New Delhi [India], February 21 (ANI): The Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal on Sunday has dedicated series of projects for the development of rail infrastructure in poll-bound West Bengal.
He said that the Ministry has taken up on itself to contribute big time to the mission of “Sonar Bangla”.
Goyal has inaugurated various infrastructure development and passenger amenity-related works in the North Bengal area through video conferencing in presence of other dignitaries at different locations.
Speaking on the occasion, Goyal said, “Railways is serving the nation in an extraordinary way. Railways has taken up on itself to contribute big time to the mission of Sonar Bangla. Railways would be fully electrified in 3 years in West Bengal and all ongoing projects will be completed at the earliest.”
He also added that North Bengal is beautiful naturally; the development of this region would attract more tourists. Indian Railways is committed to the holistic development of the region.
The 126 route kilometer newly electrified section from New Jalpaiguri to New Coochbehar dedicated today is part of the Railway electrification work which is going on to achieve 100 per cent electrification of Indian Railways’ network.
According to the Railways Ministry, this section is vital for train movement towards northeastern states. With electrification making steady progress in this area more trains carrying freights and passengers can be operated in an environment-friendly manner with less carbon – emission.
It stated this project costing about Rs 287 crores will lead to huge savings in the consumption of fossil fuels. Railway electrification of the whole of NF Railway was sanctioned in the budget of 2018 and it is targeted to be completed by December 2023.
The official statement of the Ministry said that the Haldibari station bordering Bangladesh has been constructed considering the need for the future economic development of this area. The new station has 3 passenger platforms with 26 coach capacity and two goods lines.
The entire construction of the new station building at Haldibari along with other works like construction of a new circulating area, running rooms, the signaling system was constructed at a cost of about Rs 82.72 crores.
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the railway link between Haldibari in India and Chilahati in Bangladesh during the PM level virtual bilateral summit in December last year.
With an aim to provide better amenities and convenience to passengers, the Alipurduar Jn station has been re-developed to meet the operational requirement. The New Station building with improved aesthetics in pursuant to local culture was built at a cost of Rs. 8.11 crore, the Ministry said.
The Railways has been providing new lifts and escalators in all important stations for the benefit of passengers. Construction of two new lifts for use of passenger at the Alipurduar Jn station, built at a cost of about Rs. 80.8 lakhs will prove to be very helpful for passengers especially senior citizens and Divyangs to move from platforms – 1, 2, and 3 to other platforms.
The Railways is installing high mast flags in all important stations throughout the country. One such high must flag installed at the New Coochbehar station has also been dedicated to the Nation, the Ministry said. (ANI)
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One terror associate held by security forces in J-K’s Pulwama; hand grenade seized
Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], March 1 (ANI): One terror associate Muzamil Qadir Bhat, was arrested by Jammu and Kashmir Police along with 42 Rashtriya Rifles and 180 battalions of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) from Lorow Jagir Tral village in Pulwama on Monday.
The forces seized incriminating material of Jaish-e-Mohammad and a hand grenade from the accused.
Bhat is a resident of Lorow Jagir Tral, a village in Pulwama.
A case has been registered against the accused. (ANI)
PM Modi wishes Nitish Kumar on his birthday
New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday wished Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on his birthday and praised him for undertaking numerous measures for the development of the state.
“Best wishes to Bihar CM @NitishKumar Ji on his birthday. Under his leadership, the NDA Government in Bihar is undertaking numerous measures for developing the state. Praying for his long and healthy life,” PM Modi tweeted.
Janata Dal (United) workers are celebrating Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s 70th birthday as ‘Vikas Diwas’ across the state.
According to the sources, Nitish Kumar may take the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on his birthday at 1 pm.
The party workers also distributed laddus (sweets), notebooks, pencils and milk among the poor in Patna. (ANI)
CM Palaniswami doesn’t represent State, he represents what Centre wants him to do: Rahul Gandhi
Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu) [India], March 1 (ANI):Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday took aim at Chief Minister and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) while campaigning in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi, saying Palaniswami has been acting on the directions of the Centre and dosen’t represent the state.
“He (CM) must not let Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) insult Tamil culture. Modi says ‘1 nation, 1 culture, 1 history’. Is Tamil not an Indian language? Is Tamil history not Indian or is Tamil culture not Indian? As an Indian, it’s my duty to protect Tamil culture, said Rahul Gandhi on the second day of his visit to poll-bound Tamil Nadu.
“Government in Delhi doesn’t respect Tamil culture. They have a Chief Minister who does everything they say. CM (E.K. Palaniswami) doesn’t represent State, he represents what Modi wants him to do. A person who bows before only Prime Minister Narendra Modi can’t represent Tamil Nadu,” said Rahul Gandhi at a roadshow in Kanyakumari, during a roadshow in Kanyakumari as a part of his campaign for the April 6 assembly elections.
Earlier, the Congress leader recalled former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Kumaraswami Kamaraj for his leadership quality and said that when it came to implementing the mid-day meal in the state, the leader did not care about the economists’ opinion that it would be a bad idea he only listened to the people and introduced the scheme.
Cornering the Central government, the Wayanad MP alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government does not respect the people of Tamil Nadu, their culture and language.
He further said the Congress party looks forward to a government in Tamil Nadu that looks after the interest of farmers, small businesses and labourers.
On Saturday, Gandhi had slammed the Union Government, stating that the Centre thinks they can control the people of Tamil Nadu. He even targeted Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and alleged that he is a corrupt leader.
Tamil Nadu assembly elections will be held in a single phase on April 6 and the counting of votes will be done on May 2, the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Friday.
Polls will be held for 234 seats in Tamil Nadu with the Congress-DMK and BJP-AIADMK alliance being the major groups contesting against each other. (ANI)
16 lakh earthen lamps lit in Indore; Kailash Vijayvargiya, others participate
Indore (Madhya Pradesh) [India], March 1 (ANI): As many as 16 lakh earthen lamps were lit during an event organised by BJP General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya around ‘Pitr Parvat’ here on Sunday, the event is said to be the largest ‘deep daan’ in the world.
Thousands of people arrived at the event, lit lamps and also saw the world’s largest octa metal made Hanuman statue.
Lamps dedicated to Ayodhya were lit first by sadhus following which Kailash Vijayvargiya and Minister Tulsi Silavat lit the lamps along with other devotees.
Kailash Vijayvargiya and his MLA son Akash Vijayvargiya also read Hanuman Chalisa to improve the health of hospitalised MP Nand Kumar Singh Chauhan.
From the road to the top, ‘Pitr Parvat’ was illuminated with the light of the earthen lamps.
Speaking at the occasion Vijayvargiya said, “From the blessings of sants, this event was organised and 16 lakh lamps are lit, which is an amazing visual. I believe that Lord Hanuman is present here, because Lord Hanuman is immortal and whenever devotees call Him he is present in some form.” (ANI)
JDU workers celebrate Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s 70th birthday as ‘Vikas Diwas’
Patna (Bihar) [India], March 1 (ANI): Janata Dal (United) workers on Monday are celebrating Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s 70th birthday as ‘Vikas Diwas’ across state.
Workers also offered prayers at Mahavir Temple near Station Golambar in Patna.
The party workers also distributed laddus (sweets), notebooks, pencils and milk among the poor in Patna.
According to the sources, Nitish Kumar may take the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on his birthday at 1 pm.
They will also cut a 70-pound cake at the party’s headquarters in the state capital here and will also offer milk at his picture.
Besides this, all party workers will gather at their respective polling booths to celebrate the leader’s birthday. (ANI)
Second phase of Covid-19 vaccination drive begins
New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): The second phase of the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive for age-appropriate population groups began on Monday with the Union Health Ministry calling out eligible people to get an appointment at respective hospitals in the country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first ones to receive the Covid-19 vaccine on Monday as vaccination opened for the general population, beginning with people above 60 and those with co-morbidities above 45.
Citizens will be able to register and book an appointment for vaccination, anytime and anywhere, using the COWIN 2.0 portal or through other IT (information technology) applications such as Arogya Setu, etc.
The Central government released a new framework for Co-WIN2.0 on Sunday.
According to the new framework, the schedule of vaccination of eligible beneficiaries will be closely linked with the availability of vaccine doses. The states and Union Territories will determine the target number of doses to be administered in a vaccination cycle.
“The target number of doses is to be determined considering the available stocks and the requirement of further vaccine stocks for the second dose since, when a beneficiary is being vaccinated with the first dose, Co-WIN will automatically confirm the appointment of the beneficiary for the second dose at the same vaccination centre,” the government said.
To avoid confusion and problems in physical queue management at COVID-19 Vaccination Centre (CVC), the central government has recommended that one particular CVC may be either fully reserved or their full capacity is opened for online self-appointment.
On the other hand, if a CVC has both reserved and open slots, session timings for open slots must be carefully selected to avoid overlap of beneficiaries.
On Saturday, the government informed that from March 1, the nationwide vaccination program is now to be exponentially expanded to all citizens above 60 years of age, and those within the age bracket of 45 to 59 years with specified co-morbidities.
“Health Departments of State governments have already initiated dialogue with these private hospitals so that they can be encouraged to participate in this drive as CVCs. A list of all these private hospitals has been uploaded on the website of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the National Health Authority,” the government said in a release.
In addition, there would be government health facilities that will be used as CVCs such as medical college hospitals, district hospitals, sub-divisional hospitals, CHCs, PHCs, Health Sub Centres and Health and Wellness Centres. Geo reference maps with GPS coordinates of all these health facilities have been prepared that will serve as CVCs and these Geo referenced maps are being shared with the states, the release said.
The Central government also said that states were informed about the three methods of registration, i.e., advance self-registration, onsite registration and facilitated cohort registration.
States have been informed that private hospitals functioning as CVCs can charge subject to a ceiling of Rs 250 per person per dose along with the electronic and financial management mechanism in this regard. User names and passwords to be provided to the private facilities to facilitate effective use of Co-WIN 2.0, were also discussed during the meeting.
In addition, mapping of private facilities with the nearest cold chain points to ensure a seamless flow of vaccines to them was explained to the states.
The simplified system of certifying people with 20 co-morbidities within the 45-59 years age group was also explained to the states. The simplified one-page certificate is to be signed by any registered medical practitioner. The certificate can either be uploaded on Co-WIN2.0 by the beneficiary while self-registering or a hard copy can be carried by the beneficiary to the CVC.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16, 2021. The vaccination of the frontline workers started on February 2. (ANI)
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