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Uttarakhand glacier burst: CM releases Rs 20 cr from SDRF for rescue, relief operations

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Chamoli (Uttarakhand) [India], February 8 (ANI): In view of the Uttarakhand glacier burst, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat directed the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to release Rs 20 crore funds to carry out rescue and relief operations in the state.
Rawat also reviewed the disaster relief and rescue operations with senior officials today, according to a release by the state government.
Ration and relief materials transported by helicopter to villages that were cut off from connectivity.
The Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat had held a meeting with senior officials of the government, disaster management, police, Army, and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) officials in the secretariat to get an update on the status of relief and rescue operations in the Reni area of Joshimath.
He instructed the officers that adequate food items should be available in the area.
“All necessary materials should be available on time to the personnel engaged in relief and rescue operations,” Rawat said.
The Chief Minister directed the officers to conduct a survey of sensitive places from time to time and SDRF teams should also be deployed near sensitive locations.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) will be released for financial assistance to the families of the missing people.
Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Om Prakash said that the government intends to provide financial assistance to the families of the missing people. An SOP will be issued soon to decide its procedure.
Rescue operations continued throughout the day even on the second day of the disaster in Chamoli district on Sunday. The district administration Chamoli is providing ration, medical and essential items to the 13 villages of Niti Valley through chopper due to the road bridge overflowing in the disaster.
A glacial broke in the Tapovan-Reni area of Chamoli District of Uttarakhand on Sunday, which led to massive flooding in Dhauliganga and Alaknanda rivers and damaged houses and the nearby Rishiganga power project.
So far, the bodies of 24 people have been recovered from different places following the avalanche, Uttarakhand Police said. (ANI)

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Siddaramaiah urges PM Modi to ensure every Indian is vaccinated against COVID-19 at zero cost

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], March 5 (ANI): Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider the decision of the central government to allow private healthcare centres to charge Rs 250 for administering the COVID-19 vaccine and ensure that every Indian is vaccinated against COVID-19 at zero cost.
In a letter (dated March 5, 2021) to Prime Minister, the Congress leader said it is essential to make the vaccines accessible and available to everyone.
“India has approved two vaccines for administration in many phases but the progress is very slow. India has only administered 0.5 per cent or less of the population while other countries are making huge strides to increase the immunity among its people. Israel has vaccinated 36 per cent of the population, the United States of America 6 per cent and the UK 4 per cent. India can progress only when the vaccines are widely available at zero cost to the population,” he said.
The decision of the Central Government to allow private healthcare centres to charge Rs 250 for administering the vaccine will “adversely impact the efforts to ensure immunity to everyone and to contain the spread,” Siddaramaiah said.
“More than 70 per cent of the population will find it difficult to afford the vaccine and may prevent them from accessing it . This will act as a deterrent for our fight against pandemic and return to normalcy,” he claimed.
Leader of Opposition, Karnataka Legislative Assembly said that many countries, across the world, including Brazil, Canada, United States of America and the United Kingdom, have made COVID-19 vaccines free of cost and “it is the right approach to ensure speedy administration to everyone.”
Targetting the central government over PM Cares fund, Siddaramaiah said, “Though it is the right approach to collaborate with private health centres, both Central and State governments should take the burden to reimburse. One of the narratives built during the collection of funds through PM Cares was that the funds shall be used to vaccinate everyone at free of cost. The office of the Prime Minister has failed to release the accounts of PM Cares fund and failed to provide vaccination at zero cost as well.”
He urged the Prime Minister of India to reconsider the decision and “ensure that every Indian is vaccinated against COVI-19 at zero cost.”
The price of the coronavirus vaccine at private facilities in the country has been capped at Rs 250 per dose, which includes Rs 100 as a service charge, according to Central government sources.
The Health Ministry has said that the COVID-19 vaccination will be free of charge at government vaccination centres.
India commenced its second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive to inoculate people above 60 years and those over 45 with comorbidities against the coronavirus from March 1. (ANI)

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Siddaramaiah urges PM Modi to ensure every Indian is vaccinated against COVID-19 at zero cost

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], March 5 (ANI): Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider the decision of the central government to allow private healthcare centres to charge Rs 250 for administering the COVID-19 vaccine and ensure that every Indian is vaccinated against COVID-19 at zero cost.
In a letter (dated March 5, 2021) to Prime Minister, the Congress leader said it is essential to make the vaccines accessible and available to everyone.
“India has approved two vaccines for administration in many phases but the progress is very slow. India has only administered 0.5 per cent or less of the population while other countries are making huge strides to increase the immunity among its people. Israel has vaccinated 36 per cent of the population, the United States of America 6 per cent and the UK 4 per cent. India can progress only when the vaccines are widely available at zero cost to the population,” he said.
The decision of the Central Government to allow private healthcare centres to charge Rs 250 for administering the vaccine will “adversely impact the efforts to ensure immunity to everyone and to contain the spread,” Siddaramaiah said.
“More than 70 per cent of the population will find it difficult to afford the vaccine and may prevent them from accessing it . This will act as a deterrent for our fight against pandemic and return to normalcy,” he claimed.
Leader of Opposition, Karnataka Legislative Assembly said that many countries, across the world, including Brazil, Canada, United States of America and the United Kingdom, have made COVID-19 vaccines free of cost and “it is the right approach to ensure speedy administration to everyone.”
Targetting the central government over PM Cares fund, Siddaramaiah said, “Though it is the right approach to collaborate with private health centres, both Central and State governments should take the burden to reimburse. One of the narratives built during the collection of funds through PM Cares was that the funds shall be used to vaccinate everyone at free of cost. The office of the Prime Minister has failed to release the accounts of PM Cares fund and failed to provide vaccination at zero cost as well.”
He urged the Prime Minister of India to reconsider the decision and “ensure that every Indian is vaccinated against COVI-19 at zero cost.”
The price of the coronavirus vaccine at private facilities in the country has been capped at Rs 250 per dose, which includes Rs 100 as a service charge, according to Central government sources.
The Health Ministry has said that the COVID-19 vaccination will be free of charge at government vaccination centres.
India commenced its second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive to inoculate people above 60 years and those over 45 with comorbidities against the coronavirus from March 1. (ANI)

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BMC raids Mumbai night clubs for violating COVID-19 protocols

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 5 (ANI): Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) raided two night clubs for violating the COVID-19 protocols and social distancing norms on Thursday night.
The night clubs namely, R Adda in Juhu and Barrel Mansion in Vile Parle, not just operated beyond 3 am but also flouted all social distancing and pandemic norms. The clubs were over-crowded and people there were not wearing face masks.
Speaking to the media, Mumbai Guardian Minister Aslam Shaikh said that the Covid-19 guidelines are in place but some violations have been observed in restaurants and pubs.
“Detailed guidelines of Covid-19 are in place but still there are violations of the protocols observed especially in restaurant and pubs. The BMC and state police are taking strict action against the violators and we can see some control in the violations,” Shaikh said.
Mumbai Suburbs BJP legislator Yogesh Sagar blamed the state government for the violations.
“Not only in pubs and restaurants but COVID-19 violations are everywhere due to the nightlife in the state which strongly supported by the government,” Sagar said.
“Violations are particularly seen in the constituencies of Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) Ministers from Mumbai,” he added.
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Maharashtra has 86,359 active COVID-19 cases, 20,49,484 recoveries and 52,340 deaths so far. (ANI)

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BMC raids Mumbai night clubs for violating COVID-19 protocols

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 5 (ANI): Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) raided two night clubs for violating the COVID-19 protocols and social distancing norms on Thursday night.
The night clubs namely, R Adda in Juhu and Barrel Mansion in Vile Parle, not just operated beyond 3 am but also flouted all social distancing and pandemic norms. The clubs were over-crowded and people there were not wearing face masks.
Speaking to the media, Mumbai Guardian Minister Aslam Shaikh said that the Covid-19 guidelines are in place but some violations have been observed in restaurants and pubs.
“Detailed guidelines of Covid-19 are in place but still there are violations of the protocols observed especially in restaurant and pubs. The BMC and state police are taking strict action against the violators and we can see some control in the violations,” Shaikh said.
Mumbai Suburbs BJP legislator Yogesh Sagar blamed the state government for the violations.
“Not only in pubs and restaurants but COVID-19 violations are everywhere due to the nightlife in the state which strongly supported by the government,” Sagar said.
“Violations are particularly seen in the constituencies of Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) Ministers from Mumbai,” he added.
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Maharashtra has 86,359 active COVID-19 cases, 20,49,484 recoveries and 52,340 deaths so far. (ANI)

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Need to work hard to make manufacturing in India globally competitive, says PM Modi

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New Delhi [India], March 5 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday laid emphasis on working hard to make manufacturing in India globally competitive and said that the government’s thinking is “minimum government, maximum governance”.
Addressing a webinar on the Production Linked Incentives scheme through video conferencing, the Prime Minister said successful efforts have been undertaken to encourage the “Make in India” initiative in the last 6-7 years.
“Manufacturing transforms every aspect of the economy, creating an ecosystem. Increasing manufacturing capabilities increases employment generation. We have examples from all over the world where countries have accelerated the development of the country by increasing their manufacturing capacities,” the Prime Minister said.
“India wants to work with the same approach. Thus, our government has brought one reform after another in this sector. Our policy and strategy are clear in every way. Our thinking is – ‘minimum government, maximum governance’. And we expect ‘zero effect, zero defect’,” he added.
Speaking further, the Prime Minister said: “We need to work hard to make manufacturing in India globally competitive. Our production costs, quality and efficiency of products should leave a mark in the global market and we must work together to make this possible. Our products must be user-friendly, most modern, affordable and sustainable.”
We believe that government interference in everything creates more problems rather than solutions. That is why we are emphasising on self-regulation, self-attesting, self-certification, he said.
Asserting on the need for effective engagement of all stakeholders of development, PM Modi said budget and country’s policy-making should not just remain a government process.
“Union Budget and country’s policy-making shouldn’t just be restricted to a government process. Every stakeholder associated with the development of the country should have an effective engagement in it,” he said.
“We need to take big steps and increase our speed and scale (in manufacturing). After COVID’s experience of the last one year, I’m convinced that it’s India’s responsibility and not just an opportunity to move fast in this direction. Manufacturing transforms every segment of the economy,” he said.
“If Production Linked Incentives is for a sector, it will benefit the entire ecosystem associated with that sector. From Production Linked Incentives in auto and pharma, there will be very less foreign dependence related to auto parts, medical equipment and raw materials of medicines,” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister said the energy sector will be modernised in the country with the help of advanced cell batteries, solar PV modules and steel. Similarly, our Production Linked Incentives will benefit the entire agriculture sector from the textile and food processing sector, he said.
“This year, we are trying to reduce over 6,000 compliances at the state and Central level. Your suggestions and advice are priceless in this relation. With technology, we must reduce such compliances,” he said.
“In the past, industrial incentives were in the form of an open-ended input-based subsidy. Now, it has been transformed to a targeted, performance-based competitive process,” he added. (ANI)

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VP Venkaiah Naidu offers prayers at Lord Balaji temple in Tirumala

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Tirumala (Andhra Pradesh) [India], March 5 (ANI): Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday morning offered prayers at the Lord Balaji temple in Andhra Pradesh’s Tirumala district.
Naidu, who was accompanied by his wife Usha and other family members, reached the temple through Vaikuntham Queue Complex.
“The Vice President, M Venkaiah Naidu today had darshan of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala along with his wife, Usha Naidu and other family members,” read a tweet on the official handle of the Vice President.
“Naidu prayed for peace, prosperity and the well-being of the people in India and the world,” it added.
Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) officials gave him a traditional welcome at the Maha Dwaram area of the temple. After offering prayers, the Vice President was rendered Vedasirvachanam by Vedic pundits. Later he was presented with a portrait of Sri Venkateswara Swamy by a TTD executive officer. (ANI)

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