THURSDAY 31 AUGUST 2023 www.thestatesman.com twitter.com/thestatesman facebook.com/thestatesman INDIA’S NATIONAL NEWSPAPER SINCE 1818 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR UN-ASOK VIVEK ‘WILL IMPLEMENT K’TAKA GRUHA LAKSHMI MODEL ACROSS INDIA’ P4 SENSEX 65,087.2511.43 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Rain/Thundershower likely to occur in some areas. Maximum and minimum temperatures likely to be around 34 °C and 28 °C respectively. RAINFALL: 4.5mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 91 % TEMPERATURE P6 NIFTY 19,347.454.80 GOLD 60,000330 The parties have come together to take on the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections CM in Mumbai, visits Big B, Udhav Thackeray STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 30 AUGUST THUMBNAILS NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) chief Uddhav Thackeray, Maharashtra Congress President Nana Patole and others during a press briefing on the eve of the start of the two-day meeting of the I.N.D.I.A. alliance, in Mumbai on Wednesday. ANI STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 30 AUGUST People buying rakhi during Raksha Bandhan festival,in the New Delhi on Wednesday. SNS Top PMO officials review arrangements for G20 Summit: The Prime Minister's Office today took stock of the arrangements being made for the G20 Summit to be held in New Delhi next month. Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister P K Mishra chaired a meeting to review logistical, protocol, security and media-related arrangements. The meeting was attended by senior officers from G20 Secretariat and Ministries of External Affairs, Home, Culture, Information and Broadcasting and the Department of Telecom. ith an eye on 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the Opposition bloc ~Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA)~will be holding its crucial third meeting in Mumbai on 31 August and 1 September where the alliance logo will be unveiled and strategies for the general elections including seat-sharing in the states are expected to be discussed. Formation of the coor- W dination committee and appointment of convenors are also on the agenda of the Opposition bloc's meeting. As per sources, the 26party Opposition alliance is likely to see an expansion with some more regional outfits joining it in Mumbai. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has arrived in Mumbai to participate in the third meeting of the Opposition alliance. INDIA or Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance is a group of 26 opposition parties, includ- Trinamul Congress chairperson Mamata Baneerjee reached Mumbai today where she will attend the 2-day meeting of the Opposition INDIA bloc. Miss Banerjee visited the house of Amitabh Bachchan “Jalsa” in Mumbai and met his family members. Miss Banerjee tied Rakshi to Amitabh Bachchan. Jaya Bachchan her son Abhishek and daughter in law Aishwarya and grand daughter Aradhya were present. Miss Banerjee said Mr Bachchan should be given Bharat Ratna for his contribution in Indian cinema. Miss Banerjee has very close connection with the Bachchans. Mr Bachchan had attended the Kolkata International Film Festival several times to inaugurate it and deliver the inaugural lecture. Miss Banerjee also went to the house of Uddhav Thackerey and tied Rakhi on his wrist. In response to a question from a jour- nalist whether Arvind Kejriwal’s name would be proposed as the Prime Minister in the meeting of INDIA Miss Banerjee said: “This is secondary. We are fighting against the BJP and our sole purpose is to defeat them.” The two-day meeting of INDIA will be held on 31 August and 1 September. Trinamul Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee is also likely to attend the meeting. Abhishek Banerjee tweeted: “From Kashmir to Kanyakumari we stand united for the betterment of our motherland.”The meeting of the opposition parties was first held in Patna and then in Bengaluru. ing the Congress. The parties have come together to take on the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The first meeting of the joint Opposition grouping was convened in Patna in June and the second meeting was held in Bengaluru on 17 and 18 July. The Mumbai meet is being hosted by the Shiv Sena (UBT ) faction led by Uddhav Thackeray. Meanwhile, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad, who has reached Mumbai to take part in the third meeting of Opposition parties, said a decision regarding the appointment of a national convener for the INDIA bloc will be taken on Thursday. "The agenda will be to make preparations for the times ahead. Elections are approaching. If candidates have to be decided, we need to sit together,” Mr Prasad added. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 30 AUGUST Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated Raksha Bandhan with children at his residence at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg in New Delhi on Wednesday. The children tied 'Rakhi' to the PM, who interacted with them on various issues. The children shared their feelings on the recent success of Chandrayaan-3 mission and expressed their enthusiasm about the upcoming Aditya L-1 mission. The children also recited poems and sang songs during the interaction.A large number of students, accompanied by their teachers, participated in the celebration. Representatives of NGOs, widows from Vrindavan, as well as other individuals were also present. The PM greeted people on the occasion of 'Raksha Bandhan'. SNS The Central government has asked all the states to ensure that Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) beneficiaries should not be refused work due to the unavailability of Aadhaar number. Beneficiaries who come for work should be requested to provide their Aadhaar number but will not be refused work on this basis, the rural development ministry said on Wednesday, as the Central government extended the deadline for enabling payment of wages for MGNREGA workers through the Aadhaar-based payment system (ABPS) till 31 December. The Centre had in February this year announced that MGNREGA workers will be paid wages on the basis of ABPS to prevent fake identities and irregularities in payments under the scheme. "The progress of Aadhaarbased Payment System (ABPS) has been reviewed and the Himachal Pradesh havoc not natural disaster but policy-induced SHAMSHER CHANDEL SHIMLA, 30 AUGUST The recent havoc due to rains in Himachal Pradesh cannot be called just a natural disaster, say expert geologists, architects, and environmentalists who have been closely following changes in Himachal Pradesh’s climate, urbanisation patterns and environment for the past few decades. They say it is a “policyinduced disaster” due to change of land use which led to urbanisation, four-laning, etc and only technological intervention combined with good governance and policy can help curb such devastation in the future. Manshi Asher, Himachalbased environmental justice activist and researcher, says: “This disaster did not occur Despite extreme weather events, places sensibly developed have stood like a rock; if remedial steps aren’t taken what we witnessed was just the tip of the iceberg suddenly. It has been induced through policies implemented over recent years like the change of land use, infrastructural changes like four lan- BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 84.890.45 Tunnels, bunkers: What China is doing in Aksai Chin STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 30 AUGUST China is building bunkers and underground facilities in Aksai Chin around 70 km from the Line of Actual Control, according to reports citing Maxar Technologies satellite images. The Chinese have also ramped up construction in the region in an effort to better protect its military facilities and personnel from ariel strikes. The analysis of the Maxar satellite images has revealed that China has constructed reinforced personnel bunkers at four locations and tunnels are being dug at three more locations. A few portals, probably tunnel openings, are also visible in the satellite images. The comparison between satellite images of August 2021 and August 2023 also shows large structures have been built in the area in the last two years. There is a separate entry and exit area and the pre-existing road has also been widened. China has also increased the deployment of military personnel in the area and erected several tents. According to military experts, the Indian Air Force has an extra advantage over China in the Aksai Chin The Chinese have also ramped up construction in the region in an effort to better protect its military facilities and personnel from ariel strikes. region and the dragon is trying to take that away by constructing reinforced personnel bunkers and tunnels. Beijing wants to better protect its military assets in the region in the event of an aerial strike by India. India and China have been locked in a territorial dispute over Aksai Chin since the 1950s. While Aksai Chin is part of India, China falsely claims it falls in their territory. In May 2020, the two nuclear-armed neighbours came to the brink of a fullfledged war after their armies engaged in a melee along the LAC. Several Indian and Chinese soldiers were killed during the standoff. Both countries claim they want a peaceful resolution to the Ladakh border dispute, but China’s absurd claims on Indian territories are undoing the efforts. On Tuesday, China released its official map which included India’s Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin as Chinese territory. Lack of Aadhaar does not disqualify MGNREGA beneficiaries: Centre RAKSHA BANDHAN MORENA, 30 AUGUST Five labourers died due to alleged poisonous gas leak in a food product factory located in Danela village in Madhya Pradesh’s Morena district, a police official said on Wednesday. “There is a food product factory in Danela village where they (labourers) used to regularly clean the tank. The factory makes cherries from fruit peels. One man had gone into the tank to clean it and he fell into it. To save him others went down the tank and they fell into it too. Probably there was a toxic gas and it can only be confir med after postmortem. Due to this, five persons have died,” Morena ASP Arvind Singh Thakur told ANI. A legal action will be taken in this matter. Prima facie, if there is a fault of the factory's owner then a case will be registered against him, he added. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also expressed grief over the inciAGENCIES dent. P12 SILVER 77,600500 Crucial 2-day INDIA meet in Mumbai from today Max: 34.4 °C (+2) Min: 27.6 °C (+1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:19 hrs 17:57 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 17:41 hrs 04:8 hrs Full Moon on 31 August 5 labourers killed due to poisonous gas leak in MP P5 ` vs $ 82.737 PAISE Min. 54 % ‘WILL TRY TO RECOVER BEFORE THE YEAR ENDS’ MAYAWATI AGAIN SAYS NO TO NDA, I.N.D.I.A. ing, dams, and haphazard urbanisation especially for mass tourism, which has caused deforestation, muck dumping, soil erosion and slope instability beyond capacity.” She adds that the solution is not fixing the nuts and bolts but long-term work on governance and policy. Rakesh Prajapati, director, industries department in the Himachal Pradesh government says:“We cannot pinpoint the reasons that led to such mayhem but there cannot be one single reason for the havoc that struck us. In Kullu and Manali, the reasons are different such as four-lane muck dumping, etc. In Shimla, the natural drainage system was obstructed due to heavy construction. So there are different reasons which led to it and no one solution is applicable to set things right.” Kangra-based Romi Khosla, one of the top architects in the country, says: “In a state like Himachal, one size fits all urban/rural policy does not make sense. The state has a varied topography. Kangra is different from Shimla and within Shimla, there are valleys, slopes, and plateaus. Therefore, we need to have a different set of bylaws for different zones. In fact, each panchayat should have separate byelaws.” Till now Himachal Pradesh has seen construction through the use of frugal innovation which is to “cut the slope into a horizontal ridge and then hold the hill back with a retaining wall and the water trickling down gets obstructed. In a nutshell, this is the problem.” Mr Khosla noted that had it been a one-off rainy season, we could have said we were just unfortunate. But as per the scientific predictions global warming has led to these CMYK weather patterns. He says this development model of self-sustenance is wrong. “Right now we are putting surplus money into real estate, such as building hotels, four lanes, etc. whereas we have to move towards agro-based tourism.” Tikender Singh Panwar, author of ‘Cities in Transition’ and convenor of Cityzens says: “Earlier extreme weather events happened once in 100 years. Now they will happen often enough. And these events have taken place due to our own greed. The Centre wants the state to exploit natural resources such as water, tourism, hydropower, etc. Four-laning is being carried out indiscriminately. And this has led to the devastation.” He warns, “If we do not take remedial measures, be assured it is just the tip of the iceberg.” The Centre had in February this year announced that MGNREGA workers will be paid wages on the basis of ABPS to prevent fake identities and irregularities in payments under the scheme. mixed route of wage payment (NACH and ABPS route) has been extended till 31st December 2023 or till further order," the rural development ministry said on Wednesday. "It has been brought to the notice of the Central government that in many cases due to frequent changes in bank account numbers by the beneficiary and nonupdating of the new account number by the concerned programme officer of the same, due to non-submission of new account by the beneficiary on time, several transactions of wage payment are being rejected (due to old account number) by destination bank branch," the ministry said, while giving the reason for extending the deadline. The government said that in consultation with different stakeholders, it is found that to avoid such rejections, Aadhaar Payments Bridge System (APBS) is the best route for making wage payment through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT). It will help the beneficiaries in getting their wage payment on time. The Mahatma Gandhi NREGS has not adopted Aadhaar-enabled payment, the government clarified, informing that this scheme has opted for Aadhaar Based Payment Bridge system. It further clarified that if a beneficiary does not demand for work, in such a case, her/his status about eligibility for Aadhaar Based Payment Bridge system (APBS) does not affect the demand for work. Job cards cannot be deleted on the basis of reason that the worker is not eligible for APBS. It is to be noted that under Mahatma Gandhi NREGS, APBS has been in use since 2017. Pragyantakes snaps of Vikram images of Chandrayaan-3’s Vikram lander clicked by the Navigation Camera onboard the Pragyan rover on the lunar surface of the moon. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in a post on social media platform X on Tuesday said: “Smile, please! Pragyan Rover clicked an image of Vikram Lander this morning. The image was taken by the Navigation Camera on board the Rover (NavCam). NavCams for the Chandrayaan-3 Mission are developed by the Laboratory for Electro-Optics Systems (LEOS).” ANI
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