191 kgs of drugs worth Rs 1,000-cr seized at Nhava Sheva port of Navi Mumbai

Agencies
August 10, 2020

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Mumbai, Aug 10: In a joint operation of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and the Customs, 191 kgs of drugs worth around Rs 1,000 crores were seized at Nhava Sheva port of Navi Mumbai, the DRI said.

According to DRI, the drugs were being transported inside pipes and they cost around Rs 5 crores per kg in the market.

Two accused have been arrested in the case who had allegedly brought these drugs through Afghanistan. The accused were produced in the court and they have been remanded in custody for 14 days, and further investigation is underway.

"191 kg of drugs, worth Rs 1,000 crores, seized at Nhava Sheva port of Navi Mumbai in a joint operation with customs. Transported inside pipes, drugs were brought through Afghanistan. Court has sent the two accused to 14 days police custody," said a DRI officer.

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News Network
September 22,2020

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Geneva, Sept 22: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported a record number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus registered across the world over the past week -- almost 2 million infections -- which marks the highest number in a single week so far.

"From 14 through 20 September, there were almost 2 million new cases of COVID-19, which represents a 6 per cent increase compared to the previous week, and the highest number of reported cases in a single week since the beginning of the epidemic. During the same period, there was a 10 per cent decrease in the number of deaths, with 36,764 deaths reported in the past seven days," the WHO said in a situation report late on Monday.

In particular, an increase in the weekly case incidence rate was reported across all regions in the last seven days, except for Africa, with the two Americas remaining the worst-hit areas and accounting for over 38 per cent of all new cases reported over the past week.

Meanwhile, Europe showed the greatest increment in the number of fatalities in the past week, with a 27-per cent increase compared to the previous week.

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Agencies
September 27,2020

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Dubai, Sept 27: The Dubai-Sharjah intercity bus service, a major lifeline for commuters who travel between the emirates daily for work, has resumed.

Two of the routes started today, while the third will begin two weeks later.

"The first of the three routes, E303, starts from the Union Metro Station in Dubai and heads to Al Jubail Bus Station in Sharjah. The second route, E307A, starts from Abu Hail Metro Station in Dubai and heads to Al Jubail Bus Station in Sharjah as well. These two routes start operation on Sunday, September 27. The third route, E315, will start from Etisalat Metro Station in Dubai and head to Muwaileh Bus Station and will start after two weeks, Sharjah," said Adel Sharkri, Director of Planning and Business Development, Public Transport Agency, RTA.

"The three routes are vital for the integration of public transport networks between Dubai and Sharjah. These routes are transitional to riders returning to Sharjah starting their journey off three metro stations in Dubai (Union, Abu Hail and Etisalat). They will ease the mobility of commuters between the two Emirates, especially those living in Sharjah and working in Dubai," he added.

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Shivani
September 17,2020

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The Western Ghats have been exposed to excessive human interference for past few years. Though a certain amount of forest was lent for agroforestry in this hot-spot of biological diversity, people have crossed the margin which resulted in irregular rains and floods in the region. In the past few years, south-west of India was prone to floods and landslides though the amount of rain received by these parts is relatively less.

According to environmental activist Dinesh Holla, “the shola grassland that grows in the hills of Western Ghats play a major role in holding the rainwater that flows down the hill. The roots of the grass hold the rainwater and this water is stored in the catchment area. Hence only a limited amount of rainwater joins the river. Since the shola forest is being cut down for different purposes like setting up the power plant, resorts, commercial crop plantation etc the water flows down the hill causing soil erosion and flooding as well. In 2018, Kerala and Madikeri faced major floods due to this.”

“Last year, several parts of Western Ghats suffered forest fire. This became an opportunity for estate owners to extend their land of agroforest. There are even instances where the estate owner sprayed chemicals on the grassland so that they catch fire during summer and they could occupy the reserved forest land. Also, the forest fire burns the seed that would germinate into another tree. Hence the reserved forest area is somehow devastated by the people. Though only certain parts of Western Ghats are allotted for development purpose, a large area of forest has been encroached.”

Shivananda Kalave, a water conversationalist, says, “There are   several endemic plants grown in Western Ghats. In order to make deforestation look convincing to the public, the industrialists claim it as compensatory deforestation. The suitable climate necessary for the growth of the endemic plants is only found in Western Ghats. Hence deforestation is still a damage with or without compensation.” 

“There are several plants in Western Ghats that boost our immunity but people decide to destroy forests under the pretext of development, employment and what not. What kind of unhealthy society are we building by destroying this forest which is beyond price?” he laments. 

In concern with floods, Karve says that the absorption rate of the forest in Western Ghats is 10- 12% rest of water flows down and joins the river. Since the highway has been constructed in between the forest, the water does not have a proper path to flow. Also, after immense clear cutting of the forest, the rate of absorption has declined to 4% which means the amount of rainwater that would be flowing to the river will be unendurable, resulting in floods.

The section 2 of the Forest (Conservation) Act of 1980 states that a prior approval is necessary from the central government before de-reserving the reserved forest. Several parts of Western Ghats also belong to the reserved forest. Also, according to the National Forest Policy 2016, climate change should be given importance in forest management and community management plans. The Ministry of Environment and Forest appointed the Western Ghats ecological expert panel under the chairmanship of Madhav Gadgil. The committee divided the area into three based on their ecological sensitivity. But the report faced great criticism as the people assumed it to be against farmers. Later the Kasturirangan committee was formed to examine the report of the Gadgil committee. However, this report favoured the corporates. As only 37% Western Ghats was considered an ecological sensitive zone and rest of the land is available for development projects. 

Nature has the power to generate as well as destroy. Even after facing the destruction caused by floods, humans have not learnt any lessons from the past. Clear cutting still takes place in Western Ghats, people still go there for road trips and throw plastic. This is just the beginning of karma to human society for the destruction we have caused. Destruction of nature will be nothing but us digging our own grave.

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