 16, two rounds of meetings took place between Congress, Left and the ISF.
West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the final decision on seat sharing between the Congress and Left Front for the Assembly elections is yet to be taken as both the parties want to give ‘space’ to other parties interested in this alliance, reported ANI.
Elections for 294 Assembly seats in West Bengal will be held this year. (ANI)
Mamata Banerjee announces hike for daily wage workers
New Delhi [India], February 26 (ANI): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced a hike in wages of daily wage workers under the state’s urban employment scheme.
Taking to Twitter, Banerjee said a total of 56,500 workers (40,500 unskilled, 8,000 semi-skilled, 8,000 skilled) will benefit from this move.
“I am pleased to announce a hike in the wages of daily wage workers under WB Urban Employment Scheme: To Rs 202 per day from Rs 144 earlier for unskilled labour, to Rs 303 from Rs 172 earlier for semi-skilled, Rs 404 for skilled labour (new category introduced),” she tweeted.
“A total of 56,500 workers (40,500 unskilled, 8,000 semi-skilled, 8,000 skilled) will benefit from this. These wages are in parity with rural workers’ enhanced pay (MNREGA unskilled & semi-skilled). Budget provision for this step has been made available for both FY21 & FY22,” Banerjee said in another tweet.
These announcements came on a day when the Election Commission of India is scheduled to announce Assembly election dates of five states/Union Territory including West Bengal. (ANI)
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