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SC allows ‘bhoomi pujan’ but bars construction in Central Vista project

Ashish Sinha

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday granted permission to the Centre to proceed with the “bhumi pujan” (foundation stone-laying ceremony) of the Central Vista project on 10 December. It, however, also made it clear that the Centre cannot carry out any construction or demolition at the project site till the court pronounces its judgement in the petitions challenging the project.

The top court in its order clarified that the authorities would be free to continue with procedural processes without altering the status of the site(s) in question in any manner, including to continue with the scheduled programme of foundation stone-laying on 10 December. The top court also said: “After interacting with the Solicitor General and when the concern of the Court was expressed, on instructions, the Solicitor General stated that there will be no construction activity of any nature on the concerned site(s) nor demolition of any structure will be done, including the further trans-location of tree(s) will be kept in abeyance, until the pronouncement of judgment in all these cases”.

During the hearing, the court told SG Tushar Mehta: “We have listed this matter because of certain developments we came across in public domain. We never thought you will go ahead so aggressively with construction. The fact that there is no stay does not mean you can go ahead with everything.”

SG Tushar Mehta assured the court that “Centre will not carry out any construction, demolition or translocation of trees at the site of the Central Vista project in the heart of national capital Delhi till the Supreme Court decides on petitions challenging the project”.

On 5 November, the court had reserved orders on a batch of petitions filed by Rajeev Suri, Anuj Srivastava and others which challenged the manner in which the Central Vista project got various clearances.

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TAMIL NADU EXTENDS LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS WITH SOME RELAXATIONS TILL NOV 15

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CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government has further extended the lockdown restrictions till November 15 with some relaxations in the state to stop the spread of Covid-19.

The order passed on Saturday by the state government, allows Intra and inter-district and inter-State air-conditioned buses, except Kerala to occupy 100% seats from November 1.

“All school classes will be allowed to open and function on an alternate basis,” reads the order. As per the official release, Cinema theatre halls can fill up 100 per cent seats from November 1st. Bars in the state can reopen once again. However, functions and political gatherings are still banned in the southern state.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu reported 1,140 new COVID-19 cases and 17 deaths in the last 24 hours, as per the medical bulletin released on Saturday. As many as 1,374 patients recovered in the last 24 hours.

Further, there are 13,280 active cases in the state . COVID-19 

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U’khand: SDRF rescues 60 people, recovers five bodies from rain-hit Bageshwar district

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Bageshwar State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) has so far rescued a total of 60 people trapped due to heavy rains and retrieved five bodies during search and rescue operations in various parts of Bageshwar district of Uttarakhand.

As per SDRF’s statement, from the Sunderdhunga Glacier region, four people have been rescued while one is still missing. Five bodies have also been recovered from the region.“23 people have been rescued from Kafni Glacier while 33 have been rescued from Pindari Glacier,” SDRF said.

In the other areas, SDRF personnel are searching for people via foot. Another team of personnel is scheduled to conduct searches via helicopters on Sunday.

“The rescue operation is being monitored closely by the Inspector General of Police, SDRF, Pushpak Jyoti; Deputy Inspector General of Police, SDRF, Ridhim Agarwal; and General SDRF, Navneet Singh. All necessary guidelines have been issued to rescue teams,” the release added.

SDRF has been conducting search and rescue operations in the various parts of the rain-affected states since October 17.

Amid torrential rains, the hilly state has witnessed flooded roads, buildings, landslides, and overflowing rivers leaving people stranded. As per official data, the death toll in the rain-battered Uttarakhand has mounted to 64 and 11 people are still missing.

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ANARCHY PLAYING OUT IN PUNJAB CONG UNIT: TEWARI

Manish Tewari further said that history would record that the appointment of the Committee that ostensibly heard perceived and real grievances was a serious error of judgement.

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Amidst the ongoing political crisis in Punjab Congress, senior party leader Manish Tewari alleged that chaos and anarchy are being played out at the Punjab state unit and added that people are disgusted by the daily “soap opera”.

Days after All India Congress Committee (AICC) appointed Harish Chaudhary as Punjab and Chandigarh in-charge, party leader Harish Rawat on Friday said that he is satisfied that Punjab Congress will progress on the path of development, adding that now he can focus on his new responsibility as Uttarakhand Congress campaign committee chairman.

In a series of tweets, Tewari today said, “Respected Harish Rawat ji! Since you referred to me in an interview, I also have great regard and respect for you, going back to days when I headed NSUI and you @CongressSevadal. However, in my 40 years plus in @INCIndia, I have never seen such chaos….”

“…,anarchy as what is playing out in @INCPunjab today. Repeated open defiance of AICC by a PCC President, colleagues squabbling publicly with each other like children. Guttural language against each other that even fish wives would not use. For the past five months, it is @INCPunjab….,” he tweeted.

His tweet further read, “vs @INCPunjab. Do we think that the people of Punjab are not disgusted by this daily soap opera? Irony is that those who complained loudest of transgressions and aberrations were unfortunately and continue to be worst offenders themselves.”

Tewari further said that history would record that the appointment of the Committee that ostensibly heard perceived and real grievances was a serious error of judgement. “Where is progress on the issues that agitated these MLA’s and other eminences- Bargari, Drugs, Power PPA’s, illegal sand mining. Has there been any movement forward…….,” he tweeted.

Punjab Assembly polls are scheduled to be held next year.

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Adhir calls Mamata ‘PM Modi’s middleman’, says she is helping BJP by opposing Congress

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West Bengal

Senior Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Saturday called West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “middleman” and accused her of helping Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by opposing the Congress.

While speaking to ANI here today, Chowdhury said, “Mamata Banerjee is helping BJP by opposing Congress. She is becoming a middleman of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” “When Sonia Gandhi chaired a meeting of opposition parties in August, Mamata participated but soon after, Enforcement Directorate (ED) called Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Abhishek Banerjee for questioning. It’s clear that PM Modi does not want the opposition to get stronger. It looks like they had an agreement that ‘Delhi yours, Kolkata ours’ otherwise she would not have spoken useless things about Congress,” added the Congress leader.

The Congress leader’s attack on the TMC supremo came after the TMC in its mouthpiece ‘Jago Bangla’ had said that Mamata Banerjee should be the face of the opposition against PM Modi and not Congress’s Rahul Gandhi.

The editorial also said that Congress has become irrelevant, calling TMC as the “real Congress”.

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DELHI LOGS 37 NEW COVID-19 CASES, NO DEATHS FOR SECOND CONSECUTIVE DAY

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Delhi recorded 37 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday and no single death was reported for the second consecutive day. According to Delhi Health Bulletin, as many as 25,091 have succumbed to the disease so far in the national capital. The total count of coronavirus cases in the city has gone up to 14,39,603. The city has 320 active cases at present. The case fatality rate in the national capital is 1.74%. The positivity rate is 0.06%. With 51 more persons discharged in the last 24 hours, the total number of discharged patients has gone up to 14,14,192.

As many as 2,90,32,667 Covid-19 tests have been conducted in Delhi including 47,902 RT-PCR tests and 12,802 rapid antigen tests conducted in the last 24 hours. As many as 73,833 beneficiaries were vaccinated in the last 24 hours taking cumulative beneficiaries to 71,52,597.

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PM Modi to launch Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana during UP visit today

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Uttar Pradesh on Monday. According to Prime Minister’s office, at around 10.30 am in Siddharthnagar, Prime Minister will inaugurate nine medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh. “Subsequently, at around 1.15 pm in Varanasi, Prime Minister will launch Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana. He will also inaugurate various development projects worth more than Rs 5200 crore for Varanasi,” PMO said.

According to the official release, Prime Minister Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana (PMASBY) will be one of the largest pan-India schemes for strengthening healthcare infrastructure across the country. It will be in addition to the National Health Mission.

The objective of PMASBY is to fill critical gaps in public health infrastructure, especially in critical care facilities and primary care in both urban and rural areas. “It will provide support for 17,788 rural Health and Wellness Centres in 10 High Focus states. Further, 11,024 urban Health and Wellness Centres will be established in all the states,” the release said.

The release said that critical care services will be available in all the districts of the country with more than 5 lakh population, through Exclusive Critical Care Hospital Blocks, while the remaining districts will be covered through referral services.

Under the scheme, the release said that people will have access to a full range of diagnostic services in the public healthcare system through a network of laboratories across the country. Integrated Public Health Labs will be set up in all the districts.

Under PMASBY, a National Institution for One Health, four New National Institutes for Virology, a Regional Research Platform for WHO southeast Asia Region, nine Biosafety Level III laboratories, five New Regional National Centre for Disease Control will be set up.

PMASBY targets to build an IT-enabled disease surveillance system by developing a network of surveillance laboratories at block, district, regional and national levels, in Metropolitan areas. Integrated Health Information Portal will be expanded to all States/UTs to connect all public health labs, said PMO.

“PMASBY also aims at the Operationalisation of 17 new Public Health Units and strengthening of 33 existing Public Health Units at Points of Entry, for effectively detecting, investigating, preventing, and combating Public Health Emergencies and Disease Outbreaks. It will also work towards building up trained frontline health workforce to respond to any public health emergency,” it added. Notably, nine medical colleges to be inaugurated are situated in the districts of Siddharthnagar, Etah, Hardoi, Pratapgarh, Fatehpur, Deoria, Ghazipur, Mirzapur and Jaunpur. Of these, eight medical colleges have been sanctioned under the Centrally sponsored scheme for “Establishment of new medical colleges attached with district/ referral hospitals” and one medical college at Jaunpur has been made functional by the state government through its own resources. “Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme, preference is given to underserved, backward and aspirational districts. The Scheme aims to increase the availability of health professionals, correct the existing geographical imbalance.”

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