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Showing posts from May 2, 2013

All-round education in schools comes at a price

Schools are set to be more fun from June, but a tad more expensive. The Madras high court ruling on Monday allowing schools to charge for extracurricular activities after school hours has encouraged schools to consider bringing back all the activities they cut out because they couldn't afford them. After the Tamil Nadu Schools (Regulation of Collection of Fee) Act 2009 was passed, many private school heads said extracurricular activities would be the first casualty . Schools which maintained smooth relations with parents did not have to cut down on after-school activities as they could charge for them without having parents knocking at their gates in protest. Institutions that had a small section of the parents protesting against fee charged in excess of that prescribed by the committee made the activities optional , while those that had a majority of the parents insisting on governmentprescribed fee were forced to cancel activities after class hours . Heads of some schools said i

Torrid times

Heat can kill if it is dealt with carelessly. The summer of 2010 is a black mark in the city's history. A total of 310 Amdavadis lost their lives in a single day - May 21 - because of temperatures that peaked at 46.5 degrees Celsius. The relation between deaths and heat waves was recently studied by the Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH). This happens to be the only study of its kind in the country and will be published shortly. It took experts two years to make a detailed correlation of deaths in different areas of the city with temperatures.The study found that between May 1 and May 19, when temperatures hovered around the 43-degree mark and over, the number of deaths remained between 100 and 150 a day, because of the heat wave. On May 20, the number of deaths in just a single day was reported to be close to 200, while the following day - May 21 - when temperatures peaked to 46.5 degrees, 310 individuals died.Most of the dead were slum dwellers, the old, newborns and outdo

2002 riots: Judge's transfer to delay proceedings on Zakia Jafri's plea

Court proceedings on Zakia Jafri's complaint - against chief minister Narendra Modi and others with regard to the 2002 riots - will be delayed, as the metropolitan magistrate hearing the case, B J Ganatra, has been transferred to an Anand court.Ganatra is one of over 100 officers of the lower judiciary transferred across the state.The special investigation team (SIT) had already started arguments against Zakia's protest petition. The magistrate's transfer will stall proceedings for a while now. The further course will now be decided on May 15, which has been listed by the court for formal proceedings.The name of the metropolitan magistrate to preside over Court No. 11 has not been finalized yet.Meanwhile, CBI magistrate A Y Dave has been transferred to Godhra. It was before this additional chief judicial magistrate that CBI filed two chargesheets in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, and accused cop N K Amin proposed to become approver three years ago.

Bamrauli airport to get major facelift

A team of Airport Authority of India (AAI) is likely to visit the city next week to finalise the project for construction of a new terminal and upgradation of the existing facilities at the Bamrauli airport. After completion of the project, it would be possible to operate big aircraft and many more flights from the airport. An AAI team led by its Chairman V P Agarwal and Executive Director Kalpana Sethi held talks with Sunita Singh, state's Civil Aviation Secretary and Secretary to the Chief Minister, in Lucknow on Wednesday to finalise the project. Following consultations, the AAI team would be visiting Allahabad next week to give final touches to the project. District authorities said with the proposed extension (in terms of both length and width) and improvement of the airstrip at Bamrauli, big aircrafts would be able to land and take off conveniently, putting the city on the civil aviation map of India. Allahabad DM Raj Shekhar told TOI: "Besides upgradation of the runway

Bamrauli airport to get major facelift

A team of Airport Authority of India (AAI) is likely to visit the city next week to finalise the project for construction of a new terminal and upgradation of the existing facilities at the Bamrauli airport. After completion of the project, it would be possible to operate big aircraft and many more flights from the airport. An AAI team led by its Chairman V P Agarwal and Executive Director Kalpana Sethi held talks with Sunita Singh, state's Civil Aviation Secretary and Secretary to the Chief Minister, in Lucknow on Wednesday to finalise the project. Following consultations, the AAI team would be visiting Allahabad next week to give final touches to the project. District authorities said with the proposed extension (in terms of both length and width) and improvement of the airstrip at Bamrauli, big aircrafts would be able to land and take off conveniently, putting the city on the civil aviation map of India. Allahabad DM Raj Shekhar told TOI: "Besides upgradation of the runway

Hotmail officially dead: Outlook the New-look Replaces the Hotmail

Hotmail is officially dead with outlook with new look replaces the hotmail and the users who type “hotmail.com” in their internet’s address bar might find that they need to use a Microsoft account name and password in order to sign in. “As of today, every single Hotmail account has been migrated to Outlook.com, Microsoft's newer and redesigned email experience,” reported Yahoo! Finance on May 2, 2013. "Microsoft account" is the new name for what used to be called a "Windows Live ID." Some Microsoft services like Messenger, SkyDrive, Windows Phone, Xbox LIVE, or Outlook.com might still show “Windows Live ID.” However, over time, all Microsoft services will be switching from “Windows Live ID” to “Microsoft account.” While it will take some time to streamline all services to “Microsoft account,” Hotmail.com has completed the process today. The advantage of a streamlined account sign-in name has the advantage of not having to remember different names and passwords

Parents to hold jan panchayat against school fee hike

Parents of children studying in private schools, under the banner of Abhiwawak Ekta Samiti, have decided to organize a 'jan panchayat' against fee hike at Subhash crossing in Civil Lines on Thursday. On Tuesday, the samiti launched a signature campaign at collectorate and roped in support of large number of lawyers. On Wednesday, the samiti would organize a similar campaign at High Court crossing to ensure support of high court lawyers and public alike.Samiti's convener Vijay Kumar Gupta said that the issue of fee hike would be discussed with students, political representatives, intelligentsia and various sections of the society. He blamed the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities concerned and adamant attitude of school management for the crisis. Gupta rued that education mafias had turned the temple of education into a business. They are forcing parents and guardians into purchasing new school uniform, text books and copies from school shops at exorbitant price. Sta

Reconstitute Shirdi trust committee, HC tells govt

The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the state government to reconstitute the management committee of the Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust within 15 days, keeping in mind the object underlined in the Act pertaining to the trust and the rules framed in January 2013. The court also directed the ad hoc committee not to take any policy decision. The petitioners' main contention was that the government had not framed the rules for the appointment of the management committee under the provisions of the Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust (Shirdi) Act, 2004, said government pleader Sunil Kurundkar. "The court, however, allowed the petitioner to challenge the constitutional validity of the rules framed on January 1, 2013 for the appointment of the management committee," said lawyer Satish Talekar, who represented the petitioners including Sanjay Kale and Sandeep Kulkarni. Talekar told the court that the rules framed by the government had not been referred t

Civic body to foot insurance cost for Nahar survey team

Civic authorities have decided to provide insurance cover and adequate equipment to the team involved in the physical survey of the 400-year-old Nahar-e-Ambari and Nahar-e-Panchakki. The survey is being conducted following a high court directive. An expert committee, according to the April 24 HC direction, has been formed to supervise the survey. It has asked the civic body to provide equipment like helmets, flood lights, as the teams would have to explore through 11 km of dark and deep underground alleys of the nahars. The panel members had a meeting recently to chalk out modes of the survey of dark underground alleys of the nahar to get its actual status. Shaikh Ramzan, water expert and member of the committee, suggested that it would be risky for the team to explore the nahar without any safety gears. Ramzan had personally inspected the nahar system about 30 years ago as part of his study for his PhD thesis on the history of Aurangabad. He suggested that the civic body provide in

NCW probes lady doc death

Six months after lady doctor Madhabilata Pradhan died under mysterious circumstances at Puri, the National Commission for Women (NCW) on Thursday began its probe blamed the state government of hushing up the case."The government is trying to suppress the case because of involvement of a ruling party MLA," alleged NCW member Charu Walikhanna after interacting with Pradhan's family at its native Brahmagiri. She said the MLA got her transferred from Rebena Nuagaon to Kanas (both in Puri district), causing her mental trauma and death. The state Crime Branch is probing the case. Her body is yet to be found. Brahmagiri MLA Sanjay Dasburma, who had earlier denied charges, said, "I do not want to make any comment as the case is sub judice." Pradhan's brother had moved Orissa HC seeking his sister's body and a CBI probe.

'Cheat' funds roots run deep in state

Several financial management firms are into money circulation business in the state without RBI's nod, sources said. There is no official record about such companies."A non-banking financial company (NBFC) must be registered with the RBI and have specific authorization to accept deposits from the public. Not a single NBFC has been authorized by the RBI in Odisha to collect deposits," said a RBI officer."Even the Saradha Group was not registered with the RBI here," the officer said. The RBI has given permission to 17 NBFCs to do business only in terms of loans, investments and asset finance (a company conducting the business of equipment leasing or hire purchase finance), sources said.Cheating of investors by unscrupulous companies takes many forms, such as 'vanishing' after raising money through public offers; illegal collection of deposits in violation of Section 58A of the Companies Act, 1956; floating sham 'Collective Investment Schemes (CIS)'

Wary MP government drops plan to legalize live-in relations

With the Sangh Parivar "outraged by the audacious idea," the state government has dropped its radical plan to legalize live-in partnership in the state. The proposal, included in the final draft of the state women policy 2013-17, was essentially meant to protect the interest of deserted victims and put them at par with the divorced wife or a widow in the matter of property rights and inheritance. Submitted before the government for clearance last fortnight, it would have been formalized by June, but for raging saffron storm brewing over it.Party sources attribute the volte-face to "the acute discomfort and distress it has caused to the parivar functionaries, who would rather uphold morality than the constraints of vote bank politics. Not surprisingly such is the extent of reservation that the very mention of the issue is enough to send senior leaders, including ministers scurrying for cover. At least three ministers contacted by TOI to probe the reason for dramatic shif

Railways told to pay for mental trauma caused to passengers

The district consumer dispute redressal forum in Mandsaur has asked Indian Railways to pay cost of ticket, taxi fare, compensation for mental trauma and cost of litigation to two families, who were denied seats in Jabalpur-Veraval express train despite having reservations.Though the complainants filed the complaint with the consumer forum way back in 2009, the order came only on Wednesday. The family had booked six tickets from Ratlam to Veraval in Jabalpur-Veraval express on December 23, 2008."I boarded the train from Ratlam with my family, including two children. Our seats were occupied and we were forced to stand. We had lodged first complaint with the station master at Ahmedabad, but to no avail. We then had to break the journey at Rajkot and hire a taxi to Veraval," said Sandeep Bhargav, one of the complainant.The aggrieved family from Mandsaur, moved a complaint in the consumer forum against station managers of Ratlam and Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh and Ahmedabad and Vi

SGPC member complains against SAD leader

Amid infighting among Akali leaders over ticket distribution for Block Samiti and Zila Parishad elections, local SGPC member Jarnail Singh Dogranwala has got a complaint registered against a local SAD leader and former block Samiti chairman alleging that the latter along with another leader thrashed him and his turban had fallen off. He alleged that even his beard was pulled. The incident took place outside the office of former MLA Sarabjit Singh Makkar, who contested the last elections from Kapurthala, and is the constituency in charge. While the case was registered late evening, supporters of Ranjit Singh Khojewal, who has been booked on Dograwala's complaint, protested outside office of the SSP after which SSP ordered an inquiry. Khojewal alleged that Dogranwala had got a fake case registered against him to settle political scores.

SGPC member complains against SAD leader

Amid infighting among Akali leaders over ticket distribution for Block Samiti and Zila Parishad elections, local SGPC member Jarnail Singh Dogranwala has got a complaint registered against a local SAD leader and former block Samiti chairman alleging that the latter along with another leader thrashed him and his turban had fallen off. He alleged that even his beard was pulled. The incident took place outside the office of former MLA Sarabjit Singh Makkar, who contested the last elections from Kapurthala, and is the constituency in charge. While the case was registered late evening, supporters of Ranjit Singh Khojewal, who has been booked on Dograwala's complaint, protested outside office of the SSP after which SSP ordered an inquiry. Khojewal alleged that Dogranwala had got a fake case registered against him to settle political scores.

SEZs in Haryana can now opt for industrial colony licence

In a major relief to private developers in Haryana, the state cabinet on Thursday allowed grant industrial colony licences to SEZs, which have failed to take off in the state. Developers of around two dozen SEZs, most of them in Gurgaon district, will be benefited by the state government's move. Under the new policy, 15% land can be developed as residential areas, 45% for industrial units and 5% for commercial use. The remaining 35% will be left for roads, infrastructure services and public utilities, apart from open space.This follows recommendations by a panel constituted to consider and suggest alternative use of land, blocked under the notified special economic zones (SEZs) and revision of policy regarding grant of licences to industrial colonies. According to a senior industries department official, initially Haryana had received expressions of interest for 100 SEZs, but only 37 of them were eventually notified by the Union governmentTwo of the notified SEZs were later de-not

Preliminary chargesheet to be filed before TANPID today

The sleuths of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), Coimbatore have decided to file a preliminary chargesheet against the managing directors of Fine Future, a multi- crore online fraudulent firm, before the Tamil Nadu Protection of Interests of Depositors (TANPID) court here on Friday. According to sources, the sleuths have completed the preliminary chargesheet against the managing directors of Fine Future firm M Vivek, S Senthil Kumar, and M Nithyanandam, younger brother of Vivek, and accountant Sathyalakshmi on Thursday.The 2,000 page preliminary chargesheet has testimony of 200 depositors as witnesses. The second chargesheet will be filed within two months after conducting a detailed investigation with the agents of Fine Future firm.Nithyanandam was released from the Coimbatore central prison after getting conditional bail from the TANPID court. Vivek and Senthil Kumar are spending their days behind the bars since March.

Two held for illegally occupying a house

The city police on Thursday arrested two people for illegally occupying a house of a document writer at Rathinapuri. Police are on the look out for one more person in connection with the case. A Thennarasu (40), a city unit secretary of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, and his relative R Dhandapani (32) from Sivananda Colony, were arrested on Thursday by the police for illegally occupying a house owned by H Geetharani (42), a document writer residing at Hudco colony in Rathinapuri.Geetharani had bought the house from Vasudevan on February 18 by paying Rs 5.25 lakh. She had kept the house locked as there was no electricity connection.On February 20, Patel Balu from Hudco Colony broke open the front door and occupied the house with his family members. When Geetharani confronted Balu, he threatened her. Geetharani lodged a complaint with the police on Wednesday.Preliminary inquiry revealed that a few years ago, Dhandapani, a DMK functionary from Sivananda colony, had sold the house to Va

Youth catch mangalsutra thief red-handed at Parsem

Alert youth from Parsem caught a thief red-handed after he snatched a mangalsutra from an elderly woman. Police sources said that Vandana Varadkar, a resident of Kiranpani in Paliem, was on her way to her sister's place in Parsem when the incident occurred. While she was on the way, two unknown persons on a bike snatched her mangalsutra. She cried for help and the youth who were at the site were alerted and chased the accused on a motorcycle.After a dramatic chase, the locals finally managed to block the two-wheeler of the accused and caught hold of one of the accused. The other managed to flee the scene.Police sources said that the accused who was held has been identified as Savio Alvares, 26, from Kirbhat-Nuvem. The police are in search of the other accused who is allegedly from Maharashtra. Further investigations are in progress.

Youth catch mangalsutra thief red-handed at Parsem

Alert youth from Parsem caught a thief red-handed after he snatched a mangalsutra from an elderly woman. Police sources said that Vandana Varadkar, a resident of Kiranpani in Paliem, was on her way to her sister's place in Parsem when the incident occurred. While she was on the way, two unknown persons on a bike snatched her mangalsutra. She cried for help and the youth who were at the site were alerted and chased the accused on a motorcycle.After a dramatic chase, the locals finally managed to block the two-wheeler of the accused and caught hold of one of the accused. The other managed to flee the scene.Police sources said that the accused who was held has been identified as Savio Alvares, 26, from Kirbhat-Nuvem. The police are in search of the other accused who is allegedly from Maharashtra. Further investigations are in progress.

'Hope illegalities will be checked'

Hailing the high court's interim order, animal activists have expressed hope that this will check the illegalities that were under way at the Goa Meat Complex at Mharvasado-Usgao in Ponda. Hanuman Parab, president of the petitioner Govansh Raksha Abhiyan, and Poonam Kapoor, an activist from Hyderabad who is pursuing the issue in Goa, welcomed the order saying it comes after a year of hard struggle, threats and "strong resistance from all quarters, including police and implementing authorities".Parab said the abhiyan has submitted his and the names of Amrut Singh of the animal rescue squad and Josphine Anthony, an animal lover, to the high court to oversee the animals being brought for slaughter at the complex. Sources at the complex told TOI that they had not yet received the court order and till late Thursday afternoon no animal was slaughtered.Referring to the findings of the three-member inquiry committee that underage animals were being slaughtered at the complex, K

Prisoner’s eye damaged in brawl

A jail inmate was grievously injured after one of his eyeballs split in two during a fight in a prison van on Sohna Road on Thursday. He is currently being treated at Safdurjung hospital. According to police, the incident took place around 3.30pm when the inmates were returning to Bhondsi jail after appearing for a hearing. A group of undertrials in the van attacked one Kunal, who was in judicial custody over a case of snatching.

After Saradha, govt to protect investors from fraud schemes

Against the backdrop of multi-crore chit fund scam in West Bengal, Haryana government on Thursday approved a bill, aimed to safeguard the interest of depositors from being defrauded by unscrupulous financial institutions, including NBFCs.In case of default in payment, Haryana Protection of Interest of Depositors (In Financial Establishments) Bill, 2013 has proposed stringent steps including imprisonment up to seven years and fine up to Rs 2 lakh to promoter, or any other employee responsible for conducting affairs of erring financial establishment. The bill envisages to ensure that the Non-Banking Financial Corporations (NBFCs) function on healthy lines and these companies function in consonance with the monetary policy framework so that their functioning does not lead to systemic aberrations. Moreover, the state government is empowered to prosecute these companies and attach their properties enforce imprisonment in case the general public is duped and deceived by these NBFCs, said

Three grenades, ammunition seized in Imphal

Mizoram Police seized three Chinese-made grenades and ammunition from a farm house near Aizawl on Tuesday, police said. The announcement was made late as police expected that more contraband was concealed in the farmhouse belonging to Rohmingliana, who was arrested.Earlier, police has seized 31 AK-47 assault rifles, and ammunition from the same farm on March 7 and 8. Three persons belonging to a faction of Bangladesh's Shanti Bahini (PCJSS) were arrested in this connection. They intended to take the arms across the border to Bangladesh for the use of their cadres.Mizoram shares borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh and the state has been one of the major conduits for arms smugglers and drug traffickers for years.The state's close proximity with Cox's Bazar has also also made it vulnerable and strategic as NE insurgents, who procured arms from Bangladesh and Myanmar, used to cross the state while taking the contraband to Manipur, Nagaland or Assam.

Hotmail officially dead: Skype now offers direct calls from Outlook.com inbox

Hotmail officially dead announced by Microsoft and now skype offers direct calls from outlook.com inbox. Users of Microsoft's new Outlook.com email service are getting a bonus of sorts: a preview version of videoconferencing Skype right in their inboxes. Microsoft's product director of marketing for Skype Simon Longbottom said the feature will be rolled out in the United Kingdom first, then in the United States and Germany. "In the coming months, audio and video calling powered by Skype will be available in every Outlook.com inbox. By adding Skype conversations to your modern email, Microsoft is creating yet another way for you to connect to the people you care about most," he said . He said the preview version of Skype for Outlook.com allows users to enjoy Skype video and audio calls from their inboxes - "less typing, more talking!" Gmanetwork reported "Just click on the Skype audio or video call buttons in your IM conversation. To start a

BJP expels Gururaj Hunashimarad for six years

BJP district unit has decided to act tough against its rebel candidates who are working against the official candidates of the party in Dharwad district. In order to send a strong message to other rebel candidates, BJP high command has expelled Gururaj Hunashimarad from the party for six years, for contesting against the official candidate. Hunashimarad is also contesting the assembly election as a rebel candidate from Hubli-Dharwad West constituency after his efforts to get the BJP ticket failed. Former president of youth wing of state Janata dal(S), Hunashimarad had left JD(S) and joined BJP a few years ago. He had been campaigning that he was contesting against the BJP's official nominee Arvind Bellad to oppose the dynasty culture in the party and that he would return to BJP and support Jagadish Shettar if elected. Considering this as an anti-party activity the party high command has expelled Hunashimarad said president of Dharwad city BJP Suresh Bedre.

Karnataka polls: It's caught in a time warp, development a mirage

If the rapidity of Bangalore's pace of change often leaves one amazed, it's exactly the opposite in Bijapur. It's like time has stood still in this north Karnataka town some decades ago. Prem Herlagi, 30, who is into multiple small businesses and who has lived here all his life, can't remember anything that has changed barring some increase in traffic and an improvement in the supply of drinking water. The town is filthy, stray pigs are everywhere. The joke in the town is that but for the pigs, which feast on the filth, the town would have been even more filthy. Most buildings are old, most roads are in miserable condition. Thanks to the Kannada Sahitya Sammelana in February though, the main MG Road and a few others were relaid. There is not a single lifestyle brand advertising itself, let alone have an exclusive store. The Gol Gumbaz is the one magnificent bright spot in this town, but even that could do with better upkeep.Development has completely passed by Bijapur,

Hotmail officially dead: Microsoft now with 400 million active Outlook.com accounts

Microsoft Hotmail is officially dead and replaced with New Outlook, Microsoft announced earlier. Microsoft has completed moving its Hotmail.com users over to Outlook.com and officials are now claiming the company has 400 million active Outlook.com accounts as a result.  Microsoft officials announced the completion of the Hotmail-Outlook.com transition on May 2. Microsoft officials added that they've migrated 150 petabyes of email over the past six weeks. As part of the announcement, officials also said they are adding two new features to Outlook.com: SMTP Send, making it easier to send mail from different email addresses; and deeper SkyDrive integration. The new SMTP Send supuport streamlines the process of sending from an alias, without recipients seeing a message saying “Sent on behalf of…” And on the SkyDrive front, users can now insert files and pictures directly from SkyDrive. Zdnet Reports In February of this year, Microsoft officials said they had 60 million active

4 gang rape married woman in Ratlam, one arrested

Three days after a young married woman was allegedly gang-raped by four men in Barkheda area of Ratlam district, one of the accused was arrested by police on Thursday. ashrath Singh, 30, a native of Khakhakheri village of Ratlam district was arrested by staff of Barkheda police station on Thursday.Dashrath, along with Man Singh, Bhairo Singh and Pappu Singh, had abducted and then allegedly gang raped a 21-year-old married woman for two days in Barkheda area on April 28 and April 29.The woman managed to escape from their clutches on April 29 night and after that reported the matter to her family in Khakhakheri village the next day.On May 1, the family lodged a complaint of gang rape against the four at Barkheda police station.The victim's family had alleged that Dashrath and his three accomplices had abducted the woman while she had gone to fetch water from a hand pump.The medical examination of the woman also confirmed that the woman was raped."Dashrath Singh has been arrest

50 ill after gas leak from German chemical plant

Panic gripped the industrial town of Nagda in Ujjain, nearly 120 km from here, when a toxic gas leaked from a German plant on Tuesday affecting 50 villagers in the vicinity. While most of those affected were discharged after primary treatment, three plant officials were arrested and later released on bail.Victims complained of cough, burning in eyes and breathlessness and were admitted to Indubhai Parekh Memorial Hospital for treatment. All but three were discharged within hours of being admitted.Thionyl Chloride, used in the manufacture of special chemicals like plastics and rubber, started leaking from the German plant, Lanxess, around 9.15pm on Tuesday, affecting people in the surrounding villages. The leak took place after a glass tube in the plant developed a crack. Company officials said there was no damage due to the leak."We arrested three officers of the plant: Rajesh Kamewad (plant manager), Devendra Dhami (senior manager, safety) and Arvind Yagnik (assistant manager, p

Woman dies five years after she was wounded in Jaipur blast

A 39-year-old woman has lost her battle for life five years after she was wounded in the 2008 Jaipur blast and slipped into coma. Sushila Sahu died at Jaipur's SMS Hospital on Tuesday night after she was admitted there following deterioration in her health. Sushila's daughter, Neha, said her mother had been in coma since May 13, 2008 when she was wounded in the blast outside a temple in Jaipur's Chandpole Bazaar. Neha said the common people of Jaipur had stood by them. Her brother, Jeetesh, said, "Even if she was in coma, we always had a feeling that she was with us.'' He said they used to tell her about their problems, achievements and discuss things whether she was listening or not. "I lost my mother. For me mother is the best friend in the world for any daughter or son.'' Sushila's husband, Rajendra Sahu, remembered her as the best wife and mother. "Both of my daughters are well educated and my wife inculcated good values in them.&

Illegal mining still rampant in Alwar, 45 dumpers seized

Despite Supreme Court's orders, illegal mining still continues to persist in Alwar. On Wednesday morning, 45 dumpers used for illegal mining were seized during a joint crack down illegal mining by teams of district police and RTO. While the dumper drivers managed to flee, the police managed to arrest one person.Illegal mining is rampant in Tapukara in Bhiwadi, Neemrana, Chopanki, Tijara, Gwalda, Udhanvas, Kahrani in Alwar district. Everyday, several dumpers ferry illegally mined stones in broad daylight owing to the nexus between the police officials, mining department officials and the district administration.In a bid to check illegal mining, a meeting was convened last week under the chairmanship of the chief secretary and a task force was constituted to check illegal mining in Bhiwadi.

Strike continues as fissures appear in lawyers' unity

Disregarding elders' committee's verdict, the advocates continued to abstain from judicial work on Tuesday. The decision to continue strike has led to discontentment among the men-in-black. The district judge, Kanpur Nagar, summoned the office-bearers of Kanpur Bar Association and The Lawyers' Association, members of Elders' committee and newly-elected president and general secretary of KBA and told them that the courts should soon start functioning.Later, an office-bearer said that the district judge made it clear that the judiciary had its limit. Meanwhile, the agitating advocates sent a memorandum to chief minister Akhilesh Yadav demanding that the remaining killers of lawyer Prashant Kumar Dwivedi be arrested at the earliest. They also demanded a compensation of Rs 25 lakh to Dwivedi's kin and firearms licence to advocates.On Monday evening, the Elders' committee had termed the strike as illegal. This has led to the belief that the strike would be called of

Strike continues as fissures appear in lawyers' unity

Disregarding elders' committee's verdict, the advocates continued to abstain from judicial work on Tuesday. The decision to continue strike has led to discontentment among the men-in-black. The district judge, Kanpur Nagar, summoned the office-bearers of Kanpur Bar Association and The Lawyers' Association, members of Elders' committee and newly-elected president and general secretary of KBA and told them that the courts should soon start functioning.Later, an office-bearer said that the district judge made it clear that the judiciary had its limit. Meanwhile, the agitating advocates sent a memorandum to chief minister Akhilesh Yadav demanding that the remaining killers of lawyer Prashant Kumar Dwivedi be arrested at the earliest. They also demanded a compensation of Rs 25 lakh to Dwivedi's kin and firearms licence to advocates.On Monday evening, the Elders' committee had termed the strike as illegal. This has led to the belief that the strike would be called of

Female thamin deer dies in Allen Forest

A female thamin deer, around 15 years of age, died in Kanpur zoo two days back. The post-mortem examination was conducted by three veterinary doctors in presence of director K Thomas. The zoo now has has 28 thamin deer. It is an highly endangered animal.According to doctors, the animal died due to age related changes in its body. The dead deer was spotted by the keeper in the enclosure.Thamin deer are endangered and come under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act. The number of animals had drastically reduced.Thomas confirmed that female deer died due to old age and the post-mortem examination was conducted in his presence.

Mamata on the warpath to win back lost trust

Her party stuck deep in the Saradha muddle — a crisis unprecedented in the Trinamool Congress' history — Mamata Banerjee took to the streets on Thursday in a desperate bid to reclaim lost faith and stave off a CBI probe into the Ponzi crisis. Mamata chose Shyambazar crossing to launch her counterattack — a location of symbolic importance for her because this is where she had carved out her political course more than a decade ago. With nephew Abhishek Banerjee facing the heat from CPM, Mamata was in a combative mood with a clear strategy to drag CPM and Congress into the muddle. But she made a rare admission: "One or two in a family may be at fault. Don't judge the entire family by the individual. What do you do when you find a rotten chilli in a 100 kg pack? Do you throw away the entire lot?". Belittling the Opposition as "men whom their wives don't rely upon," she said: "There are some who have no other job but to make themselves available at tal

CM's brother warned govt on Ponzi firms

At a time when the Mamata Banerjee government is being criticized for ignoring Sebi's and her ministers warning against mushrooming chit funds in the state, the latest revelation by the chief minister's brother Kartik Banerjee may only add to the controversy.If the Mamata Banerjee government had turned a deaf year to Sebi's warning against chit funds and ignored similar words of caution from its own ministers, here come the latest revelations from the chief minister's brother, no less.Kartik on Thursday told TOI that he had raised an alarm against Ponzi companies like the Saradha Group in the last one and a half years, but the government did not pay heed to his words. and the government could have contained the dubious companies - loosely called chit funds -- from flourishing in Bengal had his words been heeded to.He claimed that his efforts went in vain since he was not "influential" enough in the party that is headed by his sister."It was clear as dayl

Swiss-model tendering for waste plant

The state government has decided to opt for the 'Swiss challenge system' of tendering, a bidding process to help private sector initiative in core sector projects, for the new solid waste treatment plant to be set up at Brahmapuram.Urban development minister Manjalamkuzhi Ali said the cabinet has already taken a decision in this regard and tender notifications would soon be released. "By adopting this model of tendering, we will be able to finalise the bid within three months of releasing the notification," he said.As per the Swiss model, a private participant can submit a project proposal and even draft contract terms for undertaking a project initiated by the government. The government then invites competitive bids from other interested parties. If the government finds a competing counter proposals more acceptable, the original project proposer will be given an opportunity to match the competing counter proposal and win the project. In case the original project pro

Aranmula airport gets National Green Tribunal reprieve

The Chennai bench of the National Green Tribunal on Tuesday dismissed a petition which challenged decisions, including industrial area notification for the proposed Aranmula airport project and the no-objection certificate granted by the state government for it. In a press release, Aranmula International Airport Limited authorities said the stay on the construction of the airport had been lifted through the verdict.The Kerala government has 10% equity stake in the Rs 2,000-crore project by KGS Group. The dismissal of the petition by the tribunal would help the company speed up the project work, said Gigi George, managing director of the airport.Various environmental groups had been up in the arms against the move to make the banks of Pamba an industrial zone. They said the construction of the airport would be in violation of the Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act. The Aranmula Heritage Village Protection Action Council had moved the green tribunal against construction o

Father, stepmother arrested for death of girl child

Father and stepmother of a seven year-old-girl, who died at the Medical College Hospital after allegedly being tortured by her stepmother, were arrested, police said on Wednesday. The girl's mother had died four years back in a road accident after which her father got remarried. Police said the girl was admitted to a private hospital here with serious burn injuries on Monday. Doctors, who found the parent's explanation that the girl had accidentally fallen into hot water unsatisfactory, informed the police about the incident. Later, she was admitted to the Medical College Hospital where she died yesterday. Police also preliminary medical reports confirmed that the girl had undergone extreme physical torture which led to her death.

Project to develop Karipur Airport in a deadlock

Lending credence to charges of lack of government interest in acquiring land for the development of Karipur Airport, the state government has apparently not issued orders to appoint a land acquisition officer for the crucial project despite repeated requests from the Malappuram district administration.With the government sitting on the request for the past six months, the district administration is unable to carry out further acquisition proceedings including issuing the mandatory Section 6 (1) notification. This notification has to be carried out by the designated officer. The much delayed land acquisition for airport development had hit a roadblock following resistance on the part of local residents from around the airport.Various trade and business organizations, including the Calicut Chamber of Commerce and Industry, have alleged that the government has been deliberately delaying the project to satisfy local political interests of the IUML. It has been alleged that certain vested

Ruckus over fee payment at Lohia hospital

Chaos prevailed at Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences after delay in handing over the body of a patient to relatives due to alleged non-payment of fees. Hospital sources told TOI that the incident took place at around 4pm when kin of a patient alleged that despite admitting him to the general ward, the hospital had demanded fee for private ward.Director of the institute Dr MC Pant rubbished the allegations and said, "The patient who came to us was suffering from cancer and was terminally ill. Everyday, patients' relatives promised they would be paying the fee and requested us to continue the treatment. We did not stop treatment on humanitarian grounds. But, on Thursday, when the patient died, some anti-social elements joined hands with his family and refused to pay the hospital fee, and threatened that the hospital administration will have to bear the expense. " Deceased was identified as 55-year-old Ram Shankar Yadav.

Corruption main motive behind water meter mandate: People's group

The state level Jan Abhiyan Samiti has accused the government of promoting corruption by mandating installation of water meters in all seven cities of UP, including Lucknow, despite shortage and poor quality of water supply in most areas. The committee claimed that the local water agencies would most likely take undue advantage of this order by harassing common man to pay more.An effort was made earlier too in 2009 to install water meters in a few areas of Lucknow but the idea bombed due to opposition from the public. The members of the association claimed that there are no estimates as to how many meters were installed in 2009 and where have they gone. "I am quite sure those have been sold out to make money by the workers of local bodies," alleged vice-president of the Samiti, Ramesh Mishra. TNNLarge part of old Lucknow, many commercial areas, outskirts of the core city are devoid of even bare minimum supply of water. Even those areas which receive water frequently complain

All for a glimpse

As news of actor Salman Khan visiting the city was circulated on social networking sites thousands of fans gathered around a mall at Ferozepur Road. While some people were smart enough to enter the mall way ahead of time, those who got delayed waited outside. There were many who had no plans of seeing the actor and had come to the mall either to make a purchase or for some respite from the heat, little knowing that they would be trapped inside for the next two hours. The star who was scheduled to come at 12:30, made an appearance at 1pm. Jubilant shouts rang out as soon as he entered and fans pulled and pushed to catch a glimpse of him. Security guards found it difficult to check the impassioned crowd. People perched themselves on table tops or escalators. Some even blocked the exit, making it necessary for the actor to squeeze out. While several policemen were allotted positions to handle the crowd, they failed to do so, which led to exchange of heated words between security personn

US varsity may tie up with Punjab Agricultural University

In a bid to join hands for research and academics, a seven-member delegation from Purdue University (PU), USA, visited Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) to explore and discuss possibilities of bilateral collaboration. The visitors gave power point presentations on collaborative opportunities and various aspects of agriculture. The visiting delegation, led by Karen Plaut, associate dean and director of agricultural research; comprised K G Raghothama, associate director, international programmes in agriculture, Joe Anderson, head, department of agronomy, Mitch Tuinstra, department of plant breeding, Charlie Wolushuk, department of botany and plant pathology; Indrajeet Choubey, department of agricultural and biological engineering and Alex L. Renaud, department of agronomy. Dr Dhillon said there could be joint ventures in areas like water use efficiency, climate change, farm mechanization and bio-energy. He also said the two countries could have a tie-up in the area of value addition

A day in the life of the cobbler

Life is not easy for V Ramesh, a cobbler from Sakkimangalam in Madurai district. He has to bear the brunt of the scorching sun and wait for customers from early in the morning till 9pm to earn his livelihood. Although, he comes to Goripalayam Junction everyday with a hope to earn a decent buck, his earnings hardly cross Rs 80 a day. With these meagre earnings, he has to fend to his eight-member family daily.If his luck fails, he would even return home with just Rs 40 to Rs 50. With the cost of living soaring rapidly in the city, his wife Muthumari tries her best to run the family within whatever her husband earns. Although the family is struggling to meet their both ends meet, the couple never thought of discontinuing its children's education. The couple has six children including two daughters, with the eldest son just having completed class 12.Despite the poor income, they never purchase rice in the PDS shop, as their children do not like eating it. They spend whatever earnings

Model flower market at Mattuthavani

The district collector of Madurai has been directed by the Madurai bench of the Madras high court to develop the flower market complex situated near Mattuthavani bus stand, as a model flower market.The direction was given on a writ petition filed by flower merchants A Vaithialingam and 11 others, who sought direction to the authorities including the agricultural department's secretary, collector and corporation commissioner of Madurai to maintain the market complex.The flower merchants were assured by the authorities that they would be given better facilities at the market. But, the marketing committee and corporation neglected the complex and there was no systematic removal of garbage at the market, which forced the traders to dump it in the nearby canal. While being so, the marketing committee started to construct 24 additional shops in the area, earmarked for garbage disposal, they stated.Challenging this, they filed a writ petition that came up before Justice K K Sasidharan in

Lesbian bride refuses to go with husband

Defying social stigma, a bride in Sunticoppa, a small town in Kodagu district, has declared she is a lesbian and refused to go with her husband. Ramya (name changed) got married on April 21. Soon after marriage, she came to her parents' home and told them she won't go with her husband. She lodged a complaint in Sunticoppa police station claiming she was forced into marriage by her parents. Locals, who say she is in a relationship with a girl from Hoskote near Sunticoppa, have protested against Ramya's decision. When matters came to a head, Sunticoppa sub-inspector Krishnakumar intervened and tried to advise Ramya against taking hasty decisions. When she refused to rethink, she was sent to the women's rehabilitation centre at Madikeri for counselling. This attempt also failed and the local people on Wednesday protested in front of the Sunticoppa police station demanding that she be sent back to her husband's house. When Krishnakumar again tried to persuade her, she

Rahim Uchil puts adversity behind to pursue education goals

This battle is apolitical in nature. Chairman of Karnataka Beary Sahitya Academy and BJP leader, Rahim Uchil, has taken time out from the busy schedule of campaigning for his party's candidates to fulfill a long pending dream- securing a university degree.Uchil, who could not pursue higher studies even after successfully clearing SSLC in 1991 because of poverty, is appearing for BA political science examination that is being conducted by Karnataka State Open University. He has already written three Ist year papers- Kannada, English and History- at the Government First Grade College, Car Street.Uchil, who was severely injured following an attack on him while at work in the office Karnataka Beary Sahitya Academy, said that even his disability is not deterrent in pursuing his goal. He had lost his left palm and two fingers of the right arm in the attack.Rahim told TOI, "I want to complete post graduation and take up research in subjects related to Beary language and culture. I

Aadhaar-based DCT project may see more delays

The launch of the much-hyped Aadhaar-based direct subsidy (cash) transfer project in LPG continues to hang in balance. The project scheduled to launch in April 2013 was put off because the election for Karnataka assembly was announced in late March. But again it is likely to be postponed further because the election code of conduct continues to be in place till June 3 in Mysore. This is due to the adjournment of polling dates in Periyapatna assembly constituency following the death of BJP candidate Sannamoge Gowda. A fresh notification will be issued on May 3.Officials of Petroleum ministry are preparing to implement it from May 15 and it has asked the gas distributor, bank authorities and oil company executives to be ready before the time as the project is being deferred since January this year.Neeraj Mittal, joint secretary (marketing), Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, had said that after the assembly election was announced, the project will be launched only after the poll.How

Campaigning ends on Friday, fresh notification for Preiyapatna polls to be issued

Campaigning for the assembly polls has reached crescendo ahead of Friday deadline even as political activities are picking up at Periyapatna assembly segment where the polls were adjourned following death of a candidate. While the campaign will end at 5 pm at rest of Karnataka, it will go on till May 26 at Periyapatna where the polling is scheduled on May 28. Ahead of the end of campaigning, candidates and their supporters braved heat wave and campaigned in the city and rural areas. Opposition leader Siddaramaiah continued his tour in Varuna segment under heavy police security. He also toured in Chamundeshwari holding a public rally at Yelwal. Chamundeshwari candidate and sitting MLA M Satyanarayan, who was hospitalized following fatigue, attended the meet. All the candidates campaigned without banking on the party stalwarts and banked on padayatras. The district administration has said campaigning should end at 5 pm on Friday as per the Representation of the People Act, 1951. Campai

Three held for murder

Three people, including two brothers, were arrested on Thursday for the murder of a burglar. Wadi police arrested the trio who had stoned to death Suraj Dongre over past enmity on April 19. Dongre, against whom there are several offences of thefts and burglary, was repeatedly assaulted with stones between Ramabai chowk and Ambazari. Later on, they took an injured Dongre to Ambazari Lake and pushed him in to make sure that he died.Police arrested Mayur Raut and his elder brother Dhananand along with their accomplice Ritesh Gupta for the murder. Another accomplice, who has been identified as Pravin, is yet to be nabbed.According to sources, victim Dongre had a tiff with Mayur a month ago. After the fighting, Dongre would often abuse and intimidate Mayur. On a couple of occasions, Dongre had thrashed Mayur too.Fed up with the harassment, Mayur and his elder brother Dhananand along with their friends hatched a plot. The brothers lured Suraj promising him a big haul from a burglary that th

No water in OCWL pipelines since two months

The 24x7 water supply scheme was supposed to providing citizens with uninterrupted and uncontaminated water supply. However, due to lack of coordination between private operator Orange City Water Limited (OCWL) and Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), Jaripatka locality is without piped water for two months. The work of laying new pipelines in the area was finished two months ago. OCWL had told the residents that they would start getting water in a day or two through new pipes but their taps continue to be dry. Jaripatka resident Shankar Gulani said, "since the residents stopped getting tap water, OCWL has been sending tankers free of cost. However, it is making us run from pillar to post for getting a tanker. On Wednesday morning I went to Bezonbagh overhead tank for booking a tanker. The OCWL and NMC employees asked me to talk to another until I started screaming at them. Then a man called Dipak told me to get a letter from corporator Suresh Jagyasi if I wanted a tanker. When I

Response at Gadkari Chowk overwhelming

The response to the Win With The Times (WWTT) campaign continues to grow with every passing day as more and more people are making sure they wear helmets and fasten their seat belts while driving on the city roads, apart from carrying the day's Times of India (TOI) copy with them.Citizens were found urging the WWTT team to continue with the campaign, and also shared some new ideas with them for better awareness among commuters.On Thursday, the drive took place at yet another busy signal at Gadkari Chowk. Eager readers made a beeline to grab their gifts while waving their TOI copies to the WWTT team."I was spotted by the WWTT team while driving with my seat belt fastened and was handed over the prize," said a delighted Sunita Sankalecha, a doctor by profession. She further said that every campaign the TOI took was a success and hence the WWTT team should also make an effort to focus the attention of people towards another important issue of saving water.Mahendra Pagare, a

Terror conspiracy case hearing stayed till May 7

The hearing in the terror conspiracy case in Nashik, that was scheduled to take place in the court of special additional sessions judge K K Tantrapale on Thursday will be delayed now, as the main accused in the case, Sheikh Lalbaba Farid, alias Bilal has moved an application in the Bombay high court to transfer the hearing to Mumbai.Special public prosecutor Ajay Misar said that, following the application by Bilal, the hearing in the sessions court has been stayed till May 7.On April 12, Abu Jundal, accused no. 3, had contended that he had no role to play in the terror conspiracy case in Nashik and that he be discharged from the case. Subsequently, he had also sought the records of call details with the Anti Terrorism Squad, Mumbai.In the subsequent hearing on April 28, however, the ATS had not produced the call detail records in the court.

ADB summit starts amid widespread protests

Opposing the central government's policies, various organizations led by People's Front Against International Financial Institutions opened a four-day protest against the 46th annual meeting of the ADB with a demonstration and a rally on Thursday at Greater Noida. The protesters allege that in the name of reforms of water, electricity and education sector, the ADB is not only ensuring privatization but also threatening the role of a welfare state. Police detained hundreds of agitators en route to Pari Chowk and took them to YMCA in Greater Noida.Farmers of Greater Noida, who had threatened to march in a semi-nude state outside the Expo Mart, were detained by the police late at night in their villages. Later in the afternoon, a seminar was organized in Greater Noida where former chief justice of Delhi high court Rajinder Sachar, social activist Medha Patkar and others from various states addressed the protestors. The protestors said their agitation will go on till the end of th