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PM Modi To Inaugurate 1st Multi-Modal Terminal On Ganga River In Varanasi

The multi-modal terminals are being built as part of the central government’s Jal Marg Vikas Project.

Lucknow: 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the first multi-modal terminal on the Ganga river in Varanasi on November 12 under a project aimed at promoting inland waterways as a cheaper and more environment-friendly means of transport.

This is the first of the three such terminals and two inter-modal terminals being constructed on the river, according to an official release today.

The multi-modal terminals are being built as part of the central government’s Jal Marg Vikas Project that aims to develop the stretch of the river Ganga between Varanasi and Haldia for navigation of large vessels weighing up to 1,500-2,000 tonnes, it said.

The objective is to promote inland waterways as a cheaper and more environment-friendly means of transport, especially for cargo movement.

The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the project implementing agency.

The Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) is being implemented on the Haldia-Varanasi stretch of National Waterway-1 (NW-1) with the technical assistance and investment support of the World Bank. It is being built at an estimated cost of Rs 5,369.18 crore, on a 50:50 sharing basis between the Government of India and the World Bank.

The project entails construction of three multi-modal terminals (Varanasi, Sahibganj and Haldia); two intermodal terminals; five roll on-roll off (Ro-Ro) terminal pairs; new navigation lock at Farakka; assured depth dredging; integrated vessel repair and maintenance facility, differential global positioning system (DGPS), river information system (RIS), river training and river conservancy works, the release said.

Operation, management and further development of the terminal is proposed to be entrusted to an operator on public-private partnership model and selection of the operator through an international competitive bidding is at an advanced stage and is expected to be completed by December.

The project of multi-modal terminal and proposed freight village in Varanasi are expected to generate 500 direct employment and more than 2,000 indirect employment opportunities.

The prime minister will also receive India’s first container vessel that sailed from Kolkata on October 30, carrying cargo belonging to PEPSICO (India) from Kolkata to Varanasi.

Container movement on an inland waterway in India is being done for the first time post-Independence, the release said.

The IWAI vessel, MV Rabindranath Tagore, is transporting 16 containers equivalent to 16 truckloads of food and snacks and is expected to reach Varanasi on November 11. It will make its return journey with fertilisers from IFFCO.

At a separate event, the prime minister will inaugurate two national highways projects – the Babatpur-Varanasi Airport Road and Varanasi Ring Road.

He will also inaugurate some sewerage projects in the city and lay the foundation stone of a project under the National Mission for Clean Ganga. 







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Dead American Missionary John Allen Chau Was Carrying Football, Fish For Andaman Sentinelese Tribe

Police officials in Andaman Islands are trying to recover John Allen Chau’s body.

Port Blair: 

An American missionary killed in a hail of arrows by an island tribe untouched by modern civilisation was bent on converting them to Christianity, it emerged Thursday.

John Allen Chau, 27, was attacked last week as he illegally set foot on the remote North Sentinel Island in the Indian Ocean, after paddling his kayak towards the shore carrying fish and a football as gifts, according to a journal quoted by different media.

He was crying: “My name is John. I love you and Jesus loves you… Here is some fish!”

Tribespeople fired arrows at him, one of then piercing his Bible, and he returned to a fishermen’s boat and spent the night writing about his experiences before going back to the island the next day.

He never returned.

North Sentinel in the Bay of Bengal is home to the Sentinelese people, believed to number only around 150. To protect their way of life, foreigners and Indians are banned from going within five kilometres (three miles) of the island.

The tribe is known to be hostile to outsiders, having reportedly killed two fishermen whose boat drifted onto the island in 2006, and to have thrown spears at a helicopter checking for damage after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Chau called himself an “outbound collective explorer” and “snakebite survivor” on his purported Instagram account.

Authorities in the Andaman Islands, of which North Sentinel is one, say that Chau, paid local fishermen to take him off the shore so that he could paddle the rest of the way himself.

“You guys might think I’m crazy in all this but I think it’s worthwhile to declare Jesus to these people,” the reports quoted a letter to his parents as saying.

“Please do not be angry at them or at God if I get killed,” he said.

“I can’t wait to see them around the throne of God worshipping in their own language as Revelations 7:9-10 states,” he wrote, referring to the apocalyptic final book of the Bible’s New Testament.

“God, I don’t want to die.”

Fishermen saw the tribe burying his body on the beach the following day, a fellow missionary wrote in an email to his mother, the Washington Post reported.

“I believe he is still alive,” Lynda Adams-Chau said in a short email to the US daily. Asked why, she replied: “My prayers.”

‘Highly sensitive’

The police have consulted field experts including anthropologists, and tribal welfare and forest officers to help them try and retrieve Chau’s body.

“We have to take care that we must not disturb them or their habitat by any means. It is a highly sensitive zone and it will take some time,” Dependra Pathak, local chief of police, told AFP.

He said that a helicopter and then a ship were sent to the area to identify where the incident took place, and that they were holding talks with experts on how best to handle the delicate situation.

“We maintained a distance from the island and have not yet been able to spot the body. It may take some more days and… (reconnaissance) of the area,” Mr Pathak said.

Since authorities keep away from the island, it was unclear whether Chau’s killing will have legal repercussions.

Police officials said a murder case had been registered against “unknown” tribespeople and that the fishermen who allegedly helped Chau get to the island were arrested.

London-based Survival International, which defends tribal rights, said that the “tragedy” of the American’s death “should never have been allowed to happen”.

“The Indian authorities should have been enforcing the protection of the Sentinelese and their island for the safety of both the tribe and outsiders,” it said.







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Cabinet Clears Kartarpur Corridor Project Aimed At Providing Easy Passage To Pilgrims To Visit Historic Pak Gurudwara

Cabinet Clears Kartarpur Corridor Project Aimed At Providing Easy Passage To Pilgrims To Visit Historic Pak Gurudwara





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Eviction Notice Of Herald House In High Court Today

National Herald Case: The government had given a notice to AJL to evict Herald House by November 15

New Delhi: 

The Delhi High Court, which had ordered “status quo” in a case involving land leased to the publishers of Congress-linked newspaper National Herald, will hear the case today.

Associated Journals Limited, which owns National Herald, had gone to the high court last Monday challenging a government order on October 30 cancelling its 56-year-old lease and asking it to vacate the building, Herald House, by November 15.

One of the reasons mentioned in the order to vacate the building (Hearld House) was that no newspaper office has been functioning on the premises for last 10 years and the building was being used only for “commercial purposes” against the conditions on the lease agreement.

Last week, Congress leaders approached the Delhi High Court alleging that the eviction at Herald House had started even before the court had decided on the petition by Associated Journals. “It is malicious prosecution and an impugned order vitiated by malafides and ulterior political motives,” said Congress leader and lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi, during the hearing.

The court then ordered a status quo till today, to which Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was representing the government’s Land and Development Office, gave the assurance of no action until then.

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The government has ordered the eviction of Herald House, owned by the publishers of Congress-linked newspaper National Herald

Accusing the government of acting with “revenge” and “malice” against the National Herald newspaper, the Congress said last Thursday that it will fight the government with the “same zeal and spirit” as it fought the “oppressive British” and thwart efforts to “silence” the voice of the newspaper.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the Modi government is “blinded by revenge” in targeting the National Herald, the newspaper founded by Jawaharlal Nehru and other freedom fighters to take on the British.

The eviction order by the government gave a new twist to the National Herald case, which has been described by the BJP as a prime example of corruption by the Congress and the Gandhi family.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has alleged that Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi – the Congress president – set up a company to buy debts worth Rs 90 crore owed by Associated Journals, which publishes three newspapers including National Herald, founded by Jawaharlal Nehru – Rahul Gandhi’s great-grandfather – before he became India’s first prime minister.

In 2008, Associated Journals had shut down because its debts. The BJP alleges that the Gandhis (Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi) used Congress party funds to pay off its debts even though the publisher has real estate assets worth thousands of crores.

On November 12, National Herald tweeted that it was being targeted by the BJP government for its growing digital presence.

In 2012, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had filed a case against then Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi, alleging irregularities related to a loan of Rs 90 crore given by the Congress to Associated Journals limited.

Young Indian (YI), which was incorporated in November 2010 with a capital of Rs. 50 lakh, had acquired almost all shareholdings of the AJL, which owns the National Herald newspaper. In this process, YI had also acquired AJL’s debt of Rs. 90 crore.

Young Indian, which has Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi as directors, gives Herald House as its registered office address.
 







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