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Missing Cafe Coffee Day founder V G Siddhartha's body found from river

The body of Cafe Coffee Day founder V. G. Siddhartha was found in the Netravathi river near Mangaluru in Karnataka on Wednesday morning, about 36 hours after he went missing on Monday evening.
V G Siddhartha
V G Siddhartha
The body of Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) founder V. G. Siddhartha was found in the Netravathi river near Mangaluru in Karnataka on Wednesday morning, about 36 hours after he went missing on Monday evening.
 
He had last been seen on a bridge on the river near Mangalaru and the police had launched a massive search to trace Siddhartha, who was suspected to have committed suicide by jumping off the bridge into the river.
 
Mangaluru Police Commissioner Sandeep Patil told journalists this morning that fishermen had found the body around 6.30 am today and informed the police.
 
Senior police officers rushed to the scene and took charge of the body, which was then sent to the Wenlock Hospital in Mangaluru for post-mortem examination.
 
Patil said the family of Siddhartha had been informed and his relatives were expected to arrive soon and help in the identification of the body and completion of other formalities.
 
The body will be later handed over to the family, who will decide on the time and place of the last rites, he added.
 
About 200 people, including policemen, Coast Guard personnel, divers and fishermen, had been engaged in the search for the missing coffee tycoon, one of the best-known businessmen of Karnataka.
 
Siddhartha was on his way to Mangaluru from Ullal on Monday evening. Around 6.30 pm, when his car reached the bridge, he told his driver to stop so that he could take a walk for some time. He asked the driver to wait for him at the other end of the bridge.
 
When Siddhartha did not come even after an hour, the driver returned to the spot to look for him. He then informed the businessman's family who, in turn, informed the police.
 
Siddhartha, 60, who was the Chairman and Managing director of Coffee Day Enterprise Limited (CDEL), the holding company of all his companies, is the eldest son-in-law of former External Affairs and former Karnataka Chief Minister S. M. Krishna. Krishna, who had also served as the Governor of Maharashtra for some time, was a senior Congress leader who shifted to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in March, 2017.
 
In his complaint to the police, Siddhartha's driver Basavaraj Patil said that the businessman had gone missing after he got out of the car at the bridge and started walking while talking to someone on his mobile phone.
 
"Siddhartha got down from the car on the side of the bridge and asked me to wait for him at the other end, as he wanted to walk for a while. But he did not turn up even after an hour," said the driver in his complaint filed in Kannada.
 
Siddhartha had on March 18 this year sold his entire 20 per cent stake in the city-based software major Mindtree to the Mumbai-based Larsen & Toubro (L&T) for Rs 3,300 crore at Rs 980 per share. He wanted to raise funds to reduce his company's mounting debts.
 
"Sir (Siddhartha) and I left in a car from Bengaluru on Monday afternoon for Sakaleshpur near Hassan, where he has a house near one of his coffee estates. On reaching there by evening, he told me to drive to Mangaluru on National Highway 66. When I drove onto the bridge, he asked me to stop the car and got down, saying he would walk and get into the car at the end of the bridge on the other side," the driver recounted.
 
When Siddhartha didn't reach the other side of the bridge, the driver went in search of him but he was nowhere to be found. "I filed the complaint with the local police past midnight on his family's advice, when I told them how Siddhartha suddenly went missing," Patil told the police.
 
The port city of Mangaluru is about 350 km west of Bengaluru.
 
During the day yesterday, a fisherman in the area had claimed that he saw a man jumping off the bridge into the river at the place and time where Siddhartha was seen last.
 
"When I heard a thud-like sound in the river, I turned and saw the same man in the water struggling to float but drowned by the time I could reach the spot. As the current was strong, I could not find him in the fast-moving water, as the river is almost full and deep," the fisherman told the police.
 
Siddhartha had left Bengaluru on Monday afternoon for Sakleshpur near Hassan where he has a house and one of his coffee estates. As it was on the way to Mangaluru, he told Patil to drive towards Mangaluru after a short break at Sakleshpur to freshen up.
 
In a letter to the Coffee Day Board of Directors and employees, dated July 27, Siddhartha spoke about pressure from one of the company's private equity partners, who was forcing him to buy backshares, as well as from other lenders. He also wrote about a "lot of harassment from the previous Director General of Income Tax".
 
In a letter to the Coffee Day Board of Directors and employees, dated July 27, Siddhartha spoke about pressure from one of the company's private equity partners, who was forcing him to buy backshares, as well as from other lenders. He also wrote about a "lot of harassment from the previous Director General of Income Tax".
 
"I have failed to create the right profitable business model despite my best efforts.
 
"I would like to say I gave it my all. I am very sorry to let down all the people that put their trust in me. I fought for a long time but today I gave up as I could not take any more pressure from one of the private equity partners forcing me to buy back shares, a transaction I had partially completed six months ago by borrowing a large sum of money from a friend. Tremendous pressure from other lenders lead to me succumbing to the situation. There was a lot of harassment from the previous DG Income Tax in the form of attaching our shares on two separate occasions to block our Mindtree deal and then taking possession of our Coffee Day shares, although the revised returns have been filed by us. This was very unfair and has led to a serious liquidity crunch," he said.
 
"I have enclosed a list of our assets and tentative value of each asset. As seen below our assets outweigh our liabilities and can help repay everybody," he added.
 
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Karnataka IAS officer resigns for 'ethical' reasons

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Karnataka's Dakshina Kannada district Deputy Commissioner S. Sasikanth Senthil on Friday resigned from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) for personal reasons.
 
"I have tendered my resignation from the IAS today (Friday). It is important to clarify that the decision is purely a personal one. It is in no way connected to anyone or any event in my current profile as Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada district," Senthil said in a letter to his friends on social media platform Whatsapp.
 
A 2009 IAS batch officer of the Karnataka cadre, he said he owes an apology to the people and public representatives of the west coast district in the southern state for discontinuing from the job midway.
 
Mangaluru is about 360 km away from Bengaluru on the state's west coast.
 
"I have taken this decision as I feel that it is unethical to continue as a civil servant when the fundamental building blocks of our diverse democracy are being compromised in an unprecedented manner.
 
"I also feel the coming days will present challenges to the basic fabric of our nation and I would be better off outside the IAS to continue with my work at making life better for all," Senthil said in the letter.
 
IANS
 

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Cafe Coffee Day founder V G Siddhartha goes missing in Karnataka

Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) founder V. G. Siddhartha has reportedly gone missing since late on Monday from near Mangaluru in Karnataka, police said on Tuesday.
V G Siddhartha
V G Siddhartha
Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) founder V. G. Siddhartha has reportedly gone missing since late on Monday from near Mangaluru in Karnataka, police said on Tuesday.
 
"A case of Siddhartha missing since Monday night has been filed by his driver at a local police station in Mangaluru. Search is on to trace him," a police official told reporters in the port city on the west coast, about 350 km from Bengaluru.
 
According to the complaint Basavaraj Patil filed at the police station, Siddhartha got down from the car on the bridge across the Nethrvathi river and asked him to wait at the other end of it as he wanted to walk for a while but did not turn up even an hour later.
 
Police suspect Siddhartha would have jumped into the flowing river from the bridge as the driver found him missing in the area.
 
Siddhartha is the son-in-law of former External Affairs Minister and former state chief minister S. M. Krishna, who was for long a leader of the Congress and is now with the BJP.
 
He sold his entire 20 per cent equity stake in the city-based software major Mindtree Ltd to the Mumbai-based Larsen & Toubro (L&T) for Rs 3,300 crore at Rs 980 per share of Rs 10 face value on March 18.
 
IANS
 

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Cabinet nod for leasing out of Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangaluru airports to Adani Enterprises

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The Union Cabinet today approved a proposal for leasing out of three airports -- Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangaluru -- of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) through public private partnership (PPP) to the highest bidder -- Adani Enterprises Ltd.
 
The company had quoted the highest bid for these airports for operation, management and development under PPP for a lease period of 50 years as per the terms and conditions of the bid documents, an official press release said.
 
"These projects will bring efficiency in delivery, expertise, enterprise and professionalism apart from harnessing the needed investments in the public sector. This will also result in enhanced revenues to the AAI, which may lead to further investment by AAI at Tier II and Tier III cities and economic development in these areas in terms of job creation and related infrastructure," the release added.
 
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Air India Express plane veers off taxiway, all passengers safe

Air India Express aircraft VT-AYA, operating IX 384 from Dubai to Mangalore, veered off the taxiway after landing and got stuck in soft ground at the Mangaluru airport, on June 30, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Air India Express aircraft VT-AYA, operating IX 384 from Dubai to Mangalore, veered off the taxiway after landing and got stuck in soft ground at the Mangaluru airport, on June 30, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
As many as 183 passengers aboard an Air India Express flight had a narrow escape when the aircraft that arrived from Dubai veered off the taxiway after landing at Mangaluru International Airport here on Sunday.
 
All passengers and crew members on board are safe, Air India Express said in a statement.
 
The incident happened at around 5.40 pm after the aircraft landed at the airport.
 
"AI Express aircraft VT-AYA, operating IX 384, Dubai to Mangalore on June 30, after landing on runway 24 while vacating the runway to the right side has gone off the taxiway into soft ground," the airlines said.
 
IANS
 
 
 

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NDMA conducts training programme for CBRN emergencies at Mangaluru

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A five-day basic training programme aimed at enhancing the preparedness of Seaport Emergency Handlers (SEHs) to respond to CBRN emergencies at seaports conducted by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) began at Mangalore port on Monday.
 
This is the first in a series of such programmes that will be conducted at various seaports across the country to enable SEHs to respond suitably till the arrival of specialised response teams.
 
CBRN emergencies pertain to threats emanating from the use of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear material.
 
The training programme is being conducted in collaboration with the Indian Ports Association (IPA), Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). 
 
An official press release said the programme consists of lectures as well as field training, including live demonstrations of detection and decontamination including the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Besides equipping the SEHs to handle CBRN emergencies, the training programme will also enable them to provide medical first aid and initial psycho-social support.
 
Experts from stakeholder departments such as the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will train the participants.
 
Around 50 participants representing various agencies responsible for the operation and maintenance of the seaport will be trained on various aspects of CBRN emergencies. Another 150 working level staff will be sensitized on the subject in a half-day module.
 
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India receives first cargo of ADNOC crude oil for Mangalore Strategic Petroleum Reserve

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India received yesterday the first cargo of United Arab Emirates (UAE) crude oil for filling up one of the two Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) caverns built by Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve Ltd (ISPRL) at Mangalore in Karnataka.
 
Earlier, on May 12, Indian Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and ADNOC Group CEO, from Abu Dhabi jointly initiated the filling of the crude oil carrier vessel MT Inspiration with 2 million barrels of crude oil belonging to Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) of UAE.
 
In February 2018, during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to UAE, ISPRL and ADNOC signed an agreement under which ADNOC will store about 5.86 million barrels of crude oil in India’s SPR facility at Mangalore at its own cost. The filling up began with the 2 million barrels reaching Mangalore today. ADNOC will bring additional crude oil and fill up the Mangalore cavern later this year.
 
ADNOC’s investment by way of crude oil in Indian SPR facility is the first time that a private foreign entity, is filling up an Indian SPR cavern with crude oil. Government of India under phase I of SPR programme has built crude oil storage facilities with total capacity of 5.33 million tonnes (around 39 million barrels) at three locations -- Visakhapatnam, Mangalore and Padur. 
 
Visakhapatnam storage has a capacity of 1.33 million tonnes (around 9.77 million barrels) of crude oil, Mangalore has a capacity of 1.5 million tonnes (around 11 million barrels) and Padur can stock 2.5 million tonnes (18.37 million barrels). The entire Vishakhapatnam facility and one of the two caverns at Mangalore facility have been filled with crude oil under government funding, the second cavern at Mangalore facility is now beeing filled by ADNOC of UAE at its own cost under the agreement with ISPRL. 
 
The agreement stipulates that during an emergency oil shortage situation the Indian government can use the entire available crude oil stored by ADNOC in the Mangalore SPR facility for its use. Further, as an incentive for storing crude oil at its own cost, the agreement allows ADNOC to sell part of the crude oil to Indian refineries during normal times.
 
"The historic first cargo from UAE for filling up India’s SPR facility demonstrates the commitment of both India and UAE in executing strategically important agreements in a time bound manner, thereby, further strengthening the strategic relationship between the two countries, particulary in the oil and gas sector," the release said.
 
The release said this was a culmination of the vision of the leaders, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Prime Minister Modi, to elevate the bilateral relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership and transform the buyer-seller relations to two-way investment relations.
 
UAE is the sixth largest crude oil source for India and supplies around 6 % of the petroleum requirement. With the recent acquisition of 10% stake in UAE’s Lower Zakhum offshore producing field by Indian public sector oil and gas companies and the investment by ADNOC in Indian SPR facility, the hydrocarbon sector engagements between India and UAE have transformed from buyer-seller relationship to strategic partners in the energy sector, the release added.
 
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Congress poll manifesto for Karnataka vows 1 crore jobs

 
Rahul Gandhi releases Congress' poll manifesto for Karnataka
 
 
The Congress, which is seeking to retain power in Karnataka, on Friday promised to create one crore jobs across the southern state during its five-year term.
 
"We aim to create at least 15-20 lakh jobs each year in the state and provide programmes for skill development, encouraging entrepreneurship and increasing youths' employability quotient," said the manifesto for the May 12 assembly elections released by party President Rahul Gandhi in this port city.
 
Terming its 47-page manifesto a "people's manifesto", the party said it wants to create a hut-free Karnataka and would build 50 lakh houses in the state's rural parts - at the rate of 10 lakh per year.
 
The Congress also said that it was committed to address the urban housing challenge and proposed to build 15 lakh houses (3 lakh houses per year).
 
Claiming to the first state in the country to roll out the "Arogya Karnataka" universal healthcare scheme, the party said it will increase the budget allocation for health from the current 0.9 per cent to at least 1.5 per cent.
 
On March 2, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had unveiled the state's public healthcare scheme, that is expected to benefit about 1.43 crore households, by providing free treatment to all below poverty line (BPL) families at government hospitals.
 
The party also promised to provide free education to all students from grades 1 to 12 across all the state-run schools in the state. Presently, the state gives free elementary education to all children from class 1 to 8 in state-run and government-aided schools.
 
In a bid to promote girl child education, Siddaramaiah had, while presenting the state Budget for this fiscal, announced that all girls will get free education up to post-graduation in state-run institutions.
 
All college-going students in the state will receive a smartphone, the manifesto added.
 
Information Technology (IT) will be made an important driver of the state economy by increasing the field's contribution from the current $60 billion to $300 billion, the ruling party said.
 
Currently, the state capital Bengaluru alone, which is home to over 750 multinationals and 2,000 IT firms, contributes about 40 per cent of the total IT exports done by the country.
 
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"We will build a talent pool to cater to over 3 million IT jobs in the state by skill upgradation and IT-driven curriculum," added the manifesto.
 
The party will also develop the state into a technology driven sustainable progressive society and make it the Global Innovation Hub for all sectors of the state's economy, and the innovation capital of the world.
 
Noting that the manifesto represented the voice and aspirations of the state's people, the party said that through it, the Congress reaffirmed its commitment to respecting, defending and protecting the state's pluralism.
 
With 10 different agro-climatic zones, as the state offers opportunities for higher growth in agriculture and allied sectors, the party will launch an initiative for developing sustainable agri-business through an Agricultural Corridor covering production, infrastructure and industrial segments on an end to end concept.
 
The party has promised to expedite the Chennai-Bangalore-Chitradurga Industrial Corridor (CBCIC) and Bangalore-Mumbai Economic Corridor (BMEC) expedited on the lines of Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) with the support of the Central government.
 
"Regional connectivity with roads will be enhanced to ensure first and last mile connectivity to all villages and robust airport and airstrip infrastructure developed in the state," the manifesto also said.
 
IANS
 
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Rahul Gandhi to pay two-day visit to Karnataka, release Assembly poll manifesto

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi will again pay a two-day visit to Karnataka from Thursday and release his party's manifesto for the May 12 Assembly polls, a party official said.
 
The Congress chief will visit Uttara Kannada district in northwestern part of the state, about 450 km from here, on Thursday to hold several public meetings in Ankola, Kumta, Honnavar, and Bhatkal.
 
"Gandhi will also release the election manifesto in Mangaluru on Friday in the presence of senior leaders like (Karnataka incharge) K.C. Venugopal and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah," Congress state unit Spokesman Ravi Gowda told IANS in Bengaluru.
 
Gandhi will later address public meetings in Bantwal and Gonikoppal towns in Dakshina Kannada district on Friday.
 
In the evening, the Congress leader will address a public meeting in Periyapatna in Mysuru district, about 200km southwest from here.
 
Rahul Gandhi had earlier asked party leaders from Karnataka to prepare a "people's manifesto".
 
Rahul Gandhi's mother and former party chief Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, senior leaders Shashi Tharoor, Mallikarjun Kharge and Ghulam Nabi Azad, among others, will also visit the state for campaigning.
 
Rahul Gandhi earlier visited Karnataka on April 7-8 for campaigning. 
 
IANS
 
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Veteran journalist T.V.R. Shenoy passes away, aged 77

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Veteran journalist T.V.R. Shenoy passed away at a private hospital here on Tuesday night, family sources said. He was 77.
 
He is survived by his wife Sarojam and daughter Sujatha and son Ajith.
 
His body will be flown to Delhi, where the last rites would be performed.
 
Conferred the Padma Bhushan in 2003, he had been working as a journalist in Delhi for a long time.
 
Hailing from Cherai in Kerala's Ernakulam district, Shenoy began his career with Indian Express and in 1965, joined the Delhi bureau of Malayala Manorama and served with them for well over a quarter of a century.
 
He was a former Editor of The Week magazine and Sunday Mail and wrote on diverse issues as a columnist. 
 
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, while condoling the death of Shenoy, remarked that he was the foremost Malayali journalist in the country.
 
"On account of his five decade professional career happening in Delhi, he was often the 'ambassador' of Kerala in Delhi," he said, adding that while people differed with him on political aspects of his writings, he was always highly-respected by all.
 
Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said that he has lost an "elder brother" as he, while being an MP, always used to discuss various issues with Shenoy, who was a friend, philosopher and guide to him.
 
"Shenoy was a towering journalist and his loss is going to be a loss for journalism," he added.
 
IANS
 
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At 104, his passion for driving remains undiminished

C.R. Robert Michael D’Souza
C.R. Robert Michael D’Souza
Driving has been a passion for C.R. Robert Michael D’Souza ever since he was 18 – which was way back in 1932. It continues to remain the focus of his life, but sadly, deteriorating driving conditions, a growing number of motorists with deplorable habits and rapid urbanisation of cities have deprived him of the joys of driving.
 
Says the still sprightly 104-year- old, living in a quiet area of Mangalore, the vibrant hub of south Karnataka: “I have driven all kinds of vehicles including military ones, buses and trucks. But now I just use my car.” He now provides services to a family living near his home.
 
Michael was born in Ooty on a plantation on October 16, 1914. His father had, over his lifespan, married five times and had about 30 children. “I could study only up to standard VIII,” recalls the ageing Michael.
 
He joined the British Indian Army after getting his driving licence and worked for a decade as a driver and mechanic. “Those were tough days,” recalls the centenarian, speaking in a mix of Kannada and English, when this journalist met him at his Mangalore home last month.
 
Later, he joined a power company before getting into the public works department (PWD) in the erstwhile Madras Presidency (Mangalore was part of it then), and had continuous service of 37 years, mostly driving vehicles around the state.
 
Mangalore as home
 
In 1949, his job brought him to Mangalore, which has since become his home. Michael married and lived with his wife for several decades, though the couple never had any children. “I have a younger brother in Ooty now and many children and grandchildren of my other siblings come often to Mangalore to meet me.”
 
His wife, who passed away about five years ago, was hard working, recalls Michael. “One night she vomited and I took her to a hospital. Fortunately, she did not have to struggle and passed away soon thereafter,” he adds.
 
Michael was a heavy smoker – up to five cigarette packets a day – but gave up smoking nearly a quarter century ago. And after his wife’s death, he also gave up alcohol. “Earlier, I would shower with some little brandy added to the water, take a peg and then go to sleep,” he says.
 
Of course, he’s grateful that he’s had a hassle-free life for the past more than a century. “I’ve only gone through one operation, for cataract,” elaborates Michael. “I never took English medicine or got admitted to a hospital in those days.”
 
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Sadly, his first stay in hospital was one after completing his century. “Many television and print journalists had come to Mangalore to interview me,” recalls Michael. “I went to a function in the morning, but couldn’t go to the evening one as I couldn’t sit or even stand.”
 
He was hospitalised for a fortnight – and was slapped with a hefty Rs 49,000 bill. “But after that the videographers and journalists were not seen,” he says.
 
No interviews, photographs
 
And when he turned 102, many called him up again, asking him whether he would pose for pictures. “I warned them not to come home,” says Michael. “I do not give interviews to any journalists now.” (The exception, fortunately, was this one).
 
The centenarian driver continues to be a busy man. Living in a small house, he only has a dog, cats and a few birds as company. “Of course, God is always there,” he remarks. “I get up at around 4 in the morning, and start cleaning the house.”
 
Michael is multi-lingual and speaks Kannada, Tulu, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and even English.
 
Asked about his favourite passion – driving and cars – he recalls that cars and even roads in the past were much better than today. “I still remember taking just 30 minutes to travel to Udupi from Mangalore,” he says. “Today, even after widening of the highway, it takes more than 90 minutes.”
 
He bemoans that not many motorists follow rules or traffic signals. They overtake arbitrarily from the right or the left. “I ask policemen to take action against such motorists, but they are helpless.” And when motorists blow their horns at this ageing driver sitting behind the wheels of his car, he tells them to fly off.
 
When he was young and in the military, he had bought a motorcycle for a mere Rs 200. Of course, today cars and other vehicles are prohibitively priced. His driving licence was renewed for five years, and the officials at Mangalore transport department told him that next time when he comes, they will renew it for a lifetime.
 
Michael has not travelled abroad and also does not have a passport. Has he taken flights? “I aim to go on the last one, which will soon take me away forever,” he quips. The centenarian prays to God daily, pleading with him not to hospitalise him for a month or two, but to take him away quickly and painlessly.
 
Nithin Belle
Nithin Belle
 
 
 
 
 
Nithin Belle is a journalist who has worked with several publications including Indian Express, Mid-Day, Bombay magazine and Gentleman magazine. He also worked with the Khaleej Times in Dubai for several years, covering both regional and international news. He has been writing extensively for many Indian and international titles since his return to the country. His other passions include photography.
 
 
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Indigo commences ATR operations as part of its regional connectivity plans

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Low-cost carrier IndiGo launched its ATR operations with a flight on the Hyderabad-Mangalore sector from today as part of its regional connectivity plans.
 
"With the introduction of brand new ATR 72-600 aircraft to its fleet, IndiGo has taken another step towards providing an on-time, affordable and a hassle-free travel experience to passengers in Tier-II and Tier-III towns and cities," a press release from the airline said.
 
Talking to newspersons here, Mr. Aditya Ghosh, President and Whole Time Director, IndiGo said, “Following the vision of our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji to promote regional connectivity through UDAN, IndiGo is proud to announce the addition of brand new ATR 72-600 aircraft to its 149 aircraft strong fleet and offer connectivity to tier 2 and tier 3 cities of India, starting tomorrow."
 
"It is indeed a moment of great pride, not only for team IndiGo, but for every citizen of this country who is waiting for an affordable and a hassle free flying experience on these unserved and underserved routes. With more ATRs joining our fleet in the months to come, we are much closer to realising the dream of the common man," he said.
 
“IndiGo network will expand not only to provide connectivity between these smaller cities, but our strong network of domestic and international markets will also open up immense connectivity to and fro for these smaller markets.
 
“By December 2019, IndiGo with its fleet of brand new 21 ATRs, would have connected about 15 tier-II and tier-III new cities on its network, thereby giving a big boost to regional connectivity,” he added.
 
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Mr. Sanjay Kumar, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo, “On 7th January and 9th January 2018 IndiGo is commencing its second and third ATR operations, adding Tirupati and Rajahmundry on IndiGo’s 6E network respectively.”
 
He also announced four new domestic flights from Hyderabad; which include an additional Hyderabad – Lucknow – Hyderabad flight, a new Hyderabad – Ranchi – Hyderabad flight, an additional Hyderabad – Jaipur and a new Hyderabad – Jammu via Jaipur flight on 21st December. And two international flights which include Hyderabad – Doha - Hyderabad on 21st December and Hyderabad – Sharjah - Hyderabad commencing on 29th December 2017. 
 
“These additional flights have helped IndiGo in achieving 1000 flights a day mark in December 2017, making it the only Indian airline to operate as many flights in a day,” he added further.
 
IndiGo has placed a term sheet for 50 ATR aircraft. The airline is expecting to add 7 ATR flights by March 2018 and 21 ATR planes to its fleet by December 2018, the release said.
 
IndiGo in October 2017 had announced strengthening its network in the regional markets with over 90 flights to and fro Tirupati, Rajahmundry, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Mangalore, Madurai, Vijayawada and Nagpur.
 
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Modi dedicates new Bidar-Kalaburagi railway line in Karnataka to nation

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today dedicated the new Bidar-Kalaburagi railway line in Karnataka to the nation by  unveiling a plaque at Bidar railway station.
 
Mr. Modi, who was on a day's visit to Karnataka, also flagged off the DEMU service between Bidar and Kalaburagi. 
 
Earlier, Mr. Modi Dashamah Soundarya Lahari Parayanotsava Mahasamarpane at Bengaluru. 
 
The Soundarya Lahari is a set of shlokas composed by Adi Shankaracharya. At the event, there was mass chanting of Soundarya Lahari. 
 
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said he felt a special energy in the environment from this mass chanting. He recalled his visit to Kedarnath a few days ago, and said he was filled with awe at the work done by Adi Shankara, in that remote location, as well as at other places across India, in his relatively short life-span. He said Adi Shankara had united India, through the Vedas and Upanishads. 
 
Mr. Modi said the common man could relate to Adi Shankara's composition - Soundarya Lahari. He said Adi Shankaracharya removed evils from the society, and prevented them from reaching future generations. He said Adi Shankara had imbibed the best of practices from different ideologies and thought. He said Adi Shankaracharya's penance still exists in the present form of Indian culture - a culture that accepts all, and moves forward together. This culture is the foundation of New India - and follows the mantra of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, he said.
 
He said that, in a way, India's cultural heritage held the answers to all global problems. He said that in India, the stress has always been on preventing the exploitation of nature. 
 
The Prime Minister said that LED bulbs which earlier cost more than 350 rupees, are now available for 40 to 45 rupees under the Ujala scheme. He said more than 27 crore LED bulbs have been distributed so far. This has resulted in savings in the electricity bill as well, he added. 
 
He mentioned that over 3 crore LPG connections have been distributed through the Ujjwala Yojana. This has not only made a positive difference in the lives of rural women, but also contributed to a cleaner environment, he said. 
 
He said that the need of the hour is that efforts be made to free India from evils such as illiteracy, ignorance, malnutrition, black money and corruption. 
 
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Mr. Modi also offered prayers at Shri Manjunatha Swamy Temple at Dharmasthala.
 
At a public meeting at Ujire, he distributed RuPay cards to Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana account holders. He unveiled a logo to mark the launch of "Preserve Mother Earth, and Transfer to Next Generation" programme. 
 
Addressing the gathering, he expressed happiness at the opportunity to pray to Lord Manjunatha. 
 
He said that the current century is about skill development. India is a youthful nation, and hence, we must harness our demographic dividend, he added. 
 
"Our saints and seers created as well as nurtured institutions which have helped society for centuries," he said.
 
Speaking about the opportunity to hand over RuPay cards to women Self Help Groups, the Prime Minister said that he was happy to see enthusiasm towards digital transactions. 
 
He urged people to use the Bhim App and embrace cashless transactions. This is the era of honesty and integrity; there is no place for those who cheat the system, he said.
 
The Prime Minister said that every rupee, and every resource from the Government of India is devoted for the welfare of Indians. "We are ensuring that the fruits of development reach the intended beneficiaries without any scope of corruption," he added. 
 
Mr. Modi said that conservation of water is a major challenge in this day and age. "We also need to give importance towards living in harmony with nature and not think about short term gains," he said.
 
He called upon the farmers of Karnataka to embrace methods like drip irrigation that help conserve water. 
 
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GAIL commences construction work in Kerala stretch of KKMBPL Project

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The public sector GAIL (India) Limited today said it had started construction work on the Kerala stretch of the Rs. 3,263 crore Kochi – Koottanad – Mangaluru-Bengaluru Pipeline project after some initial hurdles.
 
The pipeline will form part of the National Gas Grid and it will go a long way in fulfilling the vision of the Government of India towards building a gas-based economy, a press release from the company said.
 
The release said the construction activities are under full swing and will gain new momentum with the award of contracts for pipeline laying works of the remainning section of 111 km falling in Malappuram, Kannur and Kasargod districts at a cost of approximately Rs 160 crore. 
 
As a part of Phase-II of the project, the pipeline section from Kochi-Koottanad (in Kerala) to Mangaluru (in Karnataka) (438 km) is being executed. 
 
"With today’s award of contracts, the entire stretch of 438 km Kochi – Koottanad – Mangaluru Pipeline will be in construction phase," the release said.
 
Mr. B C Tripathi, Chairman and Managing Director, GAIL said,  “Looking into the substantial progress in the laying works already awarded with the help of State Government in providing statutory clearances and permissions and Right of way, GAIL is commencing laying activities in the  remaining 111 kms stretch of the pipeline. The  project activities in 100%  of the pipe length will gather full momentum after the monsoon. With the continued support of the State Government and the people at large, GAIL is confident of completing the entire Kochi – Koottanad – Mangaluru Pipeline by December 2018.”
 
The release said the project would give a major economic boost to Kerala by way of facilitating environment-friendly industrial development. In Phase-I of the project, around 41 km pipeline had already been commissioned during 2013 to transport natural gas from Kochi LNG Terminal.
 
Currently around 2.6 MMSCMD of gas is being supplied to various consumers in and around Kochi city, the release added.
 
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Kerala train derailment: Several trains cancelled, diverted, delayed

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The Southern Railway today cancelled, diverted and short-terminated several trains following the derailment of 12 coaches of the 16347 Thiruvananthapuram - Mangaluru Express near Karukutty, near Aluva, in Kerala early this morning.
 
According to a press release from Southern Railway, the following are the detailments of the cancellations and diversions:
 
CANCELLATION OF TRAIN SERVICES
 
1.      Train No.56352 Ernakulam-Shoranur Passenger on 28/8/16
2.      Train No.56361 Shoranur-Ernakulam Passenger on 28/8/16
3.      Train No.56379 Ernakulam-Alapuzha Passenger on 28/8/16
4.      Train No.56384 Alapuzha-Ernakulam Passenger on 28/8/16
5.      Train No.56376 Ernakulam-Guruvayoor Passenger on 28/8/16
6.      Train No.56603 Thrissur-Kozhikode Passenger on 28/8/16
7.      Train No.56370 Ernakulam-Guruvayoor Passenger on 28/8/16
8.      Train No.56371 Guruvayoor- Ernakulam Passenger on 28/8/16
9.      Train No.56365 Punalur-Guruvayoor Passenger on 28/8/16
10.  Train No.56366 Guruvayoor- Punalur Passenger on 28/8/16
11.  Train No.56373 Guruvayoor- Thrissur Passenger on 28/8/16
12.  Train No.56374 Thrissur- Guruvayoor Passenger on 28/8/16
13.  Train No.56375 Guruvayoor- Ernakulam Passenger on 28/8/16
14.  Train No.56043 Guruvayoor- Thrissur Passenger on 28/8/16
15.  Train No.56044 Thrissur- Guruvayoor Passenger on 28/8/16
16.  Train No.16305 Ernakulam-Kannur Inter City Express on 28/8/16
17.  Train No.16308 Kannur-Alapuzha Inter City Express on 29/8/16
18.  Train No.16307 Alapuzha- Kannur Inter City Express on 29/8/16
19.  Train No.16306 Kannur-Ernakulam Inter City Express on 30/8/16
20.  Train No.16341 Guruvayoor-Thiruvananthapuram Express on 28/8/16
21.  Train No.16342 Thiruvananthapuram- Guruvayoor Express on 28/8/16
 
SHORT TERMINATION OF TRAIN SERVICES 
 
1.      Train No.16343 / 16349 Thiruvananthapuram-Palakkad Town / Nilambur Amritha/Rajyarani Link express will terminate its service at Ernakulam Town on 28/8/16
2.      Train No.16127 Chennai Egmore-Guruvayoor Express will terminate its service at Ernakulam Jn on 28/8/16
3.      Train No.16606 Nagercoil-Mangaluru Eranad Express will terminate its service at Ernakulam Jn on 28/8/16
4.      Train No.12076 Thiruvananthapuram-Kozhikode Janshatabdi Express will terminate its service at Ernakulam Jn on 28/8/16
5.      Train No.16302 Thiruvananthapuram-Shoranur Venad Express will terminate its service at Ernakulam Jn on 28/8/16
6.      Train No.16650 Nagercoil-Mangaluru Parasuram Express will terminate its service at Ernakulam Town on 28/8/16
 
 PARTIAL CANCELLATION
 
1.      The service of Train No.16343 / 16349 Thiruvananthapuram-Palakkad Town / Nilambur Amritha/Rajyarani Link express will be partially cancelled between Ernakulam Town and Palakkad Jn(Pollachi Jn)/Nilambur Road on 28/8/16
2.      The service of Train No.16605 Mangaluru-Nagercoil Eranad express will be partially cancelled between Ernakulam Jn and Mangaluru Central on 28/8/16
3.      The service of Train No.12075 Kozhikode-Thiruvananthapuram Janshatabdi express will be partially cancelled between Kozhikode and Ernakulam Jn on 28/8/16
4.      The service of Train No.16301 Shoranur-Thiruvananthapuram Venad express will be partially cancelled between Shoranur and Ernakulam Jn on 28/8/16
5.      The service of Train No.16649 Mangaluru- Nagercoil Parasuram Express will be partially cancelled between Mangaluru Central and  Ernakulam Town on 28/8/16
 
 DIVERSION OF TRAIN SERVICES
 
1.      Train No.12512 Thiruvananthapuram-Gorakhpur Rapthisagar Tri-weekly express will be diverted via Tirunelveli on 28/8/16
2.      Train No.17229 Thiruvananthapuram-Hyderabad Sabari express will be diverted via Tirunelveli on 28/8/16
3.      Train No.16382 Kanyakumari-Mumbai CST express will be diverted via Tirunelveli on 28/8/16
4.      Train No.16525 Kanyakumari-Bengaluru express will be diverted via Tirunelveli on 28/8/16
5.      Train No.13352 Alapuzha-Dhanbad Tatanagar express will be diverted via Tirunelveli on 28/8/16
 
RESCHEDULING OF TRAIN SERVICES
 
1.      Train No.16346 Thiruvananthapuram-Lokmanya Tilak Netravathi Express will leave Thiruvananthapuram Central on delayed timings on 28/8/16
2.      Train No.12625 Thiruvananthapuram-New Delhi Kerala Express will leave Thiruvananthapuram Central on delayed timings on 28/8/16
3.      Train No.12515 Thiruvananthapuram-Guwahati Express will leave Thiruvananthapuram Central on delayed timings on 28/8/16
4.      Train No.12202 Kochuveli-Lokmanya Tilak Garibrath bi-weekly Express will leave Thiruvananthapuram Central on delayed timings on 28/8/16
5.      Train No.19261 Kochuveli-Porbandar Express will leave Thiruvananthapuram Central on delayed timings on 28/8/16
 
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Thiruvananthapuram-Mangaluru Express derails in Kerala, no casualties

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As many as 12 coaches of the 16347 Thiruvananthapuram - Mangaluru Express derailed near Karukutty station, near Aluva, in Kerala early this morning.
 
No injuries or casualties have been reported and all passengers are safe, the Southern Railway said in a press release.
 
The train had left Thiruvananthapuram at 2040 hours last night and the derailment occurred near Karukutty station, after it had passed Aluva, at 0255 hours today, it said.
 
Since both tracks have been affected by the derailment, all train services passing through Ernakulam and Alwaye are likely to be delayed until the rescue operations are completed, the release said.
 
Mr. P.K.Mishra, Additional General Manager, Southern Railway, Mr. Prakash Butani, Divisional Railway Manager, Trivandrum and other senior officials have rushed to the spot to oversee the relief and rescue operations.
 
Buses have been arranged to transport passengers from Karukutty to Chalakudy from where they will be taken to their destination by special trains. 
 
The Southern Railway has set up helpline numbers 9746769960, 9746761072 and 0471-2320012. 
 
The cause of the mishap could not be immediately ascertained.
 
Tickets will be refunded, the release added.
 
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Port Health Office commences functioning in New Mangalore Port

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As a part of improving the ‘ease of doing business’, a full-fledged Port Health Office (PHO) has started functioning at New Mangalore Port Trust.
 
The office was inaugurated on Monday and now the port is in a position to give clearance to all foreign going vessels, an official press release said.
 
This will also help in the arrival and departure of cruise tourists at the port, thereby encouraging cruise tourism in Mangalore, it said.
 
The Port Health Officer and supporting staff have been provided by the PHO, Cochin which was established to ensure prevention of entry of Quarantinable diseases (Diseases subjected to International Health Regulations) into the country under Indian Port Health Rules 1955.
 
PHO is designated for issue of ‘Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificate, Ship Sanitation Control Certificate and Ship Sanitation Extension Certificate to Ships’.
 
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J.K.Tyres commences export of radial tyres through New Mangalore Port

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Tyre manufacturers J.K. Tyres, Mysore, has commenced exports of tyres through the New Mangalore Port in Karnataka.
 
An official press release said the landmark achievement was achieved as a result of the agressive business promotion drive initiated by the port management.
 
The first consignment of a trial shipment of 40 high cube container was exported from Mangalore. It was factory stuffed at Mysore and shipped on M.V. Tiger Goman on June 18, the release said, adding that the consignment was destined for Manzanillo Mexico. 
 
"J.K.Tyres have assured the port of increase in volume of shipments through New Mangalore Port and transport radial tyres in bulk for stuffing inside the port, to enjoy the cost advantage," it added.
 
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Veteran journalist M V Kamath passes away at 93

M V Kamath
M V Kamath
Veteran journalist M V Kamath, who served as the Washington correspondent of The Times of India and the Editor of the now-defunct Illustrated Weekly of India, passed away at a hospital in Manipal this morning after a brief illness.
 
He was 93.
 
Sources at the Kasturba Medical College Hospital told NetIndian that Mr Kamath had been admitted there about a week ago for treatment of problems associated with old age. He breathed his last around 6.30 am today, they said.
 
During a long career in journalism, he worked as the Washington correspondent for The Times of India during 1969-78 and as Editor of the Illustrated Weekly of India from 1978 to 1981. He had also worked for the Press Trust of India (PTI) and had served as the Editor of the Sunday Times. He is also a former Chairman of the Prasar Bharati Board.
 
Madhav Vittal Kamath was born on September 7, 1921 and had his schooling in Manipal before taking a B.Sc. degree from the Aloysius College in Mangalore.
 
He worked for some time as a chemist before setting out on a journalistic career as a reporter for the Free Press Journal in Mumbai. He was the Honorary Diector of the Manipal Institute of Communication.
 
The Government had honoured him with the Padma Bhushan award in 2004.
 
He authored several books, including one on Prime Minister Narendra Modi titled "Narendra Modi -- The Architect of a Modern State", which he co-authored with Kalindi Randeri.
 
Some of his other books include "On Media, Politics and Literature (2009)", "Gandhi – A Spiritual Journey" (2007), "Reporter at Large" (2002),and "The Pursuit of Excellence" (1982).
 
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We have to improve our death bowling: Dhoni

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni stressed the importance of death bowling after Chennai Super Kings stole a thriller against Royal Challengers in the Indian Premier League (IPL) here tonight.

"The performance was great, we need to improve our death bowling drastically. We didn't get off to a good start, the pressure was there on the middle order. You can't really afford to play too many dot balls, you have to be there till the 15th or 16th over to cash in," said Dhoni.
 
Man of the Match Ravindra Jadeja, who nowadays is ridiculed as Sir Jadeja on the social media, said he was not trying to play silly shots.
 
"(With reference to Sir) they are just making fun in a lighter way, not a serious way. I was confident about my batting, I scored two triple-hundreds this season. I was not trying to play any silly shots, it was a good wicket," he said.
 
Royal Challengers skipper Virat Kohli said his team lost the match in the last six over.
 
"It was our game to lose in the last six overs. We are relying on big partnership as of now, a few small partnerships will do good for us. RP, T20 is a game like that, I'm still proud of him," he said.
 
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Jayalalithaa urges PM to stop Karnataka from building check dams on Pennaiyar river

File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to advise the Karnataka government to stop forthwith the execution of any check dams or diversion structures across the Pennaiyar river.

The river originates in Karnataka and flows through the districts of Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Thiruvannamalai, Villupuram and Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu.
 
In her letter dated May 19, Ms Jayalalithaa said the river irrigates an ayacut of nearly four lakh acres.
 
"I understand that the Government of Karnataka has proposed to construct check dams and diversion structures across the Pennaiyar River which is causing great alarm and pprehension in Tamil Nadu.  Any attempt to withhold the flows by constructing check dams and diversion structures across the Pennaiyar River will be a serious breach of the existing Inter-State Agreement on this issue," she said.
 
She said this would also be a body blow to the farmers of Tamil Nadu besides affecting the basic drinking water supply position. 
 
"As you are aware, the Pennaiyar is an Inter-State River and is also one of the Rivers mentioned in Schedule ‘A’ annexed to  the Madras-Mysore Agreement of 1892.  As per clause-II of this Agreement, the upstream State should not, without the previous consent of the downstream Tamil Nadu State, build any new anicut or any structure to obstruct, divert or store the waters of the river across any part of the river," she said.
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Ms Jayalalithaa said the government of Karnataka had neither sought the consent of the government of Tamil Nadu. She said the Tamil Nadu government had taken up the matter with the Karnataka government and sought details of the schemes but had not received any response. The Tamil Nadu government had also urged the Karnataka government not to commence any work on the projects without its consent.
 
"I, therefore, request you to kindly intervene in this matter urgently and advise the Government of Karnataka to stop forthwith the execution of any check dams or diversion structures etc., across the Pennaiyar River," Ms Jayalalithaa added in her letter to the Prime Minister.
 
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Kambala (Buffalo Race)

A moment of action during the main attraction and distinct feature of Kambala (Buffalo Race), at Pilikulanear Mangalore as part of the 17th National Youth Festival on January 15, 2012. UNI PHOTO
A moment of action during the main attraction and distinct feature of Kambala (Buffalo Race), at  Pilikulanear Mangalore as part of the  17th National Youth Festival on January 15, 2012. UNI PHOTO
A moment of action during the main attraction and distinct feature of Kambala (Buffalo Race), at Pilikulanear Mangalore as part of the 17th National Youth Festival on January 15, 2012. UNI PHOTO

17th National Youth Festival to begin in Mangalore on Thursday

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The 17th National Youth Festival, in which 5000 young persons from across the country will participate, will begin in Mangalore tomorrow.
 
During the five-day festival, there will be competitive events in 16 individual events and two group events.
 
In addition to this, non-competitive events namely Yuva Kriti, Food Festival, Young Artists’ Camp and Adventure Park will be organised by Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan which works under the aegis of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The National Service Scheme will organise a Youth Convention and a lecture series "Suvichaar", an official press release said here today.

Central leadership will resolve rift in Karnataka BJP: Gowda

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Karnataka Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda today expressed confidence that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) central leadership would resolve the rift between former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and state party chief K S Eshwarappa.
 
Eshwarappa and Yeddyurappa, who were at loggerheads over the leadership issue, have been involved in a verbal duel in the past few days with the latter accusing Eshwarappa of conspiring to throw him out of the party.
 
The state BJP president and the Chief Minister have in fact met central BJP leaders L K Advani and Rajnath Singh in New Delhi recently to discuss the issue.
 
"Steps have already been taken to broker peace between the two leaders," Gowda told mediapersons on his arrival at Mangalore Airport to participate in several programmes in the district. 
 
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SC issues notices to Govt, Air India on compensation for Mangalore crash

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The Supreme Court today issued notices to the Centre and Air India on a petition seeking compensation of Rs 75 lakh each to the victims of the 2010 Mangalore air crash in Karnataka.

The apex court has sought the response of the respondents to the petition which has alleged that the national carrier cannot escape its liability to compensate the families of the victims adequately for the loss suffered by them as well as emotional trauma which the kith and kin of the victims had to suffer after they lost their family members in the crash.
 
Counsel for the petitioner also alleged that the amount of the compensation announced by national carrier was very low and inadequate keeping in view the standard of living enjoyed by the victims. Air India had announced interim compensation of Rs 10 lakh each. He said under the Montreal convention, Air India was obliged to pay a minimum compensation of 100,000 SDRS (Special Drawing Rights) amounting to Rs 75 lakh.
 
One hundred and fifty-eight of the passengers and crew onboard the Air India Express flight from Dubai were killed when the plane caught fire after overshooting the runway and falling into a valley on May 22, 2010.
 
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