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ANNOUNCES RS 187.47 CR WORTH OF TOURISM PROJECTS, ALSO ADDITIONAL RS 50 CR FOR TUBEWELLS

Amritsar
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday laid the foundation stones for five infrastructural projects, worth Rs. 127.86 crores, in Amritsar, while announcing an additional Rs. 50 crore for tubewells to ensure seamless supply of clean water pending the completion of the canal water supply network in the holy city.

The Chief Minister also announced a slew of tourism development projects, totalling Rs. 187.47 crores, for the upgradation of Amritsar, to showcase it as a global tourism destination.

The Chief Minister pressed the button to lay the foundation stone, by remote, of two Railway Over Bridges (RoBs), one Railway under Bridge (RUB) and a flyover besides, extension of the existing Bhandari Bridge. The inauguration took place in the presence of Local Government Minister and Amritsar MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu, whom Captain Amarinder Singh credited with facilitating the necessary permissions from the Railways Ministry.

The projects, said the Chief Minister, would go a long way in boosting the infrastructure of the old town and reducing traffic congesting. Further noting that big cities like Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Patiala were facing acute water problems, the Chief Minister said with water levels receding the water received by these regions was becoming unfit for drinking, leading to spread of diseases. Announcing his government’s decision to provide canal water to these four cities, the Chief Minister underlined the need for regular and thorough testing of water.

Speaking on the occasion, Sidhu lashed out at the Badals for failing to develop the city during their 10-year rule. The Akalis had built only one bridge in 10 years while the Captain Amarinder Singh government had started work on five, he said, adding that tenders were being issued for these projects and work on them will be completed within a year.

The projects for which the foundation stones were laid by the Chief Minister included ROBs at Vallah Phatak on Amritsar-Delhi Railway line and on Amritsar-Attari section at Khajana Gate, RUB at Jaura Phatak on Amritsar-Delhi section and Amritsar-Pathankot section, & of Flyover at Sant Singh Sukha Singh (SSSS Chowk) on Majitha Road, besides extension of the existing Bhandari Bridge by constructing a parallel additional bridge.

The total cost of these projects is Rs. 127.86 Crores, of which Rs. 111.56 Crores would be borne by the Amritsar Improvement Trust (AIT), with the Railways contributing Rs. 16.30 Crores for the ROB at Vallah being built on cost-sharing basis. AIT has already earmarked Rs. 130 Crores in terms of FDRs for the timely execution of these developmental works.

The ROB to be built at Vallah Phatak would be completed at a cost of Rs. 34 Crores and the tenders in this regard would be floated by AIT. The other ROB to be built at Amritsar-Attari section would entail a cost of Rs. 25 Crores.

Construction of RUB at Jaura Phatak would be competed at a cost of Rs. 28.70 Crores for which tenders would be invited by Railways. Total cost of Rs. 18.16 Crores for Construction of Flyover at 4S Chowk on Majitha Road would be borne by AIT. The extension of existing Bhandari Bridge would be completed at a cost of Rs. 22 Crores, for which tenders have been called by AIT and evaluation of the tenders is under process after obtaining requisite approvals.

Underscoring the need to tap Amritsar’s tourism potential, Captain Amarinder Singh said that several iconic tourism projects, worth Rs. 37.46 crores were in progress, while another Rs. 110.01 crore worth of projects were in the pipeline. These included Rs. 8 crore for VR/light & sound show at Jallianwala Bagh, for which Government of India’s NoC was awaited.

Giving details, the Chief Minister said the Tourism and Culture department had received tenders for the remaining conservation, landscaping works of the historic Gobindgarh Fort at Rs.13.95 crore, while Rs.15.18 crore works were already in progress.

Further, a sum of Rs.8 crore would be spent on the conservation and setting up of a museum on the life of the legendary Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh at the Summer Palace, and was likely to be completed by the end of September next year.

Apart from these, Rs.5.28 crore had already been spent on the conservation and adaptive re-use of the historic Town Hall building as Food Street, and tenders for Rs.10.76 crore had been received for the completion of the remaining conservation works in Town Hall building by March end 2020. Another Rs. 10 crore had been sanctioned for the beautification of the road in front of holy Sri Durgiana Temple. A sum of Rs.7 crore had been announced for different development works at Ram Tirath.

A sum of Rs.33.55 crore would be spent on Facade Improvement and its illumination at four Heritage Walk Streets under the smart city scheme, and Rs.30 crore has been earmarked for the widening and beautification of chowk & road at the historic Gurdwara Baba Deep Singh Ji. Besides, said the Chief Minister, Rs.3.75 crore had been earmarked for conservation work at Heritage Walk in Quila Ahluwalia and Rs. 9 crore for public conveniences, interpretation centre, bird hides, viewing deck and watching towers at Harike Wetland.

On the occasion, the Chief Minister also announced to construct a state-of-the-art sports complex over an area of 25 acre in Ranjit Avenue at a cost of Rs.33 crores.

Prominent amongst others present on the occasion were Education Minister OP Soni, Revenue Minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, Media Advisor to CM Raveen Thukral, along with MLAs Raj Kumar Verka, Sunil Dutti, Harpartap Singh Ajnala, Tarsem Singh DC, Santokh Singh Bhalaipur, Sukhwinder Singh Danny, Dharamvir Agnihotri, Inderbir Singh Bolaria and Mayor Karmjit Singh Rintu.

Monday, 15 October 2018 07:30

Army cell to counter social media misuse

New Delhi
Alarmed at misuse of social media to spread falsehoods about the Indian Army and its personnel, top military commanders led by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat have discussed the issue of setting up a dedicated cell that will identify, monitor and inspect fake and inflammatory messages against the Army.

The cell will work round the clock to counter any propaganda. The Army presently has a small  social media team but that is not enough. The top Army commanders who are meeting in Delhi , have been apprised of the seriousness of the situation.

The Army believes “too much” of wrong information has been spread on the Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. The misuse of social media is part of asymmetric warfare  aimed at lowering the morale of the Army through rumours and falsehood. These messages exaggerate issues and tell half-truth.

A possible trigger was in June when fake and morphed videos showing “strong action” by the Army in Kashmir were circulated on WhatsApp.

Some of these videos were not even shot in India, but were passed off as new “policy” in Kashmir. Such fake videos showing “strong action” were seen as propaganda from Pakistan, which was eyeing to discredit the Indian Army during the then ongoing session of the United Nations Human Right Council .

Videos of the Army bringing down houses, mishandling people and dragging terrorists were all fake. These videos are a soft and oblique way to spread a false narrative of human rights violations.

Last year, falsehood was spread saying “one rank, one pension” was only for officers and how the 7th CPC delayed all benefits to jawans, but not officers.

US President Donald Trump has said that he wants people with merit, who can help, to enter the country and not sneak inside the border illegally.

“I’m very tough at the borders. We’ve been very tough at the borders. People have to come into our country legally, not illegally. Legally. And I want them to come in on merit,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Saturday.

Responding to a series of question on illegal immigration, the president reiterated that he wants people based on merit, a move that can help technology professionals from countries such as India.

“What I want is merit. I want a lot of people to come in. We have great car companies entering our country again. This hasn’t happened for 35 years. We have companies like Foxconn going to Wisconsin with a massive, massive plant,” he said.

“We need people coming in, but we want them to come in on merit. We want people that are going to help us. It’s very important,” Trump said.

Observing that immigration is not tricky to him, he insisted that the administration and the Congress have to do the right thing whether there’s an election or not.

He opposed the chain migration policy and said, “If that’s a bad policy, then guess what, a lot of bad things are going to happen. But a lot of people agree with me. I would say a vast majority of our country agrees. They don’t want criminals coming into our country. They don’t want people that they don’t want in the country that aren’t going to help us as a country. They don’t want these people coming in. So we have a very strong policy.”

Washington
President Donald Trump has alleged China, in addition to Russia, meddled in the 2016 US presidential elections.

Last month, chairing a UN Security Council meeting on the sidelines of the UN general Assembly in New York, Trump had alleged that China was trying to interfere in the 2018 mid-term polls and that it did not want him to be the president. China has denied these allegations.

However, for the first time Trump came out in open to say that China also meddled in the 2016 presidential elections.

“They meddled. But I think China meddled too,” Trump told CBS News’s popular ‘60 Minutes’ in an interview. Recorded on Thursday, the interview was broadcast Sunday night.

“I think China meddled also. And I think, frankly, China...is a bigger problem,” Trump said and denied that by saying so he is not trying to divert the entire Russia thing.

“I’m saying Russia, but I’m also saying China,” he said.

But it’s the investigation of Russia’s intervention in the 2016 election that hangs over his presidency and caused a rift with his Attorney General Jeff Sessions, because he recused himself from the inquiry.

Trump expressed disappointment that his Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescued himself from the Russia investigation.

“I was disappointed that he recused himself and many people think I was right on that. I was very disappointed. Why should he have recused himself? So I was very disappointed,” he said. Former FBI Director Robert Mueller is conducting investigations into the allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Responding to a question, he said he has no intention of shutting down the Russian investigation. “Well, I don’t pledge anything. But will tell you, I have no intention of doing that. I think it’s a very unfair investigation because there was no collusion of any kind,” he said.

Prime Minister Theresa May looks close to getting her Brexit deal, but can she get it through Parliament? She doesn’t have a majority, and her Conservative Party is fundamentally split. Nevertheless, one Cabinet minister close to the subject said last week the goal is not just to win by one or two votes but do so with a comfortable majority.

That would mean not just a lot of Tory lawmakers voting for it, but the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party and a significant chunk of the Labour Party, too. The DUP are signed up to vote with May, though they’re warning they may not be able to if her compromises put up barriers between Northern Ireland and Britain. Labour is clear it won’t support her as things stand.

May needs the support of at least 320 lawmakers to win a vote. There are 315 Conservatives, and 10 members of the DUP. Of the Conservatives, she can, in theory, count on her “payroll vote’’ around 150 members of Parliament who would have to quit official positions to vote against her. Then there’s another 80 or so who are fundamentally loyal.

The only other place she could realistically hope to find votes is among the 257 Labour members, who will be ordered to vote against May unless she opts for much closer ties with the EU. But a big win would require some to rebel and support the prime minister. At least 14 Labour lawmakers would need to vote in favor to get the deal to pass, according to communications consultancy Edelman.

How might she maximize the Tory support and also win some votes from Labour? “The trick in politics is setting the question,’’ a Labour MP said.

Rescuers on Sunday retrieved the bodies of five South Korean climbers and their four Nepalese guides who died in a storm that destroyed their base camp on Gurja Himal mountain.

Two helicopters brought eight of the bodies to Kathmandu from the mountain after the weather cleared. The body of one of the Nepalese guides was flown to his village.

A group of South Korean climbers and their Nepali guides have been killed after a storm hit their camp on a Himalayan peak in west Nepal, officials said on Saturday.

Grieving family members gathered at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital in Nepal’s capital where the bodies were taken for autopsies before being handed to their families.

The storm swept the camp on Friday night, and word of the destruction got out Saturday morning.

Helicopters were not able to land due to the continuing bad weather, but villagers reached the base camp Saturday evening and found the bodies.

Indian wrestler Simran settled for a silver in women's freestyle 43 kg category competition after she lost to Emily Shilson of United States in the final bout here.

Simran, who had won a 40kg class bronze in the 2017 Cadet World Championships, lost 6-11 as the American registered a 'victory by points' to clinch the gold on Saturday night.

Simran conceded a 2-9 lead to Shilson in the first period and that virtually sealed her fate.

The Indian produced a better show in the second period by scoring four points as against two by his American opponent but that proved to be too little, too late to have any impact on the result of the bout.

Shilson is the gold medallist in 43kg in the 2018 Cadet World Championships.

This is India's fifth silver along with three gold in the ongoing Youth Olympics. The medals won by shuttler Lakshya Sen, shooter Manu Bhaker and judoka Tababi Devi in mixed team events are not counted in the country's total medal tally as they had paired with athletes of other countries.

The other Indian in the wrestling competition, Mansi finished eighth after losing her classification match to Imbabi Ahmed of Egypt who received a 'victory by fall' decision.

The President, Shri Ram Nath Kovind with the Trainee Assistant Executive Engineers of 2018 Batch and Probationary Deputy Architects from the National CPWD Academy, Ghaziabad, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on October 15, 2018.

The Minister of State (I/C) for Power and New and Renewable Energy, Shri Raj Kumar Singh addressing the press conference, in New Delhi on October 15, 2018. The Secretary, Ministry of Power, Shri Ajay Kumar Bhalla and other dignitaries are also seen.

The Minister of State for Culture (I/C) and Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr. Mahesh Sharma and the Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs (I/C), Shri Hardeep Singh Puri at the Bhoomi Poojan Ceremony of the Museum on the Prime Ministers of India, in New Delhi on October 15, 2018.

New York

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