Shivamogga blast probe unearths interstate illegal trade of explosives

News Network
January 24, 2021

Shivamogga, Jan 24: A team of police officials, led by Eastern Range IG S Ravi which is probing into the blast incident that claimed the lives of six persons at Hunasodu village near Shivamogga, has discovered that people with political influence have been operating the racket of illegal trade of explosives in the district for the past several years.

A police officer, on condition of anonymity, said the people, involved in the trade, have been bringing explosive materials, including gelatin sticks, dynamites, ammonium nitrate and detonator, in lorries in huge quantities from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and other states to the city and selling them to owners of stone crusher units and stone quarries at a profitable price. These facts came to light during the investigation of the accused, the police officer said.

The officer also stated that teams have been set up for the transport and the distribution of explosives. They used to bring more than 10 tonnes of explosives at a time in lorries and park them in the quarries for distribution to the owners. 

Later, they used to send them in jeeps to owners of crusher units depending on their requirement. The local youths who have knowledge of explosives used to transport them, he explained.

On blast incident, he said 18 persons were in stone crusher unit at Hunasodu village late on Thursday night. Around three tonnes of explosives had been brought in lorries to the site. 

They had loaded the explosives in jeeps and some had left the spot and the others had gone for dinner. The blast took place when six persons were loading explosives in another jeep and all of them died, he added.

The investigation officers have suspected that electric short circuit might have triggered a blast in the site.

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Agencies
March 4,2021

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Bengaluru emerged as the top performer in the Million+ category in final rankings of Ease of Living Index (EoLI) 2020 and the Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2020.

Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Surat, Navi Mumbai, Coimbatore, Vadodara, Indore, and Greater Mumbai are the other cities that scored well in the list.

Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs released the final rankings of Ease of Living Index (EoLI) 2020 and the Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2020 on March 4 in an online event.

The rankings under Ease of Living Index 2020 were announced for cities with a population of more than a million, and cities with less than a million people. 111 cities participated in the assessment exercise that was conducted in 2020.

The analysis categorises them into Million+ populated cities (those with a population of more than a million) and Less than Million populated cites (those with a population of less than a million) along with all the cities under the Smart Cities Program.

Bengaluru emerged as the top performer in the Million+ category, followed by Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Surat, Navi Mumbai, Coimbatore, Vadodara, Indore, and Greater Mumbai.

In the Less than Million category, Shimla was ranked the highest in ease of living, followed by Bhubaneshwar, Silvassa, Kakinada, Salem, Vellore, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Davangere, and Tiruchirappalli.

Similar to the EoLI index, the assessment framework under MPI 2020 has classified municipalities based on their population- Million+ and Less than Million population.

In the Million+ category, Indore has emerged as the highest ranked municipality, followed by Surat and Bhopal.

In the Less than Million category, New Delhi Municipal Council topped the list, followed by Tirupati and Gandhinagar.

The MPI examined the sectoral performance of 111 municipalities (with Delhi being assessed separately for NDMC, and the three Municipal Corporations) across five verticals which comprise of 20 sectors and 100 indicators in all totality.

The five verticals under MPI are Services, Finance, Policy, Technology and Governance.

The Ease of Living Index (EoLI) is an assessment tool that evaluates the quality of life and the impact of various initiatives for urban development. It provides a comprehensive understanding of participating cities across India based on quality of life, economic-ability of a city, and its sustainability and resilience. The assessment also incorporates the residents' view on the services provided by city administration through a Citizen Perception Survey.

The Municipal Performance Index (MPI) was launched as an accompaniment to the Ease of Living Index. It seeks to examine local government practice in municipalities across areas of services, finance, policy, technology and governance. It seeks to simplify and evaluate the complexities in local governance practice and promote the ethos of transparency and accountability. 
 

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News Network
February 20,2021

Image result for No compromise on issues affecting common man, says new Leader of Opposition Kharge

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 20: Opposing the government just for the sake of doing so was not his style of functioning, the new leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said, but made it clear there would be no compromise on issues affecting the common man.

"We are not opposing the government just for the sake of opposition. We oppose the government's wrong policies affecting the common man," he told PTI to a query on how he would function as Leader of the Opposition.

Kharge, who became Leader of the Opposition this week following the retirement of Ghulam Nabi Azad, flagged the ongoing farmers stir demanding repeal of the three farm laws enacted by Parliament last year, "flouting all procedures" and demanded that they be withdrawn.

He suggested that the government come up with fresh proposals after withdrawing these controversial laws and refer them to a parliamentary standing committee for scrutiny.

The senior Congress leader visited Kerala on Friday to address a public meeting organised in Kollam as the Congress-led UDF's 'Aiswarya Kerala Yatra', led by senior party leader Ramesh Chennithala arrived in Kollam.

The yatra is being organised to reach out to people ahead of the assembly polls likely to be held in April-May. Kharge, a hardcore Gandhi family loyalist, said his party leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi had asked him to "highlight the issues of the poor people" on the floor of the House.

"We raise the issues (in Parliament) not to become famous. We take up the issues affecting the poor. Somebody should talk", the senior Congress leader said. The 78-year-old veteran leader, with over 50 years' experience in politics, urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP to listen to the voices of agitating farmers and address their grievances.

"The farmers have been agitating against the new farm laws for the past few months and demanding that they be withdrawn as it abolishes the MSP and the Mandi system We are all supporting their demand. The government has failed to satisfy the farmers, the major stakeholders, while bringing in these laws and should withdraw them," he said.

Kharge came down on the Centre on the issue, alleging that the government was using all its machinery to divide the farmers by terming them as 'Khalistanis' and 'Pakistanis.'

Kharge alleged that the incidents at the Red Fort on January 26 was a planned conspiracy by the government was one such move to cause divisions among the farmers and was done to 'hide its failures.'

He also flayed the government over the increasing fuel prices, saying they were doing "a great injustice" to the people. "Petrol prices are at an all-time high, while international crude oil prices have touched a record low.

By hiking prices day by day, the central government is doing a great injustice to the people of this country", he said. Kharge also urged Kerala's ruling CPI(M)-led LDF government to reduce state taxes on petrol and diesel to ease the burden on the people. 

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News Network
February 22,2021

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Mangaluru, Feb 22: Amid rising cases in neighbouring Kerala, authorities in Karnataka have decided to close 13 points of entry located in Wayanad and Kasaragod district in Kerala.

A long queue of vehicles was seen at the Talapady checkpost since Monday morning as officials have initiated the process of screening travellers from Kerala who enter Dakshina Kannada through the check-post.

Senior officials including District Health Officer, Tahsildar and police officials are at the spot.

All vehicles entering Mangaluru from Kerala are stopped and Covid reports of the people concerned are verified. Covid negative reports not older than 72 hours is mandatory for those entering the district from Kerala.

The measure has been taken in the wake of a spike in Covid cases in Kerala in the recent past. All inter-state borders with Kerala are closed except the borders at Talapady, Nettanige Mudnuru, Saradka in Bantwal, Menala in Puttur and Jalsur in Sullia.

Meanwhile people living along the border areas in the district are protesting against the inconvenience caused to them.

This has come as a jolt for Kerala residents living in these border areas as the open borders provide a huge succour to the people living on either side. They move freely for various needs, especially the farming community who regularly move from Kerala to engage in such activities on the lands they either own or take on lease in Karnataka.

According to travellers, Karnataka is insisting on negative RT-PCR covid test results. While Kerala has called the move unwarranted, Karnakata authorities say it is a necessary one.

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