Dubai-Sharjah intercity bus service resumes finally

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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News Network
October 16,2020

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The Bharatiya Janata Party has become the party of corporate companies, with 82.3% or Rs 2,319.48 crore of the Rs 2,818.05 crore corporate donations given to national parties in seven years between 2012-13 and 2018-19 reaching the BJP.

Despite being India’s oldest political party, Congress received only Rs 376.02 crore during these seven years while other national parties -- NCP (Rs 69.81 crore), Trinamool Congress (Rs 45.01 crore), CPI-M (Rs 7.5 crore) and CPI (Rs 22 lakh) -- got much lesser.

Another national party, BSP has declared that it has not received any donation above Rs 20,000, which needs to be reported, while Trinamool Congress was accorded national party status only on 2 September, 2016.

The analysis by private election watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) showed that BJP had pipped the Congress in attracting corporate donations even when it was not in power at the Centre.

When the Congress-led UPA was in power, the BJP got Rs 72.99 crore in 2012-13, which rose to Rs 156.98 crore the next fiscal. In comparison, Congress got just Rs 7.54 crore, one-tenth of what the BJP received in 2012-13 and Rs 53.51 crore, around one-third the saffron party received in 2013-14.

 For the year 2018-19, Rs 876.10 crore, which was 92% of the total donations received, was donated by all the corporate and business houses to BJP, Congress, Trinamool Congress, NCP and CPI(M), the ADR report said.

While CPI reported that it did not receive any corporate donations, BSP said it did not receive any donation above Rs 20,000, which needs to be reported. Donations from corporates to National parties increased by 131% from the period between 2004-12 to 2018-19.

In the last fiscal, BJP received Rs 698.08 crore from 1,573 corporates, which was 94% of the Rs 742.15 crore it received as donations. Congress was a distant second with Rs 122.5 crore (82% of Rs 148.58 crore) from 122 such donors.

Trinamool Congress got Rs 42.98 crore from one donor while NCP got 11.34 crore from 17 donors and CPI(M) 1.18 crore from 62 corporate or business houses. CPI received Rs 1.59 crore as donations but none from corporates.

Progressive Electoral Trust was the top donor to BJP, Congress and Trinamool Congress in 2018-19. The Trust donated three times in a single year to the three parties each, amounting to a total of Rs 455.15 crore.

Of the Rs 876.10 crore donated by the corporates to five national parties, Rs 20.54 crore was received from the unsegregated category, which includes companies with no details available online or whose nature of work was unclear.

"A total of 319 donations through which National parties received Rs 31.42 crore do not have address details in the contribution form. National parties have received Rs 13.57 crore from 34 donations which do not have PAN details in the contribution form. Rs 13.33 crore or 99.75% of such donations without PAN as well as address details worth Rs 13.36 crore belong to the BJP," the report said.

Also, it added. 341 donations amounting to Rs 20.54 crore were corporate entities which have zero internet presence or if they do there is ambiguity about the nature of their work. "Contact and address details of most of these companies were unavailable in cases where they were visible online," it added.

In its recommendations, the ADR said all donors who have donated a minimum of Rs 20,000 as a single or multiple donations should provide their PAN details. Such incomplete contributions reports must be returned to the parties by the Election Commission, to deter them from providing incomplete information.

Corporates should make details of their political contributions available in the public domain through their websites (in annual reports or in a dedicated page) for increasing transparency in political financing.

"Annual scrutiny of donations reports of National, Regional and unrecognised parties should be initiated by a dedicated department of the CBDT, to discourage donations from shell companies or illegal entities," it added.

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News Network
October 22,2020

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New Delhi, Oct 22: Active cases of COVID-19 in India have fallen below 10 per cent while the positivity rate of the disease was reported below 5 per cent in the last three days, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said here on Thursday.

"Presently the active cases comprise merely 9.29 per cent of the total positive cases of the country standing at 7,15,812. The daily positivity rate has also been maintained at less than 5 per cent over the past three days indicating that the spread of infection is being effectively contained through focussed strategies and actions of the Centre and the states/UTs. Today, the daily positivity rate is reported to be 3.8 per cent," the official statement said.

The decrease in the daily positivity rate is simultaneously mapped by the falling active cases, which continues to be under 7.5 lakh today (7,15,812). The total recovered cases are close to 69 lakhs (68,74,518). The difference between active cases and recovered cases is consistently increasing and stands at 61,58,706 today.

As many as 79,415 patients have recovered and discharged in the last 24 hours whereas the new confirmed cases are 55,839. The national recovery rate has progressed to 89.20 per cent.

A total of 702 case fatalities have been reported in the past 24 hours. Of these, nearly 82 per cent are concentrated in 10 states/UTs.

More than 25 per cent of new fatalities reported are from Maharashtra (180 deaths).

"On a global scale, India continues to report one of the lowest cases/million population. With consistently falling case fatality rate (1.51 per cent presently), it also has one of the lowest COVID-19 mortality," the MoHFW said.

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News Network
October 19,2020

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Pune, Oct 19: During next 24 hours, strong winds of speed 40-50 kmph very likely over westcentral and northwest Arabian Sea, westcentral Bay of Bengal(BoB) and north Andaman sea.

Fishermen are advised not to venture into these sea areas.

Heavy to very heavy rainfall very likely at isolated places over Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Karaikal, Odisha, Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Mizoram, Madhya Maharashtra, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Yanam, Telangana, Rayalaseema and interior Karnataka.

Thunderstorm with lightning very likely at isolated places over east Rajasthan, west Madhya Pradesh, Gangetic West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Gujarat, madhya Maharashtra, Marathwada, Konkan, Goa, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Yanam, Telangana, Rayalaseema, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal.

Southwest monsoon has been active over madhya Maharashtra whereas it has subdued over West Bengal, Sikkim, Jharkhand, Bihar, east Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, Konkan, Goa, Rayalaseema and Kerala.

In the regions from where the monsoon has withdrawn, day temperatures were above normal in some parts of Punjab, Uttarakhand and west Uttar Pradesh.

Day temperatures were appreciably above normal in some parts of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh; below normal in some parts of Saurashtra and Kutch.

The highest maximum temperature recorded was 37.5 degrees Celsius at Ganganagar in west Rajasthan.

Night temperatures were above normal in some parts of Uttarakhand; appreciably above normal in some parts of west Rajasthan and markedly above normal in remaining parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat.

Night temperatures were below normal in remaining parts of west Uttar Pradesh. The lowest minimum temperature recorded was 12.7 degrees Celsius at Hisar in Haryana.

From 0830 hours Sunday to 0830 hours Monday, thunderstorm was observed at isolated places over Gangetic West Bengal, Odisha, west Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, Saurashtra, Kutch, Konkan, Goa, madhya Maharashtra, Marathwada, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, coastal Andhra Pradesh, and Yanam.

Rain or thundershowers occurred at many places in Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, madhya Maharashtra, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Rain or thundershowers occurred at few places in Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, Saurashtra and Kutch, Marathwada, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, south interior Karnataka, Kerala, Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Sikkim, east and west Rajasthan, Gujarat region, Konkan and Goa, Telangana, Rayalaseema, and coastal and north interior Karnataka.

Mainly dry weather prevailed in Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, and Lakshadweep.

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