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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
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N A T I O N

Al-Qaida’s next attack can be
through the sea
New Delhi, July 11
Pakistan’s port city of Karachi is increasingly evoking interest among Western terrorist-busters ever since the Anglo-American media recently published stories indicating that Al Qaida may use the sea route for its next major attack.

Floods claim 22 lives in Assam
New Delhi, July 11
The situation remained grim today in flood-ravaged regions in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar and North Bengal. Assam, one of the worst affected states, faced a fresh onslaught with flash floods in Barpeta district resulting from a breach in Kuricchu Hydel project reservoir in neighbouring Bhutan last night.

Army jawans rescue villagers at Dhamtola village in Nalbari district of Assam on Sunday.
Army jawans rescue villagers at Dhamtola village in Nalbari district of Assam on Sunday. — PTI photo

Udhav Thackeray towards M’rashtra CM’s chair?
Mumbai, July 11
Is Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s son, Udhav, a contender for the post of Chief Minister in Maharashtra?

Shiv Sena leaders Narayan Rane, Udhav Thackeray and Manohar Joshi at the inauguration of the two-day Shiv Sena National Executive meeting in Aurangabad, Maharashtra Shiv Sena leaders Narayan Rane, Udhav Thackeray and Manohar Joshi at the inauguration of the two-day Shiv Sena National Executive meeting in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, on Saturday.
— PTI
photo


Miss India-Universe Tanushree Dutta talks to mediapersons in Ranchi on Sunday during her first visit to her home town
Miss India-Universe Tanushree Dutta talks to mediapersons in Ranchi on Sunday during her first visit to her home town after winning the crown. — PTI

EARLIER STORIES

 

Shiv Sena in dock over Mumbai bandh
Mumbai, July 11
The Hindu Right-wing Shiv Sena is feeling the heat from Mumbai’s citizens who have sued the party for Rs 50 crore by way of damages incurred by people when a bandh was called on July 30 last year.

Trade unions to meet today over Budget
New Delhi, July 11
The Left parties-supported Central trade unions will meet here tomorrow to discuss the impact of the Union Budget on workers and chalk out the future course of action.

JD (S) snaps ties with Cong in Maharashtra
New Delhi, July 11
The Janata Dal (Secular) said today that it was snapping ties with alliance partners in Maharashtra, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party and its Minister of State for Agriculture Dada Jadhav will resign from the Sushil Kumar Shinde government within a couple of days.
In video: National Executive meet of the Janata Dal (Secular) begins in New Delhi. (28k, 56k)

Railways Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav and his wife Rabri Devi show railway tickets as they travel by the Patna-Digha passenger train
Railways Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav
and his wife Rabri Devi show railway tickets as they travel by the Patna-Digha passenger train which was flagged off by him from Patna on Sunday.

A boy feeds pigeons in Kolkata on Sunday
A boy feeds pigeons in Kolkata on Sunday.
— PTI photos

32,000 selected as primary teachers in UP
Lucknow, July 11
In what can be described as the mother of all recruitments, 32,000 primary school teachers were inducted for in-service basic teachers training in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday.

New Foreign Trade Policy in August
New Delhi, July 11
The government will announce the new Foreign Trade Policy in August. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has invited suggestions regarding the formulation and implementation of the policy.

Food Processing Ministry for unified food law
New Delhi, July 11
The food processing ministry wants greater control over the industry it is mandated to handle. It maintains that multiplicity of authorities and laws regulating this industry are hampering its development and resulting in huge losses. The new Food Processing minister Subodh Kant Sahay has, therefore, written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh making a strong case for a unified food law and a single regulatory authority for the industry.

WB Governor writes to Kalam
Kolkata, July 11
The West Bengal Governor, Mr Viren J. Shah, who is also Visva Bharati’s Rector (pradhana), has sent a letter to the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the university’s Visitor (Paridarsaka), informing him that the CBI and the state CID have been moving in the right direction into the Tagore Nobel Prize theft case.

News Analysis
Women bear the brunt of family planning
Lucknow, July 11
If one line of the Common Minimum Programme of the UPA government is pursued diligently, it will surely lead to misfortune for millions of women.
In video: World Population Day focuses on population and AIDS control. (28k, 56k)

Environmental nod must for major projects
New Delhi, July 11
The Centre has made environmental clearance mandatory for all major construction projects in the country, including hotels, office complexes, commercial complexes and hospitals.

All-time high rice procurement in Punjab
New Delhi, July 11
An all-time high rice procurement was recorded during the current marketing season with Punjab leading amongst the rice producing states. According to the latest data, the procurement has reached 221.48 lakh tonne, surpassing the previous high of 221.29 lakh tonne in the 2001-02 season.

Hemkunt Sahib yatra route cleared
Dehra Dun, July 11
Clear weather facilitated faster rescue operations in Badrinath and Joshimath today. As many as 700 pilgrims have been sent from Joshimath to Rishikesh after clearing the highway of debris.

Videos
Arthropods make villagers' life miserable.
(28k, 56k)

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Al-Qaida’s next attack can be through the sea
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 11
Pakistan’s port city of Karachi is increasingly evoking interest among Western terrorist-busters ever since the Anglo-American media recently published stories indicating that Al Qaida may use the sea route for its next major attack.

According to Western diplomatic observers here, Pakistan, a country designated by Washington as a Major Non NATO Ally (MNNA), is being closely monitored by Western spies and sleuths.

Washington started its now-famous fingerprinting practice first with Pakistanis and Saudis.

The US media is full of warnings of another major strike in the US mainland by Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaida before the Presidential elections later this year.

The US papers as well think tanks have also indicated that the next Al Qaida attack may be from the sea.

Karachi neatly fits the bill for several reasons. The port and the vast stretches of the coastline have been a smuggler’s haven for several decades despite the fact that a portion of the port house houses the headquarters of Pakistan Navy.

Karachi is strategically located as it straddles the Asian continent and Central Asia and offers a convenient land, air and sea route to Europe and the Americas. In the past few years, Karachi has emerged as a key point in the international human trafficking network that links up with the prostitution dens of the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Europe and the USA. Sale and purchase of women and children is one of the fastest growing illicit industries in the world and is likely to outpace the $300 billion drug industry in the next decade.

The most notorious syndicate involved in this trade is the Chinese Snakehead that has been smuggling illegal immigrants across the world. The Snakehead’s Karachi link surfaced in 2001 when one of its members was caught with a group of 20 Chinese men and women from a hideout in the city.

The reports in the Western Press that the Al Qaida’s attention would be drawn towards the sea in the coming days do not augur well for India. It can have serious implications for India with its shoreline dotted with a major petro-chemical complex in close proximity. This would threaten the US interests as well because the country has substantial military assets in the seas in and around the Indian Ocean.

Reports suggest that the Al Qaida is putting together a small fleet of freighters for its purpose. As per these reports the terror network might have bought about 80 vessels at different places with the help of fake companies and identities. One confirmation of this new terror came on October 6, 2002, when an explosion ripped a gaping hole in a French oil tanker, Limburg, off the Yemeni coast. Reports later said a vessel packed with explosives had rammed into the tanker, very similar to the incident involving the US submarine, USS Cole, in 2000.

According to Captain William Schubert, Maritime Administrator of the Department of Transportation, an attack on even one ship could force the closure of all 361 ports for at least four months. He told the US Senate Sub committee on Technology, Terrorism and Government Information, that the containers were welded shut at foreign ports and delivered unopened to US cities. These containers can therefore be used to smuggle terrorists and nuclear or chemical and biological weapons.

Closer to home, on July 5-6, 2002, the Indian Coast Guard intercepted an abandoned Lebanese ship in the Arabian Sea. Two AK-47 rifles with ‘Allah’ and `Yusuf’ inscribed on them were discovered on board the unmanned ship. Coast Guard Chief Vice Admiral O.P. Bansal went on record to have said Al Qaida or its allied terror groups could have used the ship to smuggle arms, drugs or even to flee to safer locations before abandoning it. The ship, Al Murtada, had last berthed at UAE in September 2001.

The incident showed another terror possibility. A ship can be loaded with explosives or radioactive materials and left adrift near a port or an offshore installation to blow up on contact.
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Floods claim 22 lives in Assam

New Delhi, July 11
The situation remained grim today in flood-ravaged regions in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar and North Bengal.

Assam, one of the worst affected states, faced a fresh onslaught with flash floods in Barpeta district resulting from a breach in Kuricchu Hydel project reservoir in neighbouring Bhutan last night.

Although the water levels have now steadied, a picture of devastation is emerging from the area with hundreds of houses damaged and standing crops in more than 25,000 hectares destroyed.

Railways have diverted all trains through the region. The main rail route to state capital Guwahati also remained submerged forcing authorities to channel all 30 pairs of to and fro trains through an alternative route via Kamakhya and Jogigopa causing a delay of one to two hours. So far 22 persons have died and an estimated 17 lakh affected in the state.

In neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh, official sources said five persons have died and over two lakh left homeless. The loss of property and livestock in the flood was estimated at over Rs one crore.

Road and rail transport was similarly disrupted in the eight flood-affected districts in Bihar, where hectic efforts are underway to rescue around 10 lakh marooned people.

In Coochbehar, Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling districts of North Bengal the three major rivers — Teesta, Torsha and Jaldhaka — were posing fresh threat following heavy rains, official sources said.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, meanwhile, released Rs 60 crore for rescue operations in the state. He sought an emergency fund of Rs 1,200 crore under the Natural Calamity Contingency Fund (NCCF) and seven MI-8 helicopters permanently for rescue and relief operations. — UNI
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Udhav Thackeray towards M’rashtra CM’s chair?
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, July 11
Is Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s son, Udhav, a contender for the post of Chief Minister in Maharashtra?

The elder Thackeray today fanned further speculation in political circles about his son’s ambitions by confirming at Aurangabad, 600 kms from here, that a section of the Shiv Sena leaders were keen on Udhav taking over as the Shiv Sena leader in the Maharashtra Assembly.

The elder Thackeray, however, reserved comment on the matter till elections are announced. “It’s a secret,” Mr Thackeray said.

Should Udhav Thackeray agree to be the Shiv Sena-BJP chief ministerial candidate for the Maharashtra Assembly poll, it would be a major departure for the family which has resolutely avoided any political office. Mr Bal Thackeray has chosen to exercise his clout on the elected members of the Shiv Sena without holding any office himself.

Shiv Sena leaders, however, feel that the saffron combine would receive a major boost should Udhav Thackeray decide to become the chief ministerial candidate. The charisma of the Thackeray family would easily overcome the caste and community-based coalition being stitched up by NCP chief Sharad Pawar for the state poll, it is felt.

The Thackerays have already decided that a dose of hardline Hindutva, combined with populism aimed at farmers, will be the Sena’s campaign plank for the Maharashtra poll.

Mr Bal Thackeray has promised to waive loans to farmers and supply free electricity to farmers if the saffron alliance is voted to power.
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Shiv Sena in dock over Mumbai bandh
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, July 11
The Hindu Right-wing Shiv Sena is feeling the heat from Mumbai’s citizens who have sued the party for Rs 50 crore by way of damages incurred by people when a bandh was called on July 30 last year.

Prominent citizens, including former Cabinet Secretary B.G. Deshmukh, ad man Gerson D’Cunha and former Mumbai Police Commissioner Julio Ribeiro have filed a public interest litigation petition in the Bombay High Court. Four daily-wage earners, motor mechanic Vinod Kumar, autorickshaw driver Ayub Khan, shop worker Sahit Ali and security supervisor Samsher Singh, who lost their earnings for a day due to the shutdown, are also petitioners in the case.

When the matter came up for hearing earlier this week, the party roped in senior counsel G. Singhi from Delhi to put forward the Shiv Sena’s case before the court. The Shiv Sena contended that the bandh was spontaneous and was not forced on the citizens of Mumbai. The Shiv Sena even cited the support for the bandh call by Muslim organisations like the Ulema Council and the Raza Academy. Its counsel told the court that violence and public inconvenience were inevitable in any form of political protest.

The Shiv Sena also told the court that the petitioners must come up with evidence to show that its activists had forced people to stay at home.

Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court A.P. Shah and Mr Justice S.U. Kamdar have indicated that the Shiv Sena would have to pay a “hefty fine” for the bandh.

The matter has been scheduled for hearing on July 13.

The Shiv Sena and the BJP had called for the bandh after a bomb blast in a bus claimed several lives. The bandh was to “pay homage to the blast victims and to protest against the poor law and order situation in Maharashtra,” the two parties had then said.
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Trade unions to meet today over Budget
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 11
The Left parties-supported Central trade unions will meet here tomorrow to discuss the impact of the Union Budget on workers and chalk out the future course of action.

All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) General-Secretary and Gurudas Das Gupta said all major Central trade unions, including CITU, the HMS, the BMS and INTUC, had been invited to the meeting.

The meeting, which will be held at the AITUC headquarters, will have on its agenda the Budget proposals and its impact on workers, especially in the context of the demands which the Central trade unions had placed before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Labour Minister Sis Ram Ola during the meetings ahead of the Budget.

In these meetings, the trade unions had demanded increase in the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) from the present 9.5 per cent to 12 per cent and social security benefits for unorganised workers. But the maintenance of interest rate of the Special Deposit Scheme at 8 per cent (about 80 per cent of EPF is parked in Special Deposit Scheme) in the Budget might make paying 9.5 per cent interest to EPF economically unviable.

Mr Das Gupta said the future course of action of the unions would be decided in the meeting.
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JD (S) snaps ties with Cong in Maharashtra
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 11
The Janata Dal (Secular) said today that it was snapping ties with alliance partners in Maharashtra, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party and its Minister of State for Agriculture Dada Jadhav will resign from the Sushil Kumar Shinde government within a couple of days.

The political compulsion for the forthcoming Assembly elections seem to have triggered the party’s decision to go its way in the state. This was evident from the statement of party general secretary Bapu Kaldate, who said his party would be talking to like-minded parties for a tie-up for the forthcoming elections.

The party statement came after the conclusion of one-day meeting of its national executive here.

The meeting authorised the Maharashtra unit to identify and talk to like-minded parties for an alliance, JD (S) general, secretary and spokesperson Kunwar Danish Ali later said.

“Our alliance with the Congress and NCP was for the Lok Sabha elections,” Mr Kaldate said. The Democratic Front Alliance, comprising the Congress, NCP, JD(S) and RPI (Athavale), had won 23 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra.

JD (S) is supporting the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance at the Centre from outside.

With NCP deciding to go with the Congress in the assembly elections, the party thought that it would not get its due share in the seat allocation for the Assembly elections, Mr Kaldate said.
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32,000 selected as primary teachers in UP
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, July 11
In what can be described as the mother of all recruitments, 32,000 primary school teachers were inducted for in-service basic teachers training in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday.

Releasing the list of selected candidates at a function at his official residence, Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav described it as the biggest recruitment drive till date in the country. Significantly, sharing the dais with Mr Yadav was legislator Raghuraj Pratap Singh, alias Raju Bhaiya.

Claiming to have fulfilled one of his main promises to unemployed youth of the state, Mr Yadav said this was only the beginning of his government’s efforts to provide employment.

Among the selected teachers 14,066 are women and 17,295 men. As many as 7,215 are OBC teachers, 6,033 teachers belong to the SC, 228 are ST, 456 physically challenged, 656 dependents of freedom fighters and 278 ex-servicemen.
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New Foreign Trade Policy in August
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 11
The government will announce the new Foreign Trade Policy in August.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has invited suggestions regarding the formulation and implementation of the policy.

“A large number of suggestions have been received from export councils, trade associations, and exporters. Some of these, on examination have been found to require further clarification to understand what is being sought”, an official press note has stated.
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Food Processing Ministry for unified food law
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 11
The food processing ministry wants greater control over the industry it is mandated to handle. It maintains that multiplicity of authorities and laws regulating this industry are hampering its development and resulting in huge losses.

The new Food Processing minister Subodh Kant Sahay has, therefore, written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh making a strong case for a unified food law and a single regulatory authority for the industry. He also wants the PMO to define the Ministry’s job profile to make it clear as to which ministry will implement this law and control the regulatory authority. He has also suggested that a Group of Ministers (GOM) be designated to monitor the development of this industry given its huge potential.

Sources in the Food Processing Ministry said at present there are at least nine different ministries, ranging from health, commerce, animal husbandry and cooperatives, handling this industry. In addition, there are as many as 15 laws which are applicable to the food processing industry.

The food processing ministry, it was explained, is responsible for the development of the industry yet it has no control over the “raw material, the recipe or the quality of the product.”

For instance, the Ministry may be responsible for the development of the ketchup industry but the responsibility of checking the quality of the final product wrests with the Health Ministry, it was explained.

Similarly, if an entrepreneur wants to produce low-calorie ice-cream or an ice-cream for diabetic people, it would have to be cleared by the Health Ministry first, which would probably veto the proposal for failing to meet its food standards.

Again, the Food Processing Ministry is responsible for the fisheries industry but the exports are handled by the Commerce Ministry. It is being argued that the domestic and international markets should be integrated to improve the quality of the products made for the home market.

“If this Ministry can handle all other aspects, it can also take care of the standardisation of food products,” Mr Sahay said.

All these factors, it was stated, are not allowing the food processing industry to grow to its fullest potential. Agro products worth Rs 50,000 crore are being wasted since there is only 30 per cent utilisation in the industry.

The domestic industry has further suffered with the upper class segment showing a preference for imported goods, which are now freely available.
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WB Governor writes  to Kalam
Subhrangshu Gupta

Kolkata, July 11
The West Bengal Governor, Mr Viren J. Shah, who is also Visva Bharati’s Rector (pradhana), has sent a letter to the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the university’s Visitor (Paridarsaka), informing him that the CBI and the state CID have been moving in the right direction into the Tagore Nobel Prize theft case.

The Governor hopes the stolen Nobel medal and other memorabilia would be recovered soon and the culprits brought to book.

Mr Shah sent this letter on June 28 in response to the President’s anxieties in the delay in recovering Tagore’s Nobel Prize medal, expressed in a letter to the Governor on June 23, Raj Bhavan sources said.

The Nobel Prize and other memorabilia were stolen from the Visva Bharati museum on March 24 but there has been no major breakthrough since then.

The Governor, it is learnt, also informed Dr Kalam that the academic atmosphere at Visva Bharati was now speedily returning to normalcy at the initiative of the present Vice-Chancellor, Dr Sujit Kumar Bose who, it seems, is determined to bring back the university’s past prestige and glory at the earliest.

Dr Bose said he had been sending reports to the Prime Minister, who is the Chancellor of the university, and the state chief minister, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, about the state of affairs at Visva Bharati. 
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News Analysis 
Women bear the brunt of family planning
by Shahira Naim

Lucknow, July 11
If one line of the Common Minimum Programme of the UPA government is pursued diligently, it will surely lead to misfortune for millions of women.

The line in question is, "A sharply targeted population control programme will be launched in the 150-odd high-fertility districts" in the section on women and children. It not only goes against the National Population Policy (NPP) 2000 but is also against the spirit of the Cairo Convention that India is a signatory to.

The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) 1994 held at Cairo was a major breakthrough as with the addition of the word "development" to the health agenda, it broadened the perspective of the population programme. The focus shifted to women's reproductive health and the need for "individual choice".

Drawing from this, the NPP 2000 had focused on population stabilisation with social and human development as well as environment sustainability. Population stabilisation, the long-term objective of the NPP, is not just restricted to reducing the numbers of persons living in the country. It is an effort to enable individuals and couples to plan their families by providing them adequate information and quality services so that there is a zero growth together with sustainable economic growth, social development and environment protection.

Dr Abhijeet Das associated with Health Watch, UP, Bihar, has serious reservations about the UPA Common Minimum Programme virtually reversing the NPP 2000. According to him, women are the easy target of the family planning programme bypassing men. Elaborating on this, he points out that sterilisation operations are done hurriedly and with no care leading to complications, failure and death.

Take the example of Uttar Pradesh. Here, according to government's own estimates, every year 40,000 women die due to a totally preventable cause — complications related to childbirth. UP has the dubious distinction of having the highest maternal death rate in the country.

The vicious cycle of discrimination against the girl child before birth, in early childhood, malnourishment, early marriage (over 50 per cent of girls in UP are married off by the age of 15) and early and frequent pregnancies without proper pre and ante natal care are some of the reasons.

At the same time, a high 78 per cent of the deliveries take place without a trained person in attendance. Together this results in the large number of women dying every year.

The UP experience also shows the almost next to nil participation of men in planning their families. The ratio of female to male sterilisation is 99:1. According to official records, 165 men went for vasectomy in 2003-2004 as against 36,325 women opting for tubectomy. In a bid to motivate men, the Family Welfare Department gives the husband Rs 250 incentive to go for the operation instead of Rs 200 offered to the wife. Yet, as the numbers show this is hardly an incentive.

When the policy itself will target women the principle of informed choice in whatever form it is available will completely disappear and women will be openly targeted, fears Dr Das.

Exploding a myth, Dr Das pointed out that statistics amply prove that the overall growth rate of the country is the lowest in the last 50 years. Since India's independence, its population has grown slightly less than 3 times, while food production has grown over 4 times.

Further, the poor distribution of family planning services leaves a significant proportion of the citizens without access to contraceptives. According to him the population growth continues to be high due to the high fertility because of unmet needs for contraception and also a large proportion of the population being in the reproductive age group.

In common perception not only there is a big 'population problem' but women are the sole targets through which this problem can be resolved. The 'population problem' has become a myth of epic proportions that is being carried over without questioning; from one generation to another, from one government to another. 
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Environmental nod must for major projects
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 11
The Centre has made environmental clearance mandatory for all major construction projects in the country, including hotels, office complexes, commercial complexes and hospitals.

Construction projects which will require environmental clearance include new townships, industrial townships, settlement colonies, commercial complexes, hotel complexes, hospitals, industrial estates and office complexes.

As per the amended Sections of the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 1994, all projects for 1,000 persons, or more, or discharging 50,000 litres per day, or more, with an investment up to Rs 50 crore, or more, will be required to obtain environmental clearance.

The notification stipulates that new construction projects, which were undertaken without obtaining the clearance required and where the construction work has not commenced up to plinth level and new industrial estates where construction work has not commenced or the expenditure does not exceed 25 per cent of the total sanctioned cost, will be required to obtain clearance under the notification.

The ministry issued a draft notification in this regard on October 27 last, in the view of the increasing adverse impact on environment, including wetlands, rivers, streams, lakes, coastal waters and other water bodies posing serious health hazards.
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All-time high rice procurement in Punjab
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 11
An all-time high rice procurement was recorded during the current marketing season with Punjab leading amongst the rice producing states. According to the latest data, the procurement has reached 221.48 lakh tonne, surpassing the previous high of 221.29 lakh tonne in the 2001-02 season.

The total procurement of rice during the current season is likely to be over 225 lakh tonne.

Punjab led the procurement spree with 86.58 lakh tonne, followed by Andhra Pradesh at 40.25 lakh tonne and Uttar Pradesh at 24.87 lakh tonne.
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Hemkunt Sahib yatra route cleared
Tribune News Service

Dehra Dun, July 11
Clear weather facilitated faster rescue operations in Badrinath and Joshimath today. As many as 700 pilgrims have been sent from Joshimath to Rishikesh after clearing the highway of debris.

As many as 400 pilgrims, stranded at Govindghat and Vishnuprayag, also left for Hardwar. Nineteen buses have been pressed into service to evacuate the pilgrims from Joshimath.

MI-17 choppers were used to supply food and medicines in the region. The Hemkunt Sahib yatra route has been cleared for traffic.
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Animax now in India
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, July 11
Mr Todd Miller, Managing Director of Sony Pictures Television International, Asia, and Managing Director of Sony Pictures network channels in Asia, AXN and Animax, has announced the launch of the Animax South Asia service, the first-ever 24-hour animation channel in the region dedicated to the world’s most popular Japanese animation programming.

The launch of the Animax South Asia service will also make the channel available in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Animax’s programming is designed to appeal to male and female viewers of all ages.
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BRIEFLY

Moustaches to tackle dacoits
MORENA:
Policemen in this dacoit-ridden district of Madhya Pradesh are grooming their moustaches in a bid to join the elite force of 50 men, being identified by the Superintendent of Police, to patrol the area. These men will patrol sensitive pockets in the district on motorcycles, employing psychological tactics against criminals keeping them at bay, a senior police official said. — PTI

Compensation provided
RAJAHMUNDRY:
Compensation was provided to the kin of four of the 14 farmers, who committed suicide in the East Godavari district, Collector K.S. Jawahar Reddy said. He said only the four met the eligibility criteria. The district had set a target to disburse Rs 735 crore for the season to the agriculture sector as per the credit plan, he said, adding that 6,000 new farmers and 55,000 tenant cultivators were eligible to obtain these loans. — UNI

Best Bakery case accused held
VADODARA:
The Crime Branch arrested two accused in the Best Bakery case from a holy shrine on the Pavagadh hills in Panchmahas district last night, the police said on Sunday. Jagdish Chunilal Rajput and Mahendra Yadav alias Langda were nabbed from the Kalimata temple by a special squad sent from here on a tip-off. With the arrest of the absconding duo, the total number of accused re-arrested to face re-trial in a Mumbai court has risen to 11. — UNI

Seven killed in accident
Dehra Dun:
Seven persons, including three women, were killed in a road accident on the Lalkuan-Haldwani road in Nainital district on Saturday. The mishap occurred when a speeding truck collided with a tempo on its way to from Haldwani to Lalkuan with 10 persons on board. The truck dragged the tempo for at least 30 metres after the collision. Two women, the tempo driver and one other passenger died on the spot. The truck driver and the conductor have absconded. — TNS
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