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Madhya Pradesh

Ten dead, 18 injured in stampede at Kamtanath Pahad temple at Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh

Ten pilgrims were killed and at least 18 others suffered injuries in a stampede at the Kamtanath Pahad temple in Chitrakoot in the Satna district of Madhya Pradesh in the early hours of Monday, officials said.

 
Ten killed in stampede at Kamtanath Pahad temple at Chitrakoot in MP
Ten pilgrims were killed and at least 18 others suffered injuries in a stampede at the Kamtanath Pahad temple in Chitrakoot in the Satna district of Madhya Pradesh in the early hours of today, officials said.
 
Inspector General of Police (Rewa Range) Pawan Shrivastav told NetIndian over the telephone that the victims included six women and four men. 
 
He said six of those injured had been discharged after first aid while the rest were undergoing treatment for injuries. None of them was in a serious condition, he said.
 
District Magistrate and Collector Mohan Lal said the incident occurred around 4.45 am today.
 
Thousands of pilgrims had gathered at the temple, located about 80 km from Satna district headquarters on the border between Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh for the five-km "parikrama" (circumambulation) of the Kamadgiri hill on the occasion of Somvati Amavasya.
 
Details of the circumstances leading to the incident were not clear, but Mr Shrivastav said one of the pilgrims, a woman, appeared to have stumbled and fallen and before people realised it, some more people fell and several others following them, all at a brisk space in a cramped section of the "parikrama" trampled upon them.
 
Many of the devotes, especially women, were performing "Shayana Pradakshinam" --- in which they lie down and roll on the path -- for worship when the incident occurred, sources said.
 
The district authorities have ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident, they said.
 
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan expressed his grief at the loss of lives in the incident and announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the next-of-kin of those killed, Rs 50,000 for those with serious injuries and Rs 10,000 for those who have suffered minor injuries.
 
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Cabinet approves 205.5-km Indore -Budni electrified railway line

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today gave its approval for constructing a new railway line between Budni and Indore (Mangaliyagaon) with an approximate length of 205.5 km that would reduce the distance between Jabalpur and Indore by 68 km.
 
The project, with a total estimated cost of Rs 3261.82 crore, will also reduce travel time from Indore to Mumbai and towards South India. It will generate direct employment during construction for about 49.32 lakh man-days.
 
The proposed line will take off from existing yard of Budni and connect at Mangaliyagaon station of Western Railway near Indore. Ten new crossing stations and seven new halt stations are proposed to be constructed, an official press release said.
 
The new line will serve Sehore, Dewas and Indore districts and provide a direct link from Budni to Indore bypassing the congested route of Bhopal-Itarsi including Ghat section from Budni to Berkheda.
 
It will provide basic infrastructure support for the industrial development of the surrounding area having large socio-economic ramifications.
 
This project is meant for development of a backward area of this region and to provide connectivity to various towns/villages like Nasrullaganj, Khategoan and Kannod, where presently there is no railway connectivity, the release added.
 
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Rahul Gandhi kicks off MP poll campaign

File photo of Rahul Gandhi
File photo of Rahul Gandhi
Congress President Rahul Gandhi arrived here on Monday for a roadshow as part of his election campaign in Madhya Pradesh.
 
He was received at the Bhopal's Raja Bhoj Airport by Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath, Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia and other party leaders.
 
He started the roadshow from Lalghati Chowk in an open bus near the airport. He will pass through old city areas before reaching BHEL Dussehra Maidan. The roadshow will cover around 18 km. He will address party workers at 4 p.m.
 
Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh are due this year along with Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 

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Culture of taking everyone along makes India different from others: Modi

 
Modi, Chouhan meet Da’i al-Mutlaq of Dawoodi Bohra community
 
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the culture of taking everyone along makes India different from all other countries.
 
“We are proud of our past, we believe in our present and are confident of our bright future," Mr Modi said addressing a gathering of the Dawoodi Bohra community during  Ashara Mubaraka, the commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Husain.
 
Mr Modi said Imam Husain always stood against injustice and attained martyrdom for keeping peace and justice. His teachings are still relevant today, he said.
 
Appreciating the work done by Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, he said love and dedication towards the nation are the hallmarks of his teachings.
 
Highlighting the contributions of the Dawoodi Bohra community, he said the community has always played a key role in India’s progress and growth story. He expressed the hope that community will continue their great work of spreading the strength of India’s culture throughout the world.
 
Applauding the various social initiatives carried out by the Dawoodi Bohra community, Mr Modi said efforts were also being made by the government to ensure improved living standards for citizens, especially the poor and needy.
 
In this context, he mentioned the various development-oriented initiatives of the Government like Ayushman Bharat, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Pradhan Mantri Awaaz Yojana. He mentioned that these initiatives are changing the lives of ordinary people.
 
He congratulated the people of Indore for taking the mission of Swacchh Bharat forward. ‘Swachhata Hi Sewa' scheme will be launched tomorrow and he urged the citizens to actively participate in this grand Swacchhta mission.
 
Talking about the honesty shown by the Bohra community in business, Mr Modi said the government encourages honest businessmen and workers through GST and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. The Indian economy is growing and New India is on the horizon.
 
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was also present on the occasion.  Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin earlier praised the Prime Minister for his "exemplary work and wished him success for his work for the country.
 
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MoU signed for new Indore-Manmad railway line project

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A memorandum of understanding (MoU) for implementation of the new 362 km Indore- Manmad railway line project was signed here on Tuesday between Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Ministry of Railways and the State Governments of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
 
Containers and other rail traffic from Indore and other Central Indian locations earlier had to follow a circuitous route through Vadodara and Surat to reach Mumbai, Pune and ports like JNPT, travelling a distance of 815 km. 
 
The new project will reduce the distance from Mumbai/Pune to key central India locations by 171 km, resulting in lower logistics costs, an official press release said.
 
This is especially significant as the new railway line will pass through the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor nodes of Igatpuri, Nashik and Sinnar; Pune and Khed; and Dhule and Nardana, it said.
 
The MoU was signed in the presence of  Minister of  Shipping, Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari,  Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre, and Chief Ministers Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh) and Devendra Phadnavis (Maharashtra). 
 
The implementation of the project will be through the Indian Port Rail Corporation Limited (IPRCL) on Joint Venture  SPV model. A joint venture company will be formed between the Ministry of Shipping or its nominated PSUs/entity including JNPT (which will be the main promoter) with an equity share of 55%. The government of Maharashtra or its nominated PSUs/entity, Government of Madhya Pradesh or its nominated PSUs/entity, and others will have an equity share of 15% each.
 
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Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Gadkari hailed the signing of the MoU as a major step towards the development of backward areas of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra through which the new railway line will pass.
 
The project is estimated to result in cumulative net economic benefits of Rs 15,000 crore in the first ten years of operations. The logistics advantages of the project include providing a shorter route for the passenger as well as the freight traffic originating from / terminating at/or crossing through the region.
 
It will reduce the logistics cost for the cargo centres located in Northern India such as Lucknow, Agra, Gwalior and Kanpur belt as well as Indore – Dhule – Bhopal region to the gateway ports JNPT and Mumbai. It will provide an alternate route to the existing central and western railway lines and reduce congestion on the over utilized existing railway network.
 
The Minister pointed out that the project, to be completed within six years, will help in employment generation, reduction in pollution, fuel consumption and vehicle operating costs.
 
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MP waterfall accident: 45 rescued, 6 missing

 
45 stranded people rescued from Sultangarh waterfalls in MP
 
 
After around 50 people were stranded at the Sultangarh waterfall in Madhya Pradesh's Shivpuri district, police on Thursday said.  Around 45 people have been rescued while six are still missing.
 
The picnickers were stuck after the waterfall swelled suddenly on Wednesday. Thirty four people, who were standing on the river rocks got stuck, while 15 were washed away.
 
"The overnight rescue, which continued till 3 a.m. on Thursday managed to salvage 45 of those stranded on Independence Day. A missing report of six has been filed in Gwalior," Superintendent of Police Rajesh Hingarkar told IANS.
 
The rescue teams, including the Border Security Force (BSF) and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), were sent several hours after the incident. 
 
The operation was stalled further till midnight due to heavy flow of water. It was only after the water receded that those stranded were taken out with the help of thick ropes.
 
The Indian Air Force also saved five lives but the IAF helicopter could not continue its operation due to darkness. 
 
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has thanked Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman for their help.
 
IANS
 

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Two get death for rape of minors in MP

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Two persons were sentenced to death by trial courts in Madhya Pradesh in separate cases of rape of children below the age of 12, a lawyer said. The trial lasted for only five and 13 days, respectively, in the two cases.
 
Lawyer Somvir Yadav, who represented a victim in one of the cases, told the media in Gawalior that a city court had convicted Jitendra Khushwaha for the rape and murder of a six-year-old girl who had gone missing from a wedding function in Amkho area on June 20. Her body was found the next day in Kensar Pahadia area. 
 
The trial of the case in the fast-track court of Special Judge Sangeeta Singh was concluded in 13 days through video-conferencing. The trial had concluded on Tuesday, during which 33 witnesses were examined. DNA proof nailed the convict.
 
Katni Additional District and Sessions Judge Madhuri Raj Lal convicted auto-rickshaw driver Raj Kumar Kol and handed him a death sentence after a trial that concluded in five days.
 
Additional District Attorney D.D. Taran told the media that Raj Kumar had sexually assaulted the five-year-old child whom he used to drop at school.
 
He was booked after the child's father lodged an FIR on July 7. 
 
In December, 2017, the Madhya Pradesh Assembly had unanimously passed a bill to amend the Indian Penal Code to enable awarding of death penalty to those found guilty of raping girls aged 12 and below.
 
IANS
 
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Gadkari launches highway projects worth Rs 5485 crore in Madhya Pradesh

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Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari inaugurated or laid the foundation stones for National Highway (NH) projects worth Rs 5485 crore in Madhya Pradesh on Monday.
 
At an event in Guna, he laid the foundation stone for five NH projects of total length 226 km, worth Rs 3583 crore, an official press release said.
 
These include four-laning of the Jhansi-Khajuraho section of NH 75 at a cost of Rs 976.62 crore, which is expected to give a boost to the Jhansi-Khajuraho-Orcha tourist circuit by reducing travel time by 1.5 hours.
 
The four-laning of the Seoni-Nagpur section of NH 7 at a cost of Rs 730.8 crore is expected to reduce travel time by 45 minutes. The four-laning of the Hiran Nadi-Sindoor Nadi  section of NH 12 at a cost of Rs 617.17 crore will save travel time between Bhopal and Jabalpur by 30 minutes, the release said.
 
The four-laning of Rewa-Sidhi section of NH 75 with Churhat Bypass and tunnel at a cost of Rs 1004 crore is expected to cut travel time by one hour. The two-laning of Biaora-Maksudangarh section of NH 752 B at a cost of Rs 254.17 crore will improve safety conditions at 16 difficult spots on this section, it said.
 
Mr. Gadkari also inaugurated 188 km of NH projects worth Rs 1902 crore in the state. These projects include Phase I of 4-laning of Shivpuri-Guna section of NH 3 constructed at a cost of Rs 830.36 crore; 4-laning of Guna- Biaora section of NH 3 constructed at a cost of Rs 1012.9 crore and the 4-laning of parts of Lakhnadaun-Chapara section of NH 7 constructed at a cost of Rs 58.6 crore.
 
Speaking on the occasion, he said Madhya Pradesh had 24 NH of 5186 km length before 2014. Now there are 96 NH of length 13248 km in the state. During the last four years, 22 NH of length 3397 km have been declared in the state. In addition, 50 State Highways have been declared NH in principle. While 19 NH projects of length 1289 km, costing Rs 5768 crore, have been completed in the last four years, 24 projects of length 1507 km worth Rs 15063 crore were in progress.
 
Two expressways were proposed to be built in the state – the Rs 3000 crore Indore – Bhopal Expressway and Rs 6000 crore Chambal Expressway. Work on these expressways could begin after land is acquired by the State Government. About 3180 km of Economic Corridors are planned in the state under Bharatmala Pariyojana, in addition to 986 km of Inter Corridors and 679 km of Feeder Routes. Logistics Parks are also planned at Bhopal and Indore, Mr. Gadkari added.
 
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Six die as car falls into MP reservoir

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Six youths were killed when the car they were travelling in fell into a reservoir in Sehore district of Madhya Pradesh, police said on Monday.
 
The incident took place on Sunday when the driver of the speeding car lost control over it. The youths were on their way to Kolar from Bhopal for a picnic.
 
The car could be taken out only on Monday after the water level in the reservoir subsided, Sehore Superintendent of Police Rajesh Chandel said.
 
IANS
 
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Businessman, son hacked to death in Indore

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A businessman and his son have been brutally murdered in Indore -- the business hub of Madhya Pradesh, police said on Monday.
 
According to the police, deceased Vindhyachal Gupta (45), along with his son Sandeep (25) and father Sudama (70), was on Sunday night returning home after closing their shop at around 11 p.m.
 
As they got off from the vehicle near their home, five to six criminals attacked them with sharp-edged weapons. Hearing their cries, people living in the vicinity rushed to their help, but the assailants managed to flee.
 
Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Harinarayan Chari Mishra told IANS: "All the three injured persons were rushed to hospital, but Vindhyachal and Sandeep succumbed to their injuries, while critically injured Sudama is undergoing treatment."
 
Apparently, the reason for killings was old enmity, Mishra said, adding that the police had been able to get some clues and hopefully, the criminals would be arrested soon.
 
Those close to the Gupta family said that the assailants also made good with a bag containing cash. Another cash-filled bag of the Guptas was stolen last Sunday.
 
IANS
 
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Monsoon arrives in MP, heavy rains likely

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The monsoon has entered Madhya Pradesh covering Dhar, Alirajpur, Burhanpur, Barwani, Khargone, Jhabua and Khandwa districts and has brought heavy rains to the state capital, bringing down the mercury by a few notches.
 
The monsoon entered the state from the southwest side, the Met office said. In the past 24 hours, Indore has received 8.6 mm of rain, while Dhar 14.2 mm, Damoh 30 mm and Gwalior 3.8 mm.
 
The weather office has predicted heavy rains for Dhar, Jhabua, Alirajpur and Barwani and scattered rains at all other places with thunderstorms and lightning. Humidity was unusually high on Tuesday. 
 
A cyclonic circulation had developed over south Gujarat and Konkan region while a trough was extending from Gujarat to southwest Rajasthan. 
 
Bhopal recorded a maximum of 35.5 degrees Celsius and a minimum of 24.6 degree Celsius. Indore's maximum was 32.4 degree Celsius while it recorded a minimum temperature of 23.2 degree Celsius. Gwalior was at a high of 43 and a minimum of 24; and Jabalpur 36.8 and minimum 27.9 degrees Celsius.
 
IANS
 
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15 of a family die in MP road accident

 
15 dead in road mishap in MP's Morena
 
 
Fifteen of a family, including eight women, were killed early on Thursday when a jeep collided with a truck in Madhya Pradesh's Morena district, police said.
 
Morena Superintendent of Police Amit Singh told IANS that the family of 20 left Gwalior to attend a relative's funeral. "Their jeep collided with the sand-laden truck on Ambah road in which 12 people died on the spot."
 
Three more died in a hospital later. Of the five injured, two are critical.
 
According to police, the truck was carrying illegally mined sand and the driver was accelerating to avoid being caught. He lost control over the vehicle and hit the jeep.
 
The jeep was so badly mangled that it took a lot of time to extricate the bodies. 
 
The truck driver fled the spot.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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12 killed in MP road accident

 
13 dead in road mishap in MP's Morena
 
 
Twelve persons, including seven women, were killed early on Thursday when a jeep collided with a tractor in Madhya Pradesh's Morena district, police said.
 
The accident occurred when the jeep carrying members of a family to a funeral collided with the sand-laden truck on Ambah road. 
 
Eight others were injured, two of whom were said to be in critical condition.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
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Bhaiyyuji Maharaj shoots himself dead

 
Spiritual guru Bhaiyyuji Maharaj commits suicide
 
 
Bhaiyyuji Maharaj, a Madhya Pradesh-based spiritual guru who had prominent followers from different political parties, committed suicide by shooting himself at his residence here on Tuesday.
 
The 50-year-old guru, who was recently given the status of a Minister of State by the government in a controversial decision which he had declined, died after he was admitted to a hospital in a critical condition.
 
"Bhaiyyuji Maharaj shot himself at his residence at Khandwa Road here. He was taken to Bombay Hospital and was admitted to ICU, where he succumbed to injuries," Indore's Deputy Inspector General Harinarayanachari Mishra told IANS.
 
He said that Bhaiyyuji Maharaj had closed the doors of his room from inside and shot himself on his head. 
 
"The door had to be broken open. Police has recovered a revolver and is investigating to find out who the owner is," he said. 
 
Indore's Inspector General Ajay Kumar Sharma said that police was investigating the possible reasons behind the suicide. A suicide note, which mentions that he was under stress, has been recovered from the spot, he said.
 
The suicide note read: "Somebody should be there to handle duties of family. I am leaving too much stressed out, fed up."
 
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and many other leaders expressed grief over the death and offered their condolences.
 
Chouhan said in a message that the country has lost a personality that was a confluence of culture, knowledge and service. "Your thoughts will motivate the society to walk on the path of serving humanity till eternity," he said in a tweet.
 
"Got to know about the sad demise of religious guru Bhaiyyuji Maharaj. I was having personal relations with him. I am saddened by his sudden demise. My tributes," Gadkari tweeted.
 
Mahajan also condoled the demise of Bhaiyyuji Maharaj and said that his untimely demise pains everyone. 
 
"It is difficult to believe that Bhaiyyuji Maharaj is no more among us. He was a spiritual guru, social worker and a great thinker. He worked extensively for the change and reforms in the society," she said. 
 
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"He endeavoured relentlessly to enlighten the society through his organization 'Suryodaya'. His concern for the welfare of the nomadic community is well known."
 
Born Uday Singh Deshmukh, Bhaiyyuji Maharaj had even done modelling for a well-known brand of clothes before turning spiritual. He was seen as a glamorous personality in the spiritual field. He used to travel in Mercedes cars, wore Rolex luxury watches and lived in a luxurious house. 
 
He had good ties with political personalities from various parties and the RSS. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former President Pratibha Patil, late Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and singer Lata Mangeshkar were among the prominent personalities who had visited his ashram here.
 
Bhaiyyuji Maharaj mediated when Anna Hazare was on fast in the national capital seven years ago and persuaded him to end the protest. Anna Hazare had broken his fast after accepting a glass of juice from Bhaiyyuji Maharaj. 
 
When, as Gujarat Chief Minister, Modi observed the 'Sadbhavana' fast, he had invited Bhaiyyuji Maharaj to break his fast.
 
Bhaiyyuji Maharaj had established Shri Sadguru Datta Dharmik Evam Parmarthik Trust in order to turn his thoughts and concepts into reality.
 
Bhaiyyuji Maharaj's wife, Madhvi, died two years ago. Their daughter, Kuhu, is studying in Pune. Last year, he married again.
 
IANS
 
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Bhaiyyuji Maharaj shoots himself dead

 
Spiritual guru Bhaiyyuji Maharaj commits suicide
 
 
Bhaiyyuji Maharaj, a Madhya Pradesh-based spiritual guru who had prominent followers from different political parties, committed suicide on Tuesday by shooting himself at his residence.
 
The 50-year-old guru, who was recently given the status of a Minister of State by the government in a controversial decision which he had declined, died after he was admitted to a hospital in a critical condition.
 
"Bhaiyyuji Maharaj has shot himself at his residence at Khandwa Road here," said Indore's Deputy Inspector General Harinarayanachari Mishra, who had earlier termed the guru's condition as critical and that doctors are monitoring the situation. 
 
The reason behind the attempted suicide was not known, he had said. 
 
Reports said that Maharaj shot himself in the head and was immediately rushed to the hospital but efforts to save his life failed.
 
The reports also said he had left a suicide note saying he was depressed. "Somebody should be there to handle duties of family. I am leaving too much stressed out, fed up," the note reportedly said. Police said it was probing whether it was left by him.
 
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari expressed grief over the death and offered their condolences.
 
Chouhan said in a message that the country has lost a personality that is a confluence of culture, knowledge and service. "Your thoughts will motivate the society to walk on the path of serving humanity till eternity," he said in a tweet.
 
"Got to know about the sad demise of religious guru Bhaiyyuji Maharaj. I was having personal relations with him. I am saddened by his sudden demise. My tributes," Gadkari tweeted.
 
Born Uday Singh Deshmukh, Maharaj had even done modelling for a well-known brand of clothes before turning spiritual. He was seen as a glamorous personality in the spiritual field.
 
He had good ties with political personalities from various parties and the RSS. He mediated when Anna Hazare was on fast in the national capital five years ago and persuaded him to end the protest. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former President Pratibha Patil, late Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar and singer Lata Mangeshkar were among the prominent personalities who had visited his ashram here.
 
IANS
 
 
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Bhaiyyuji Maharaj shoots himself, critical

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Bhaiyyuji Maharaj, a Madhya Pradesh based spiritual guru, shot himself on Tuesday and has been admitted to a private hospital here in critical condition, police said.
 
"Bhaiyyuji Maharaj has shot himself at his residence at Khandwa Road here," Indore's Deputy Inspector General of Police Harinarayanachari Mishra said. 
 
The reason behind the attempted suicide is not known, he said. 
 
Mishra said Maharaj had been admitted to the Bombay Hospital. "His condition is critical. Doctors are monitoring the situation," the officer said.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Will waive farm loans in 10 days if voted to power in MP: Rahul

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday kicked off the party's poll campaign in Madhya Pradesh, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of betraying farmers and promising to waive farm loans in 10 days if voted to power.
 
He also promised that the families of the farmers who were killed in Mandsaur will get justice in 10 days if his party was voted to power. 
 
Addressing a rally, Gandhi questioned the delay in filing of a probe report into the death of seven farmers in police firing a year ago, alleging that the BJP government had failed to provide security to farmers and address their concerns.
 
"I assure you, when the Congress forms government in Madhya Pradesh, farmers' loans will be written off within 10 days. The families of the farmers (killed in Mandsaur last year) will get justice in 10 days and we will take action against those responsible for the firing," the Congress President said.
 
Gandhi lashed out at the state and the Centre for ignoring the farm distress across the country.
 
"The governments are of no use if they cannot provide security to farmers and their families. A total of 1,200 farmers committed suicide in Madhya Pradesh. Did any rich person or their family member commit suicide who have lakhs of crores as debt," he said, addressing the Kisan Samriddhi Sankalp Rally.
 
"Our priority will be to provide security to the farmers and their families," he added. 
 
Earlier, Gandhi paid tributes to the dead farmers in Piplia Mandi town of Mandsaur district.
 
"The Prime Minister and Chief Minister (Shivraj Singh Chouhan) talk about the farmers but when they demand the right price for their produce and ask for waiving off their loans, they do not listen. 
 
"Prime Minister waived off loans worth Rs 2.5 lakh crore of just 15 businessmen, but when I requested him to waive off farm loans, he maintained a studied silence," said Rahul Gandhi.
 
Gandhi also said the food people eat is all due to the efforts of farmers and their families and not rich businessmen. "That is why farmers are our priority," he added.
 
"My priority is the people of this country, then it is the Congress karyakartas and third is the Congress leaders.
 
"My dream is that when we come here after 5-7 years and look at our phones, we find 'Made in Mandsaur' written on it. Narendra Modi and Shivraj Singh Chouhan won't be able to do this work. Kamal Nath and Scindia (Jyotiraditya Scindia) can do this," the Congress President said.
 
IANS
 
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EC forms 4 teams to probe bogus voter allegations in MP

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The Election Commission on Sunday formed four teams to look into allegation levelled by Congress that lakhs of bogus voters were registered in Madhya Pradesh.
 
The EC has formed teams consisting of two members each to verify electoral rolls in Narela, Bhojpur, Hoshangabad and Seoni Malwa Assembly constituencies.
 
The teams will start their probe from Monday and submit their report by June 7.
 
The EC's move came hours after the Congress submitted a memorandum to the poll panel along with instances of multiple entries of the same voter with different names in a given Assembly constituency as well as those of one voter listed in multiple assembly constituencies.
 
The Congress alleged that there were close to 60 lakh bogus voters in the state and that it was being done at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) behest.
 
Madhya Pradesh Congress President Kamal Nath said they have provided evidence to the EC that there were approximately 60 lakh fake voters in the lists.
 
Citing figures, Nath questioned: "How is it possible that population has increased by 24 per cent but number of voters has increased by 40 per cent?"
 
The party has sought the removal of all duplicate entries in the electoral rolls of 230 Assembly constituencies of Madhya Pradesh to conduct free and fair elections.
 
The terms of reference of the teams formed by the EC include enquiring into each specific issues raised in the complaint; to find out the "alleged fake voters' name, if any"; to find out "how did it happen" and fix the responsibility to initiate appropriate action.
 
IANS
 
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Rahul to address farmers in Mandsaur on June 6

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi will address a farmers' rally in Mandsaur of Madhya Pradesh on June 6 -- the day seven farmers had died in a police firing last year.
 
Gandhi threw his weight behind the farmers' protest in several states between June 1 and June 10, to observe the anniversary of Mandsaur firing.
 
In a tweet that came a day after a 10-day farmers' protest began on Friday, he said he would address a rally in Mandsaur on June 6 to highlight the agrarian issues afflicting the country.
 
"Every day, about 35 farmers commit suicide in our country. To attract government's attention towards the agrarian crisis, farmers are forced to protest for 10 days.
 
"To stand with them in the fight for the rights of our 'Annadata' (food provider), I will address a farmer's rally in Mandsaur on June 6," he said.
 
Farmers in the agrarian states of Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and Rajasthan on Friday joined the 10-day protest call given by various farmer organisations in Madhya Pradesh, who strew milk and other food items on the roads. 
 
In a statement, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said: "Modi government's uncaring, unfeeling, insensitive, apathetic and thick-skinned attitude to the issues raised by 62 per cent of India's population - farmers - has precipitated into a nationwide protest by our 'Annadata'."
 
"The protest by farmers is a direct affirmation of the 'Kisan Virodhi' policies of Narendra Modi," he added.
 
He said: "While Mandsaur shooting is the symbol, the farmers across India are protesting against widespread rural indebtedness, non-remunerative prices and complete apathy of the Modi government."
 
He also accused the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Madhya Pradesh government of trying to suppress the protests by using illegal means in sheer desperation.
 
"It (state government) is panic stricken, as it even forced the farmers to sign ‘peace bonds' before the protest. Now the MP police has especially bought 17,000 new battens to take care of the protest," he said in the statement.
 
"Farmers have announced that they will not sell their produce in Mandis in cities. They are demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Committee Report to avail cost+50 per cent MSP as promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They are also demanding a complete loan waiver," it added.
 
IANS
 
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World Bank to provide $ 500 million for All-Weather Rural Roads

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The Government of India and the World Bank today signed a $500 million loan agreement to provide additional financing for the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) Rural Roads Project which will build 7,000 km of climate resilient roads, out of which 3,500 km will be constructed using green technologies.
 
A press release from the World Bank said it had supported PMGSY since its inception in 2004. So far it has invested over $1.8 billion in loans and credits, mostly in the economically weaker and hill states across North India – Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh. It has built and improved about 35,000 km of rural roads and benefited about eight million people with access to all-weather roads.   
 
The agreement for the project was signed by Sameer Kumar Khare, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of India and Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank India, on behalf of the World Bank.
 
“The PMGSY over the years has brought about a paradigm shift in the way rural roads are mapped, designed, monitored and built, involving communities especially women,” said Khare. “The additional finance will bring a new shift in construction technology using green and low carbon designs and climate resilient techniques. Now more rural communities will have access to better economic opportunities and social services.”
 
Adequate maintenance of the existing 4.6 million km of road network is emerging as a major challenge. Many parts of the existing road network are either vulnerable to or have already suffered damage from climate induced events such as floods, high rainfall, sudden cloud bursts and land-slides.
 
“To support the rural economy and communities and households that depend on rural livelihoods, it will be critical to ensure that infrastructure is built and maintained to withstand climatic changes,” said Ahmad. “This project will demonstrate how climate resilient construction can be integrated in the strategy and planning of rural roads,” he added.
 
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The PMGSY and the Bank’s involvement under this additional financing, will emphasize on managing the rural road network using green, low-carbon designs and new technologies – far beyond merely funding civil works.   This will be done through the following measures:
 
Climate vulnerability assessment during the design process to identify the critical locations affected by floods, water-logging, submergence, cloud bursts, storms, landslides, poor drainage, excessive erosion, high rainfall, and high temperatures;
Special treatment for flood-affected areas through adequate waterways and submersible roads to allow easy passage of water, use of concrete block pavements, and improved drainage;
Use of environmentally optimized road designs and new technologies which use local and marginal materials and industrial by-products such as sand, local soils, fly ash, brick kiln wastes, and other similar materials in place of crushed rocks;
Innovative bridges and culverts that use pre-fabricated/pre-cast units with the ability to withstand earthquakes and water forces;
Use of hill cutting material in hill roads ensuring its productive use and resolving its disposal problem; and
Use of bio-engineering measures, improved drainage and other treatments for landslide prone areas and providing adequate slope protection.
 
The release said the additional financing will also fill the gender gap by creating employment opportunities for women in construction and maintenance. The earlier project had piloted community-based maintenance contracts through women self-help groups (SHGs) for routine maintenance of 200 km of PMGSY roads in Uttarakhand, Meghalaya and Himachal Pradesh.  SHG-run maintenance contracts will now be extended to about 500 km roads over five states.
 
“All components of the project will have substantial climate co-benefits and help road agencies in India to substantially minimize GHG emissions. Improving road conditions alone will result on an average in direct savings of 2.68 million tons annually in GHG emissions and minimize the annual losses of about $9 billion in the road asset value and an equal amount by way of high vehicle operating costs,” said Ashok Kumar, Senior Highway Engineer and World Bank’s Task Team Leader for the project.
 
The $500 million loan, from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 3-year grace period, and a maturity of 10 years.
 
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ADB to provide $ 375 million loan for project to improve irrigation, farmers' incomes in MP

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The Manila-based Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) will provide a $375 million loan for a project that will contribute to doubling farming incomes in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh by expanding irrigation networks and system efficiency.
 
“Water plays a critical role in India’s food production and the welfare of the poor in rural areas,” said ADB Principal Water Resources Specialist for South Asia Arnaud Cauchois. 
 
“With agriculture under continuous pressure to meet society’s needs, given population growth and changing dietary habits, ADB’s project will support technical and institutional innovations to produce considerable gains in irrigation water use efficiency," an ADB press release quoted Mr. Cauchois as saying.
 
The release said that about 84% of all water withdrawals are used for agriculture in India, where 42% of all agricultural land is irrigated. However, current average efficiency of irrigation water use is only 38%, pointing to the need for a serious improvement in performance. Productivity of irrigated water is further hampered by low crop yields and cultivation of low-value crops, it said.
 
An ADB study in 2014 identified three main causes for low efficiency of water use: poor irrigation infrastructure, inadequate operation and maintenance, and lack of training or capacity. The Government of India has also acknowledged the need for improvements in irrigation water use efficiency in its Three-Year Action Agenda (2017–2018 to 2019–2020).
 
Since 2010, modernization of systems in Madhya Pradesh, together with improvements in their management and operation, have expanded the state’s irrigated area and produced record annual agricultural growth of 20% in 2013–2016, the release said.
 
The state plans to double the total irrigated area to 7.2 million hectares (ha) by 2025 from current levels by boosting efficiency in water use. This will be achieved through developing pressurized irrigation systems and adopting micro-irrigation, which will support the development of high-value crops such as orange orchards and vegetables.
 
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The Water Resources Department of Madhya Pradesh requested ADB assistance to help finance this plan and provide a model for future modernization investments through technical and institutional innovations. On the technical side, the innovation consists of developing a large-scale pressurized and automated irrigation system, while on the institutional side, the project will introduce a design–build–operate (DBO) contracting approach.
 
The project will focus on two large irrigation systems. The first—the Kundalia irrigation project—will develop 125,000 ha of new and highly efficient and climate resilient irrigation networks. More than 40% of the population in this area depends on agriculture for livelihood, with wheat and soybeans as the two main crops.
 
The work to be undertaken includes building two large pumping stations pumping water to distribution chambers where water will be distributed through a network of buried pipes to farm outlets. The project will also help farmers adopt micro-irrigated agriculture including high-value crops. It is expected to not only double farmer incomes but benefit about 838,000 people in 419 villages.
 
The contractor under the DBO approach will be tasked to operate and maintain the system for 5 years after completion of construction.
 
For the second large irrigation system, the project will prepare a comprehensive modernization feasibility study and other preparatory work for the Sanjay Sarovar Irrigation Project.
 
The total project cost is $535.1 million, of which $160.7 million will be provided by the government. The estimated completion date is end of September 2025.
 
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Khajuraho again hottest in India at over 48 degrees

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Madhya Pradesh's tourist destination of Khajuraho, globally known for its intricate temple sculptures, was on Monday again the hottest place in the country, recording a maximum temperature of 48.6 degrees Celsius as a heat wave blanketed the state.
 
The combination of the scorching sun and the searing hot "lu" winds hit life throughout the sprawling central Indian state, with Khajuraho getting even hotter than the 47.2 degrees recorded on Sunday.
 
Meanwhile, Damoh recorded a high of 47 degrees while several other places experienced a maximum of over 46 degrees.
 
Despite the pre-monsoon developments, the state bore the brunt of the heat wave, with streets nearly deserted between 12 noon and 5 p.m. as people preferred to remain indoors.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
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A.P. Express coaches catch fire, none injured

 
Andhra Pradesh AC Superfast Express catches fire
 
 
At least two coaches of the A.P. Express caught fire near Birlanagar in Madhya Pradesh on Monday, officials said. No one was injured.
 
According to a Railway Ministry official, the fire was detected in the B-6 coach around 11.50 a.m. The fire then spread to the B-7 coach, Ved Prakash, a Railway Ministry spokesperson, told IANS.
 
Following the fire, the guard stopped the train and shifted the passengers of the B-6 and B-7 coaches to other coaches. The train then reached Gwalior, he said.
 
The train was on its way from Vishakapatnam to Hazrat Nizamuddin, the official said. An inquiry has been ordered into the accident.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
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Cabinet nod establishment of National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation in Bhopal

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The Union Cabinet today approved the establishment of National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation (NIMHR) in Bhopal as a society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 under the aegis of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. 
 
The estimated cumulative cost of the project is Rs. 179.54 crore in the first three years. This includes non-recurring expenditure of Rs. 128.54 crore and recurring expenditure of Rs. 51 crore, an official press release said.
 
The release said the Cabinet also approved the proposal to create three Joint Secretary-level posts, which include one post of Director of the Institute and two posts of Professors.
 
The main objectives of the NIMHR are to provide rehabilitation services to persons with mental illness, capacity development in the area of mental health rehabilitation, policy framing and advanced research in mental health rehabilitation, it said.
 
The Institute will have nine Departments/Centres and will conduct 12 courses to offer diploma, certificate, graduate, post-graduate and M.Phil degrees in the area of mental health rehabilitation. Within a span of five years, the student intake of the institute in various courses is expected to be over 400.
 
The Government of Madhya Pradesh has allocated five acres of land in Bhopal for setting up of this Institute. The Institute will be established in three years in two phases. Within two years, the civil and electrical work of the institute will be completed. Simultaneously, during the construction of building, the Institute will run in a suitable rented building in Bhopal to conduct certificate/diploma courses and also OPD services. Subsequently, the Institute will provide complete set of rehabilitation services for persons with mental illness and conduct courses upto Master's degree and M.Phil.
 
NIMHR will be the first of its kind in the country in the area of mental health rehabilitation.  It will serve as an institution of excellence to develop capacity building in the area of mental health rehabilitation and also help the Government to develop models for effective rehabilitation of persons with mental illness, the release added.
 
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Minor sexually assaulted, burnt alive in MP

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A minor girl was gang-raped and burnt alive in Khurai in Madhya Pradesh by her relative and his friend, following which one person was arrested, police said on Friday.
 
Additional Superintendent of Police Vikramjit Singh said the victim was sexually assaulted by her cousin and his friend in Jujharpur village in Bandri police station area when she was alone in her house on Thursday night. She was burnt alive after she resisted.
 
He said Ravinder has been arrested while Bharat is absconding. The accused were booked under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and the Indian Penal Code.
 
Home Minister Bhupender Singh, in whose Assembly segment the village falls, met the bereaved family and announced Rs 2 lakh aid.
 
IANS
 
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