Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 11 : After being pounded by rains for the past few days, there was a brief let-up in the downpour today but the government remained on high alert with more rains forecast, even as the toll in the monsoon fury since August 8 climbed to 37. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who undertook an aerial survey of rain ravaged areas of Idukki and Wayanad, said Kerala was in the midst of an unprecedented flood havoc and the calamity has caused "immeasurable misery and devastation."
Kolkata, Aug 11 : Launching a scathing attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Congress president Rahul Gandhi for opposing the NRC in Assam, BJP chief Amit Shah today said the two leaders should clarify whether the country came first for them or vote bank. Pointing out that the Assam accord was signed by former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, Shah said at that time, the Congress had no problems with the National Register of Citizens (NRC). He alleged that for the sake of vote-bank politics, Gandhi was not making his stand clear on illegal migration from Bangladesh.
New Delhi, Aug 11 : Congress president Rahul Gandhi today attacked the Modi government over alleged rising atrocities against Dalits, citing a media report which claimed that BJP-ruled states registered the highest number of crimes against the Scheduled Castes. Gandhi remarks came days after he accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of having an "anti-Dalit" mindset. "Mr 56's best buddy, asked me to 'check my facts' when I said the BJP fuels violence against Dalits & Adivasis," he tweeted.
New Delhi, Aug 10 ; Industrial output recorded a growth of 7 per cent in June on account of higher output in mining, manufacturing and power generation segments.
Factory output growth measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) was revised upwards for May at 3.9 per cent from previous estimate of 3.2 per cent estimated earlier, according to data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) today.
The cumulative growth for the period April-June 2018 stands at 5.2 per cent over the corresponding period of the previous year.
The manufacturing sector, which constitutes 77.63 per cent of the index, grew by 6.9 per cent in June, as against a decline of 0.7 per cent in the year-ago month.
Power generation segment saw a rise of 8.5 per cent during the month as compared to 2.1 per cent growth a year ago.
The mining sector output recorded an impressive growth of 6.6 per cent in June as against 0.1 per cent in June 2017.
Visakhapatnam, Aug 9; Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidutoday announced sanction of Rs 2,564 crore for development of tribal pockets in the state
Naidu also announced a new pension scheme under which tribal folk above the age of 50 will be given pension.
Tribal areas were blessed with rich natural resources and clean environment, he said and urged the tribal people to utilise locally available resources to multiply their income.
"We would develop Araku and Paderu as health tourism centers and horticulture hub in the coming days, he said, taking part in theInternational Day of the World's Indigenous People (Adivasi Day) celebrations at Paderu in Vizag Agency.
Naidu described Adivasis as "gems of the soil" as they had proved that they were second to none.
Earlier, Naidu participated in the 'Grama Darshini' programme at Adarimetta near here and interacted with local people.
"My objective is to improve the mobile phone connectivity and improve the livelihood of the tribal people in the coming days," Naidu added.
Raipur, Aug 10 (PTI) A group of Naxals allegedly set ablaze five empty trucks in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh early today, police said.
With this, Maoists have so far torched at least nine vehicles, including two passenger buses, in the last three days in separate incidents in Dantewada, police said.
The arson is being viewed as a reaction to the death 15 Naxals in an encounter with security forces in neighbouring Sukma district on August 6.
"As per the information, a group of armed Naxals reached near the office of Truck Owners' Association in Bacheli town, where several trucks were parked, in the wee hours," Dantewada Additional Superintendent of Police Gorakhnath Baghel told PTI.
"They threatened the truck drivers to leave the place and before fleeing from the spot, they torched five empty trucks," he added.
Soon after being alerted about the incident, a police team was rushed to the spot.
Security arrangements have been stepped up in the area and combing operation has been intensified to trace the ultras, he said.
These trucks were engaged in transportation of iron ore in Bailadila iron ore mines area that consists of two towns- Kirandul and Bacheli- located around 450 kms away from the capital Raipur.
"Maoists are frustrated over the death of its cadres in recent encounters in Sukma and Bijapur and therefore they are committing such acts," Baghel said.
As many as 15 ultras were gunned down in an encounter with security forces in Konta area in Sukma on August 6.
Two days after the incident, naxals torched two buses and a truck in Bhansi area of Dantewada after asking occupants of the vehicles to alight.
In another incident on the same day, the engine of an empty rake of the Visakhapatnam-Kirandul passenger train derailed after Naxals uprooted railway tracks near Kamaloor railway station in Dantewada.
Yesterday, Maoists had torched a JCB machine, engaged in pipeline laying works, in Kuakonda police station area of the district.
New Delhi, Aug 10 ; Prime Minister Narendra Modi today blamed previous governments for not taking the ethanol blending programme seriously and said now its production will triple to 450 crore litres in the next four years, leading to import savings of Rs 12,000 crore.
"Ethanol blending programme was started during Vajpayee government. But previous governments did not take ethanol programme seriously. Now we will produce 450 crore litre of ethanol in next four years from existing 141 crore litre. It will result in import savings of Rs 12,000 crore," Modi said addressing an event here to mark World Biofuel Day.
India meets more than 80 per cent of its oil needs through imports.
Apart from the thrust on use of electricity, particularly from renewable sources, India is promoting biofuels for reducing its crude import bill.
Modi said as many as 12 biofuel refineries at an investment of Rs 10,000 crore have been planned in the country. The government will achieve 10 per cent ethanol blending in petrol by 2022 and is targeting to double it to 20 per cent by 2030, he added.
Modi said that one refinery will generate employment for 1,000-1,500 people.
The Prime Minister was of the view that increasing use of biofuels would enhance farmers' income and generate employment in the country.
He also said 175 bio-CNG plants have been set up in the country and expressed hope that soon people would see vehicles running on this source of energy.
He lauded the efforts of his government for fixing the minimum support price of 14 kharif crops at 1.5 times the cost of production to boost farmers' income.
On this occasion, he also launched a web portal 'Parivesh' for speedy environment clearance of projects and also unveiled the National Biofuel Policy, 2018
Chandigarh, August 9 : The Sikh Referendum-2020 has no basis, need and support in Punjab, announced Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann on Thursday in an exclusive web interview with The Tribune. He also announced that a strict disciplinary action was likely soon against MLAs Sukhpal Khaira and Kanwar Sandhu, who, he alleged have incited other MLAs and conspired with the ex-alliance partner Lok Insaf Party for last several months to break the AAP. A meeting of the state party unit held earlier in the day also resolved to see action against Khaira and Sandhu on disciplinary grounds.
Pune, August 9 : Internet services were suspended in Maharashtra's Pune district today to prevent rumour-mongering in view of the Maratha quota agitation, police said. Superintendent of Police (SP) Sandip Patil told PTI the Internet services were temporarily suspended in Baramati, Shirur, Khed, Junnar, Maval, Bhor and Daund rural tehsils of the district.
New Delhi, August 9 : BJP President Amit Shah on Thursday advised Congress President Rahul Gandhi to give "some time to facts", accusing his party of treating Dalits with "patronising and condescending" attitude. "Rahulji, when you are free from winking and disrupting Parliament, give some time to facts as well. NDA Government, through a Cabinet decision and in Parliament ensured the strongest amendment to the Act. Why are you protesting that?" Shah said in a series of tweets.