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Uttarakhand glacier burst: ITBP intensifies search ops to rescue 30 people stranded at Tapovan tunnel

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Chamoli (Uttarakhand) [India], February 8 (ANI): Rescue operations to save at least 30 people who are stranded at a tunnel near Tapovan Dam in Chamoli district is underway while 12 people have already been rescued from another tunnel, said Vivek Pandey, Indo-Tibetan Border Police’s (ITBP) spokesperson on Monday.
The ITBP has deployed 300 personnel to carry out rescue operations at the tunnel.
“We have intensified search operation at the second tunnel. We have information that around 30 people are trapped there. Around 300 ITBP jawans are deployed to clear the tunnel. Local administration says that around 170 people are missing,” said Pandey.
“ITBP rescued 12 people from a tunnel yesterday, these 30 are trapped in a different tunnel. The rescue operation is underway in different areas. More teams will be sent there if it is required, we are focussing on rescuing people from the tunnel first,” he added.
Earlier today, the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) removed the debris and slush at the tunnel near Tapovan dam here in Chamoli district, following the glacier burst which led to heavy flooding in Dhauliganga and Alaknanda rivers.

The force had to wait for the level of the Mandakini river to lower, to commence rescue operations for the people who are stranded in the tunnel.
ITBP, the Indian Army, the SDRF and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) forces are engaged in the retrieval in the affected areas.
Meanwhile, a canine squad has also been deployed to carry out the search operation near the Tapovan dam.

On the other hand, aerial rescue and relief missions have resumed with Mi-17 and ALH helicopters flying from Dehradun to Joshimath with disaster relief teams on board, said the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Tapovan Hydro-Electric Power Dam, also known as Rishi Ganga Project was completely washed off following a glacier burst in the Chamoli, said the Indian Air Force’s initial report as Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) deployed at Joshimath has undertaken recce of affected areas.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakhs each to the kin of those who lost their lives due to the glacial burst.
On the cause of the disaster, the Chief Minister said experts can tell the reason behind the glacier outburst, adding the government is focusing on saving the lives of people and the rescue operation.
A glacial broke in the Tapovan-Reni area of Chamoli District of Uttarakhand on Sunday led to massive flooding in Dhauliganga and Alaknanda rivers and damaged houses and the nearby Rishiganga power project. (ANI)

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Urdu Bulletin: I-T raids on properties of Anurag Kashyap, Taapsee Pannu, COVID-19 vaccination reported prominently

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New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): Thursday’s editions of various Urdu publications gave prominent coverage to the Income Tax department’s raids at the residences and offices of film director Anurag Kashyap and actor Taapsee Pannu in Mumbai.
The publications also reported about the COVID-19 vaccination drive across the country, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s remarks in the Assembly and the results of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) bypolls in five wards.
Inquilab: The newspaper led with the Income Tax department raids at the offices and residences of Kashyap and Pannu. It reported that both of them were interrogated in connection with alleged tax evasion.
The newspaper also highlighted the Supreme Court’s refusal to entertain a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah, seeking a direction to prosecute him for allegedly making a statement on scrapping of Article 370.
The newspaper also reported Maharashtra chief minister Udhav Thackeray’s dig at the Centre over changing the Motera stadium’s name to Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad, and his statement that his party does not need to learn Hindutva from BJP.
Inquilab also published a report in which it said that over 3,000 girls of ‘Khatoon volunteers’ have written an open letter demanding the resignation of Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde for asking a rapist to marry his schoolgoing victim.
Rashtriya Sahara: The newspaper led with the news of MCD bypoll results in which Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won four seats, Congress won one and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) drew a blank.
The newspaper also highlighted the COVID-19 vaccination drive. A report in the newspaper said that over 50 lakh people registered in the last 24 hours on CoWIN portal. It also said that over 1.56 crore people have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Rashtriya Sahara also reported PM Modi’s address at a webinar on the implementation of Union Budget 2021 in the education sector in which he stressed the need to reform the sector by including skill development, research and innovation for a ‘self-reliant India’. (ANI)

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Centre raids pro-farmers: Rahul Gandhi on IT raids at Taapsee-Anurag

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New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday took a dig at the Centre over the IT raids at properties of film director Anurag Kashyap and actor Taapsee Pannu, saying the Central government is targetting those who have been raising their voice in support of the farmers’ protest.
“Some Idioms: ‘Ungaliyon par nachaana’ – Central government does this with IT Dept-ED-CBI. ‘Bheegee billee banana’ – friendly media in front of the central government. ‘khisiyaanee billee khamba noche’ – like the central government makes a raid on the supporters of the farmer. #ModiRaidsProFarmers,” Gandhi said in a tweet.
The raids, which started on Wednesday, continued on Thursday as well with the income tax department carrying out searches at the commerce centre of KWAN Talent Management Agency in Mumbai.
On Wednesday, Income Tax officials conducted raids at the properties of Anurag, Taapsee and film producer Vikas Bahl while carrying out searches at their offices and residences.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav has also slammed the Centre over the raids, terming it as a “political vendetta”.
“BJP misuses institutions like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED), and IT Department for political benefits. It is a political vendetta. There is a dictator who does not want to listen to voices against him. He destroyed all institutions,” Yadav had told ANI.
Both Taapsee and Anurag have been vocal supporters of farmers’ agitation who have been protesting since November 26 last year against the three contentious farm laws.
Farmers are protesting against the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance, and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 at Delhi’s borders. However, the implementation of the three laws was in January put on hold by the Supreme Court.
(ANI)

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Delhi CM receives first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at LNJP hospital

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New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday was administered his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at Delhi government-run LNJP hospital here.
52-year-old Kejriwal has been receiving treatment for diabetes for the last 10 years, hence he is eligible for inoculation under the ongoing phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive.
His parents, who reached the hospital, were also vaccinated.
Speaking after getting the vaccine shot, Kejriwal said: “My parents and I have taken a jab of COVID-19 vaccine at LNJP hospital. We took Covishield. We don’t have any problems (after vaccination) and are in good health. I appeal to those who are eligible for vaccination to come forward to take the vaccine. There are good facilities at LNJP hospital. There is no need to fear. Doubts in people’s mind (about vaccine) no longer exist.”
“We are in touch with the Central government. If needed, we will increase vaccination centres,” he added.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16, 2021, and the vaccination of the Frontline Workers (FLWs) started on February 2. The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced on March 1 for those who are over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan have already been vaccinated against COVID-19.
As per the Health Ministry, a total of 1,66,16,048 vaccine doses have been given to the beneficiaries in the country against COVID-19 till today.
Meanwhile, as many as 17,407 new COVID-19 cases and 89 deaths were reported from India in the last 24 hours. (ANI)

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Odisha’s coastline to emerge epicentre of India’s development: Dharmendra Pradhan

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New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday said that Odisha’s long coastline is going to be the epicentre for the development of India.
“The government-led initiatives in the petroleum and steel sectors will provide impetus to the maritime economy in Odisha. Integration of crucial infrastructures like road, rail and port will lead to the industrial development of the state. Potential for the port-led blue economy will be unlocked with the multi-modal rail, road and air linkages with sea and riverine ports for transport of minerals and goods at much lower logistics cost, he added.
In the 21st century, the maritime economy is going to change the face of the world, especially Odisha and India, the minister said.
Terming Odisha as the energy gateway for eastern India, he urged investors to invest in the development of ports in Odisha adding that the government’s initiatives in the Petroleum and Steel sectors will provide impetus to the maritime economy of Odisha which has immense potential for maritime trade and commerce.
“Odisha has been at the centre of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Purvodaya vision. Massive investment is being made to promote infrastructure development activities across the various industrial and commercial sectors in Odisha, It is emerging as the energy gateway of eastern India,” the Minister urging all stakeholders to unite the efforts as a team to help create an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
Addressing a special session on investment opportunities in Odisha at the maritime India Summit 2021 virtually, the Minister said, Odisha’s coast along with Paradip will be the gateway of growth of the eastern part of the country.
He urged all stakeholders to unite our efforts as a team to help create an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
“Odisha’s long coastline is going to be the epicentre of development and growth in the region.It has natural harbours, rich natural resources, long coastline and skill-able as well as hardworking manpower. The state is uniquely poised to be part of India’s AatmaNirbhar journey and contribute to the country’s target of becoming a five trillion dollar economy,” he said.
“At one point in history, we were one of the prosperous civilization in the world, which is known as the ‘Kalingan Civilization’, ‘Utkaliye Civilization’. There is a lot of anthropological, social evidence on all these issues.
Today we are at the beginning of the 21st century. PM Modi has given a clarion call for the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, for a 5-trillion economy. These are not mere words or concepts only. There are certain actionable points, there are some responsibilities, a concrete plan to achieve all these targets. Every society, every state has its own roadmap. I am happy the Government of Odisha is on a very positive note, preparing itself to be a part of this 5-trillion dollar economy and Atmanirbhar Bharat. (ANI)

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Goa DGP takes first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

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Bambolim (Goa) [India], March 4 (ANI): Goa Director General of Police (DGP) Mukesh Kumar Meena on Thursday morning took the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at Goa Medical College (GMC), Bambolim.
Meena said he has urged all his colleagues to get themselves vaccinated in order to rededicate themselves to the service of the people during the pandemic.
“#goapolice has been on the frontline in the fight against #COVID19. I have urged all my colleagues to get the vaccine as a matter of pride and rededicate themselves to the service of the people during the pandemic. I took the #COVID19Vaccine today, so must you! #goa @goacm @dip_goa,” the DGP Goa tweeted.
The second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive — to inoculate people above 60 years and those over 45 with comorbidities against the coronavirus — began on March 1.
On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi administered the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi. Apart from the Prime Minister, President Ram Nath Kovind and several union ministers, including Amit Shah, S Jaishankar, Jitendra Singh, Dr Harsh Vardhan and several others have also received their first COVID-19 vaccine jabs.
As per the health ministry, a total of 1,66,16,048 vaccine doses have been given to the beneficiaries in the country against COVID-19 till Thursday morning.
Meanwhile, as many as 17,407 new COVID-19 cases and 89 deaths were reported in the country in the last 24 hours. (ANI)

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India reports 17,407 fresh COVID-19 infections, 89 deaths in last 24 hours

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New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): India witnessed a spike of 17,407 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry.
14,031 discharges and 89 deaths were recorded during this period.
The country’s coronavirus tally has reached 1,11,39,516 including 1,08,26,075 recoveries and 1,57,435 deaths.
At present, there are 1,73,413 active coronavirus cases.
With 83,556 active coronavirus infections, Maharashtra has the highest number of cases in the country. Kerala follows with 46,288 active cases.
According to the ministry’s data till March 4, a total of 1,66,16,048 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 so far.
A total of 21,91,78,908 samples were tested for COVID-19 up to March 3, of these, 7,75,631 samples were tested yesterday, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) informed. (ANI)

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