GAIL's city gas distribution project inaugurated in Ranchi

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das, Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda and Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan jointly inaugurated public sector natural gas major GAIL (India) Limited's City Gas Distribution (CGD) project in Ranchi on Friday.
As part of the project, compressed natural gas (CNG) and piped natural gas (PNG), CNG stations in Madhuvan Vihar and Khukari and a decompression unit at Mecon colony for PNG supply were launched on the occasion.
The event marked a significant milestone in the spread of the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga scheme in Jharkhand, a press release from GAIL said.
GAIL is implementing the prestigious Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga and also the CGD projects in Ranchi and Jamshedpur. 
GAIL Chairman & Managing Director Ashutosh Karnatak and Director (Finance) A K Tiwari were present on the occasion.
The Ministers inaugurated CNG stations in Madhuvan Vihar and Khukari and also launched supply of PNG to domestic consumers in Shayamali Colony and CNG-run vehicles in the city.
Over the coming year, 11 CNG stations will be commissioned in Ranchi by GAIL to supply CNG to over 75,000 vehicles.
Initially, natural gas will reach Ranchi in special containers called “cascades” which will be transported by road from Patna, Bihar. Later, natural gas will be supplied through the Jagdishpur – Haldia & Bokaro – Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline (JHBDPL), popularly known as the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga. The pipeline is presently under construction and likely to be completed by 2020.
Three autorickshaw manufacturers -- Piaggio, Bajaj and TVS  -- have agreed for supplying CNG auto vehicles. Awareness programmes are also being conducted for autorickshaw owners and drivers for the smooth transition to the use of CNG.
"CNG is one of the most environment-friendly fuels as compared to conventional fuels because it has no impurities such as sulphur or lead. It is safe because it is lighter than air and rises up in case of leakage. Moreover, it is unlikely to ignite because of high ignition temperature. It is also economical as compared to conventional fuels.
"The commencement of supply of CNG is a major step towards the fulfilment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of developing a gas-based economy and linking Eastern India to the country’s Natural Gas Grid through the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga, which will pass through six  states, i.e. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha  West Bengal and Assam. Laying of the 551-km pipeline of this project will be done in Jharkhand. This pipeline will lead to industrial development of eastern India," the release said.
In the coming years, 22 CNG stations will be commissioned in Jharkhand (Ranchi and Jamshedpur) by GAIL to supply CNG to over 1.25 lakh vehicles and PNG supply to 10.46 lakh households. The CGD projects in Ranchi and Jamshedpur are being taken up in parallel with the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga pipeline. In Jharkhand, the natural gas pipeline will be constructed at an estimated investment of Rs 4,366 crore and have a length of about 551 km covering 12 districts -- Chatra, Giridih, Hazaribagh, Bokaro, Ramgarh, Dhanbad, Saraikela, Ranchi, Khunti, Gumla, Simdega and East Singhbhum.
The overall capital expenditure for the Ranchi and Jamshedpur CGD projects will be Rs. 1,500 crore of which Rs 450 crore will be spent in the next three to five years.
The JHBDPL will provide a major boost to industries in eastern India and will supply natural gas for the revival of fertilizer plants in Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), Barauni (Bihar), and Sindri (Jharkhand). In addition, Matix Fertilizer at Durgapur (West Bengal) will also be provided natural gas. The revival of these fertilizer plants would result in an additional annual production capacity of 75 lakh tonnes, making India self-reliant in meeting the annual domestic demand, the release added.

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Ratan Tata to inaugurate Naval Tata Hockey Academy at Jamshedpur

Tata Trusts and Tata Steel today announced the establishment of the Naval Tata Hockey Academy (NTHA), a world-class high performance residential hockey training facility for 14-to-16 year-old boys, at Jamshedpur.
The academy will be formally inaugurated tomorrow  on the eve of the Founder’s Day celebration by Mr. Ratan N. Tata, Chairman, Tata Trusts. 
In keeping with the Tata group’s Founder, Jamsetji Tata’s vision for Jamshedpur to “reserve large areas for football, hockey and parks”, the Academy is yet another world class facility in the city. The Academy is named in honour of Naval H. Tata to commemorate his contribution to hockey in India, his achievements as an outstanding sports administrator and passion for sports. 
Mr. Naval Tata had held prestigious positions such as President of the All India Council of Sports (AICS), President of the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) for fifteen years and Vice Chairman of the International Hockey Federation (IHF).
The Naval Tata Hockey Academy brings world-class facilities, including an FIH global quality artificial turf with floodlights, international coaches, a nutritionist, and mental and physical trainers to provide high performance hockey training, to begin with, to 26 boys from bastis and villages of Simdega, Khunti and West Singhbhum districts. 
This first batch of players have been selected after one year of rigorous training provided by Dutch coaches and Indian hockey legend, Sandeep Singh, at the grassroot level to over 5,000 boys and girls.
Through this, for the first time in India, a structured, high-quality international level training is being provided at the grassroots level, including playing on artificial turf, truly professionalising hockey at the grassroots.
In due course, the Academy is slated to similarly train and select 26 girls from Jharkhand and transform them into hockey stars of tomorrow. 
Tata Trusts and Tata Steel have partnered with the legendary Dutch drag-flicker, Floris Jan Bovelander, through the Bovelander Hockey Academy and the One Million Hockey Legs programme to coach both boys and girls. Bovelander is the first Technical Director of the Academy. At full scale, the Academy will have 52 boys and 52 girls training and playing competitively. Recognising the importance of receiving quality education, all the players will be admitted to schools as well and provided personal tutors to achieve academic excellence.
The added focus on developing life skills has already broken the “culture of silence” in the selected players and made them confident youngsters, who are learning to dream big.
In keeping with its tradition of bringing the global best, Tata Trusts and Tata Steel, have roped in a Dutch Architect firm to conceptualise and design the academy. The ccademy building is envisioned to meet international standards, with a distinct Indian identity. In the long term, the academy and the artificial pitch will be further scaled up. The artificial pitch has been constructed and laid by TigerTurf through its India and South Asia partner Altius Sports and Leisure Private Limited.
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Eight dead, 25 injured in fire at illegal firecrackers unit in Jharkhand

Fire at firecracker unit in Jharkhand claims 8 lives
At least eight persons died and more than 25 others suffered injuries in a fire that broke out in a house where firecrackers were stored illegally at Kumardubi village in Baharagora area of East Singhbum district of Jharkhand on Sunday, police said.
Official sources said a large quantity of firecrackers were stored in the house when it caught fire suddenly. The cause of the fire could not be immediately ascertained, they said.
The fire spread to some adjacent houses, too, before the flames were put out, they said.
Police, fire brigade and district officials rushed to the scene along with personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and helped rescue the victims and rush them to local hospitals. Some of the injured were later sent to hospitals in the neighbouring state of West Bengal.
The Jharkhand Government set up a two-member team, consisting of the Commissioner, Kolhan and the Deputy Inspector General of Police, to probe the incident.
The State Government announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 2 lakh for the next-of-kin of those killed in the incident and Rs. 50,000 to each of the injured.



Modi urges Panchayat representatives to bring about transformative changes in villages

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today exhorted Panchayat representatives to use their tenure to work towards serving the people by aiming to bring about transformative change in the villages.
Addessing all Panchayats across the country from Jamshedpur, Jharkhand on the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day, he said that, in particular, women members could play a leadership role in areas such as toilet construction.
The event also marked the culmination of the Gramoday Se Bharat Uday Abhiyan, which began on the 125th birth anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar, at Mhow, on April 14.
Mr. Modi emphasized that facilities and services in rural areas, should be at par with the cities. 
He urged the Panchayats to pay special attention to children’s education, and said if children stopped attending schools, it should worry the Panchayat members. He encouraged Panchayats to think beyond budgets, and focus on Jan Suvidha. 
After the event, the Prime Minister came down from the stage and met some of the Panchayat representatives from across the country who had gathered in Jamshedpur. 
He also met the wife and daughter of one of the victims of the Patna bomb blasts, which had occurred during his rally there in 2013. 

Modi to address Panchayati Raj Sammelan at Jamshedpur on Apr 24

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the Panchayati Raj Sammelan on the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day on April 24 at Jamshedpur in Jharkhand.
Union Minister of Rural Development, Panchayati Raj & Drinking water & Sanitation Birender Singh and Jharkhand Chief Minister  Raghuvar Das are among those slated to be present on the occasion.
An official press release said around 3,000 Panchayat Representatives from all states of the country will participate in the event.
Mr. Modi's address to the gathering will be beamed live to all the Gram Sabhas across the country. 
The Ministry of Panchayati Raj has been celebrating the National Panchayati Raj Day (NPRD) on 24 April since 2010, as it was on this day in 1993 that the 73rd Constitutional Amendment came into force.
The Prime Minister will present awards on the occasion to Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Sikkim for devolution of maximum powers to Panchayats so far (Cumulative Devolution Index awards) and to Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim and Odisha for devolution of maximum powers to Panchayats in the last three years (Incremental Devolution Index awards) .
Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat will be given awards for making the greatest progress in aligning their laws to Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas Act 1996. These awards are being given for the first time.
Karnataka, Kerala, West Bengal and Assam will receive awards for making maximum efforts to e-enable Panchayats.
A new ‘Mandate of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj’ will be released along with the ‘Devolution Index Report’ by the Prime Minister on this occasion. 
Gram Sabha meetings will be held across the country (except in poll-bound states) from April 21-24 to celebrate National Panchayati Raj Day.
The Central Government, in collaboration with State Governments and Panchayats, launched the ‘Gramoday se Bharat Uday Abhiyan’. The campaign began with Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary on 14th April, and will culminates with the Panchayati Raj Day on 24th April.

CBI takes up probe of alleged malpractices in Rajya Sabha election in Jharkhand


The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today said it had registered a case in connection with the alleged malpractices in last month's Rajya Sabha election from Jharkhand, which was later rescinded by the President on the recommendation of the Election Commission.

The CBI has taken up the probe on a reference from the Election Commission after the Jharkhand High Court had asked the Commission to get the allegations of malpractices investigated by the agency.
A CBI press release said searches were conducted yesterday at 12 places in Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Chaibasa, Daltonganj, Jamtara and Deoghar.
"Documents recovered during searches are being scrutinized. Further Investigation is continuing," the release added.
The Election Commission has, meanwhile, announced that the election will now be conducted on May 3 for the two Rajya Sabha seats from the state.
The March 30 election was rescinded after allegations of horse-trading and use of unfair means and the seizure of Rs 2.15 crore in cash from a car belonging to the brother of one of the candidates.

Tata Steel completes 100 years of blast furnace operations

Steelmaker Tata Steel has crossed a major milestone in its history with the completion of 100 years of its blast furnace operations.
It was on December 2, 1911 that the plant at Jamshedpur became active when the blast furnace was blown for the first time. Steel production commenced a few weeks later on February 16, 1912.
From a plant with an initial capacity to produce 160,000 tonnes of pig iron, 100,000 tonnes of ingot steel, 70,000 tonnes of rails, beams and shapes and 20,000 tonnes of bars, hoops and rods, the Jamshedpur Works of Tata Steel is now poised to become a 10 million tonne steel plant in a few months from now, a press release from the company said. Its present capacity stands at 6.8 million tonnes per annum.
In the early years, the plant essentially consisted of a battery of 180 non-recovery coke ovens and 30 by-product ovens with a sulphuric acid plant and two blast furnaces, each of 350 tonnes per day capacity, and a 300-tonne hot metal mixer, four open hearth furnaces of 50-tonne capacity each, one steam engine driven 40-inch reversing blooming mill, one 28-inch reversing combination rail and structural mill with reheating furnaces and one 16-inch and two 10-inch rolling mills. 
In the early days, an average of 6,300 people was engaged daily at the works by the company and its contractors, the release added.

Police fire in air to control rampaging mob in Jamshedpur


Police resorted to firing in the air after a baton charge failed to control a rampaging mob in this industrial city today following a fight over alleged attempts of encroachment on a piece of government land.

Official sources said the residents of a locality in Sitaramdera police station area opposed the erection of a boundary wall by the management of a private school on a piece of land adjacent to the school. Local people used to cultivate the land.

An altercation started between the two sides which turned into a full-fledged fight with both sides hurling bricks at each other.

Sources said the police reached the scene and baton-charged the mob. When they failed to control the situation they fired four rounds in the air.

There was, however, no report of any injury. Extra police force had been deployed in the area, the sources added.



Senthil Kumar appointed as Chief Human Resource Officer at Tata Steel

P Senthil Kumar
P Senthil Kumar

Private sector steelmaker Tata Steel today announced that Mr. P Senthil Kumar had been appointed as its Chief Human Resource Officer at Tata Steel.

He will operate from Jamshedpur and report to Mr H. M Nerurkar, Managing Director, Tata Steel Limited, a press release from the company said.

"It gives me immense pleasure to announce Mr. P Senthil Kumar as Chief Human Resource Officer. On behalf of theTata Steel family, I welcome him whole-heartedly and wish him the very best," Mr Nerurkar said.

River bridge collapses in Jharkhand after heavy rains


A road bridge built on the Koyal at Dhanapali in West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand collapsed today after heavy rains led to flooding of the river.

Runaway prisoner and police constable killed in encounter

A dreaded criminal, who had escaped from the Saraikela Jail here on August 17 with five others, and a police constable were killed in a fierce encounter today in the Adityapur area of the city.

Superstitious villagers lynch couple in Jharkhand


A young couple was allegedly lynched by superstitious villagers in Harajoda village of West Singhbhum district in Jharkhand, police said today.

The decomposed bodies of Budhram Mahali (35) and his wife Kunti (30) were recovered from a nearby jungle yesterday.

According to the initial investigation, they were beaten to death by villagers four days ago. The villagers suspected that the couple practised witchcraft.

Police were investigating the matter. No arrests have been made so far, they added.


Man accused of 1992 murder of Indian family in Dubai sentenced to death

A CBI court in Ahmedabad has convicted Ravjibhai Manubhai Pawar of the murder of his Indian employer and four other members of his family in Dubai in 1992 and sentenced him to death.

A press release from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said that its investigations had shown that Pawar, while working as a domestic servant in Dubai, had kileld Mr Ramesh K Sagar and four others of Mr Sagar's family on January 4, 1992.

He was also accused of rape and of stealing household articles, including clothes, ornaments and cash.

Pawar feld from Dubai on January 5 and came to India. On the basis of an Interpol alert, he was nabbed on January 10 by the Gujarat police and a first information report (FIR)was registered.

Since the accused was an Indian national and the offence took place outside India, the case was entrusted to the CBI. The Dubai Police had also registered an FIR and collected evidence, which was used by the CBI during investigation and trial of the case, the release said.

The chargesheet was filed on January 23, 1992 in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chikhli. The trial court found him guilty and convicted him.

The case was registered by the CBI, Ahmedabad (now Gandhinagar) Branch on April 27, 1992 on the basis of the request and consent of the Government of Gujarat for futher investigation of the case filed at the Chikhli Police Station, the release added.


Jharkhand: Jail wardens arrested for helping rebels escape


Three jail employees have been arrested for being a party in the Saraikela jail break case in which six prisoners, including two hardcore Naxalites, fled two days ago after overpowering the jailor, police said today.

Chief Warden Umashankar Mishra, Warden Yogendra Paswan and contractual security guard Senga Birua were arrested last night on the instruction of Inspector General (Jails) V K Singh.

Singh had visited the jail situated in the district headquarter town around 40 kms from here yesterday in the wake of the incident.

The chief warden and the warden had also been suspended while the security guard was dismissed, the sources said.

Maoist Sumra Hansda, allegedly involved in 30 criminal cases, and another hardcore Naxalite Balram Sahu overpowered the jailor at gunpoint on August 17 and fled through the main gate. Four other inmates also escaped in the melee.

Meanwhile, a Special Task Force (STF) has been constituted under ASP Deepak Kumar to nab the escapees.


6 prisoners, including 2 hardcore Maoists, escape from jail


Six prisoners, including two hardcore Maoists, escaped from the high security Saraikela Jail in Jharkhand this evening after overpowering the jailor.

Superintendent of Police Abhishek Kumar told UNI over the telephone that Maoist Sumra Hansda, involved in 30 criminal cases, and another hardcore Naxalite Balram Sahu, who was recently brought on transit from Ranchi, overpowered the jailor at gun-point and ran away from the main gate. Four other inmates also escaped during the chaos.

Police have sealed the borders of the Saraikela-Khasawan district and efforts were on to nab the runaway prisoners. The whole episode was also being investigated.

In a similar incident, three hardcore naxalites had escaped from Chaibasa prison of neigbbouring West Singhbhum district after cutting the window rods.


48% turnout for Jamhedpur LS bye-election amidst Maoist "bandh"

Around 48 per cent of the 1.3 million-strong electorate exercised their franchise amidst a general strike called by Maoists in the bye-election to the Jamshedpur Lok Sabha seat.

Polling began at 0700 hours and ended at 1500 hours today and was by and large peaceful.

Only nine per cent of the voters had turned out in the first two hours but polling gained momentum till 1300 hours before dropping again in the final stages.

"We do not have complete figures as yet but the voting percentage was higher in rural areas as compared to the urban parts. The urban voters should be blamed for the low turnout," Assistant Chief Electoral Officer Anjani Kumar Mishra said.

Defying the "bandh" called by the ultras, long queues of voters, including a large number of women, were seen at several booths in the Naxalite-hit Patamada and Ghatshila areas.

However, the ultras tried to terrorise the voters by opening fire near booth number 161 in Maheshpur area under Gurabanda police station of Ghatshila assembly segment.

At some places, including Bagbera area in the city, voters boycotted the polling protesting lack of civic amenities in their localities.

The total number of voters in the constituency was 13,978,97, including 6,61,610 women. A total of 1,626 booths were set up to decide the fate of 20 candidates, including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president Dineshanad Goswami, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha vice-president Sudhir Mahto, Congress MLA Banna Gupta, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha candidate and former IPS officer Ajay Kumar, Trinamool Congress' Suman Mahto and All Jharkhand Students' Union's Astik Mahto.

Counting of votes will be taken up on July 4 and the result is expected by that afternoon.

The election was necessitated by the resignation of Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda from the Lok Sabha after winning the Kharsawan assembly bye-election in February.

The Chief Minister had defeated Ms Suman Mahto of JMM by a margin of over 1,19,000 votes in the previous election on this seat which is said to be a traditional battlefield of the two parties.

Proscribed Naxal outfit CPI (Maoist) had called for a bandh today in protest against the capital punishment to four of their members in connection with the 2007 Chilkari massacre in which 20 people, including a son of former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi, were shot dead. However, the polling was not affected by their call.

In other parts of the state, the ultras wreaked havoc. They torched six vehicles of a private company in mineral-rich Lohardaga district last night while a fierce encounter was on in the Naraki forest area in Hazaribagh district.


Bye-election to Jamshedpur LS seat to be held on Friday

Polling for the bye-election to the Jamshedpur Lok Sabha seat will be held tomorrow under tight security arrangements.

The seat fell vacant due to the resignation of Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda after he won the Kharsawan assembly seat recently.

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) candidate Sudhir Mahto, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) nominee Dineshanand Goswami, Congress candidate Banna Gupta and Trinamool Congress (TMC) candidate Suman Mahto, All Jharkhand Students' Union (AJSU) nominee Astik Mahto and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) candidate Ajay Kumar are among those in the fray for the seat.

In all, 20 candidates are fighting for the seat. Counting of votes will take place on July 4.

Jamshedpur DC and Returning Officer Himani Pandey said a total electorate of 1,39,7879, including 6,61,610 women, are eligible to vote in the constituency. Voting will start from 0700 hrs in the morning and end at 1500 hrs.


Congress announces candidate for LS bypoll in Jamshedpur


The Congress today named Mr Banna Gupta as its candidate for the July 1 Lok Sabha bye-election from the Jamshedpur constituency in Jharkhand.

"Congress president Sonia Gandhi has approved the name of Mr Banna Gupta, MLA, as the Congress candidate for the ensuing bye-election to Lok Sabha from Jamshedpur constituency in Jharkhand," a press release by Congress General Secretary Oscar Fernandes said.

Mr Gupta is presently an MLA from the Jamshedpur-West Assembly constituency in Jharkhand.


Nominations for Jamshedpur LS bye-electon to begin tomorrow

The process of filing nominations for the Jamshedpur Lok Sabha bye-election, slated for July 1, will start tomorrow with the issue of notification, official sources said today.

The notification will be issued tomorrow and the last date for filing nomination will be June 14.

Scrutiny of the papers will be done the next day, and the last date for withdrawal of candidature will be June 17.

Polling will be held on July 1 between 0800 hrs and 1700 hrs. Counting of votes will take place on July 4, the sources added.

The bye-election was necessitated by the resignation of Chief Minister Arjun Munda from this seat after his election as an MLA from Kharsawan in February last.


Bye-election to fill up Lok Sabha seat from Jamshedpur on July 1

The Election Commission today said a bye-election would be held on July 1 to fill up the casual vacancy in Lok Sabha from the Jamshedpur constituency of Jharkhand.

An official press release said the last date for making nominations is June 14 and the last date for withdrawal of candidatures will be June 17.

Counting of votes will be taken up on July 4, the release added.


Newly-wed girl gangraped in front of husband in Jamshedpur

In a shocking incident, a newly-wed girl was gangraped by eight men in front of her husband when they were out for a walk in a park here last evening.

The couple had come from Purulia district of West Bengal to visit their relatives in Barinagar here.

"At around 1600 hrs yesterday, they went for an outing in Theme park at Telco area, where one man intercepted them near the security tower of the park. On the pretext of calling the police, the man called his other seven friends and raped the girl.

"They tied her husband with ropes and then one by one raped the girl for five hours," a police official said. The couple got married three months ago.

A case has been registered against eight people and a man has been arresed in this connection. A search was on to nab the other culprits, the police added.


National Games: Manipur humiliates Tripura 24-0 in women's football

Women's football matches kicked off at the 34th National Games with Manipur thrashing Tripura 24-0 in a Group B encounter at the JRD Tata Sports complex here today.

Earlier, the women's football matches, which were suspended over the entry of Tripura team, resumed today after the All India Football Federation (AIFF) gave a green signal to Tripura's participation "in the larger interest of sports".

Tripura was no match for last edition's runner's up Manipur. Manipur surged ahead through P H Beena Devi's second minute goal shortly into the match.

Altogether Beena Devi and S Reenaroy Devi scored six goals each while Mandakini Devi scored a hat-trick among other scorers.


11 arrested for assaulting Govt. officer in Jharkhand

Eleven people were arrested on charges of intruding into a government office and assaulting a senior officer at Karandih in Jharkhand, police sources said today.

They said a 70-member group had attacked Circle Officer (CO) Chandrabhushan Singh on December 27 in his office. He was beaten up badly and had to be taken to a hospital. His condition was reported to be very critical.

The group had attacked Mr Singh following his refusal to hold a re-election as demanded by a defeated contestant in the Banyagbill panchayat polls, the sources added.


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