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Maharashtra

16 dead, 15 injured, several trapped as five-storeyed building collapses in Mumbai

At least 16 people died and 15 others suffered injuries when an old, dilapidated five-storeyed building collapsed in the Bhendi Bazaar area, near J J Junction, in south Mumbai here this morning, official sources said.

 
16 dead, 15 injured in Mumbai building collapse
At least 16 people died and 15 others suffered injuries when an old, dilapidated five-storeyed building collapsed in the Bhendi Bazaar area, near J J Junction, in south Mumbai here this morning, official sources said.
 
Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai Assistant Commissioner J S Ghegadmal told NetIndian over the telephone from the scene that 31 victims had been extricated from the debris, of whom 16 were found dead.
 
The injured were rushed to the nearby J. J. Hospital, where the condition of some of them was stated to be serious, sources said.
 
With several more people feared trapped under the tonnes of debris, scores of men from the Mumbai Fire Brigade, the Municipal Corporation, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and local residents were engaged in massive search and rescue efforts.
 
Cranes, gas cutters and other equipment were being used to clear the debris and cut through the mangled steel and concrete to reach the victims and look for possible survivors.
 
The structure was more than a hundred years old, sources said. It was locted in a heavily congested area in south Mumbai's C Ward, and rescue teams with their big vehicles and heavy equipment had a tough time reaching the spot.
 
The building had a playschool on the premises which would have opened at 10 am as usual. However, the building came down at about 8.30 am, much before the children were scheduled to arrive.
 
This is the third major incident of building collapse in the metropolis in recent weeks. On July 25, at least 17 people died and 11 others suffered injuries when a four-storeyed residential building collapsed in the suburban area of Ghatkopar.
 
On August 26, six people lost their lives when a part of a seven-storeyed under-construction building collapsed at Chandivali while some unauthorised portions of the structure were being demolished.
 
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Municipal officials said they received a call about the collapse of the building around 8.40 am and the fire brigade was immediately rushed to the spot. There was no immediate word on the number of people living in the building and how many of them were trapped under the debris. Police have cordoned off the area to facilitate the smooth conduct of the search and rescue operations.
 
The incident has come two days after Mumbai experienced its heaviest rainfall since the July 2005 floods.
 
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis expressed grief over the loss of lives in the incient and is personally monitoring the situation.
 
He has ordered a detailed inquiry into the incident by a committee headed by the Additional Chief Secretary (Housing).
 
Mr. Fadnavis has asked the Municipal Commissioner to submit a detailed report on the tragedy. He also asked the Municipal Commissioner to focus on ensuring immediate medical assistance to the injured persons. State Minister Subhash Desai visited the spot and later briefed Mr. Fadnavis about the situation.
 
Civic officials said the building had been declared unsafe for living six years ago. The residents had been served with evacuation notices in 2011 and ordered to vacate the building to enable redevelopment of the area under the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT) project.
 
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16 dead, 14 injured in major fire at ammunition depot in Maharashtra

At least 22 defence personnel died and 14 others suffered injuries in a major fire that broke out in the early hours of Tuesday and triggered huge explosions at one of India's biggest ammunition depots at Pulgoan in Wardha district of Maharashtra.

 
16 dead, 14 injured in ammunition depot fire in Wardha
At least 16 people died and 14 others suffered injuries in a major fire that broke out in the early hours of today and triggered huge explosions at one of India's biggest ammunition depots at Pulgoan in Wardha district of Maharashtra.
 
Wardha district officials said the injured had been admitted to hospitals in Wardha town, about 30 km from Pulgaon, for treatment, official sources said.
 
The massive fire and the explosions that followed lit up the night sky in the town, located about 100 km from Nagpur.
 
The fire broke out in the Central Ammunition Depot around 1.30 am today and was brought under control by around 6 am today, they said.
 
The cause of the fire could not be immediately ascertained and would be established only after an inquiry, they said.
 
The sources said families living in accommodation near the depot were evacuated to safer places as a precautionary measure.
 
Fire brigade personnel worked throughout the night to bring the blaze under control.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the loss of lives in the fire.
 
“Pained by loss of lives caused by a fire at central ammunition depot in Pulgaon, Maharashtra. My thoughts are with the bereaved families," he said on micro-blogging site Twitter
 
"I pray that those who are injured recover quickly," he said, adding that he had asked Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to rush to the spot and take stock of the situation. 
 
Chief of Army Staff Gen Dalbir Singh is also rushing to Wardha for an assessment of the situation, the sources added.
 
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Minor earthquake shakes Koyna region of Maharashtra

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale, shook the Koyna region of Maharashtra today, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 17.3°N and longitude 73.8°E, occurred at 1136 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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Minor earthquake recorded in Koyna region of Maharashtra

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale, was recorded in the Koyna region of Maharashtra today.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 17.3°N and longitude 73.9°E, occurred at 1305 hours at a focal depth of 23 km.
 
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Kovind says political democracy cannot be strong in absence of economic, social democracy

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President Ram Nath Kovind today said that political democracy could not be strong in the absence of economic and social democracy and stressed that improvement in the economic condition of deprived sections was imperative.
 
Inaugurating the ‘Economic Democracy Conclave’ organised by Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini at Thane near here, he said that it was very important for the country and society to strengthen economic democracy through entrepreneurship. 
 
He praised the Prabodhini team for its contribution to strengthening the political, economic and social dimensions of democracy in the country for the past 35 years.
 
Mr. Kovind noted that many initiatives have been taken in the country with the aim of ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas’ and ‘Sabka Samman, Sabka Utthan’. 
 
"These have a singular goal of strengthening economic and social democracy. The idea behind these programmes is that if anyone has to really help someone, then he/she should be made financially self-reliant," he said.
 
The President said that the promotion of an entrepreneurial culture in the country is not the sole responsibility of the Government. Family, educational institutions, private sector banks and entrepreneurs and NGOs have the responsibility to create an environment where private enterprise is encouraged. 
 
"Together, we should create a culture in which self-employment is not chosen just due to the compulsion of not getting a job. The idea of ??becoming ‘job-giver’ instead of ‘job-seeker’ should be embraced," he said.
 
Later in the day, the President visited the Global Vipassana Pagoda in Mumbai.  
 
Speaking on the occasion, he said that in today’s world,  it has become important to spread the Buddha's teachings. And Vipassana is one of those methods that can bring his message to the people. The President congratulated the Global Vipassana Foundation for its various social welfare initiatives.
 
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India jumps to fourth place in computing capacity for weather forecasting

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India on Monday took a major step ahead in upgrading computing capacity in the area of weather forecasting and climate monitoring. 
 
Union Minister for Earth Sciences Dr.Harsh Vardhan inaugurated a super computer system at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) here on Monday, taking its total high performance computing (HPC) power to as high as 6.8 Petaflop.
 
With this, India will now occupy the fourth position, next only to the United Kingdom, Japan and the United States in terms of dedicated capacity for HPC resources for weather and climate proposes. The UK leads with a capacity of 20.4 Petaflop, followed by Japan with 20 Petaflop and USA with 10.7 Petaflop. India had till now occupied the eighth position with a capacity of 1 Petaflop. With the new system, it has now jumped over Korea (4.8 Petaflop), France (4.4 Petaflop) and China (2.6 Petaflop). 
 
A petaflop is the ability of a computer to execute one quadrillion floating point operations per second (FLOPS).
 
The new supercomputer has been named ‘Pratyush’.
 
The augmentation in the computing capacity would result in major improvements in various services offered by institutions under the Ministry of Earth Sciences for weather, climate and ocean state forecasts.
 
For instance, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) would be able to predict extreme weather events such as Mumbai floods of 2005, Kedarnath deluge of 2013 or Chennai floods of 2015 more accurately. It would also be able provide more exact forecast for cyclones with longer lead times and more precise estimate of where it would cross the coast.  It would also help farmers get better seasonal, extended range forecast of active, and break spells of monsoon and fishermen better input on the quality of the marine water all along the Indian coast.
 
Of the 6.8 Petaflop, four Petaflop has been set up at IITM and the balance 2.8 Petaflop at the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast (NCMRWF) at Noida. The computing capacity will be available to all user institutions. Among other things, the Tsunami Warning Centre under the Ministry’s Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services will make use of the system to improve upon its tsunami forecast.
 
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Dedicating the supercomputer set up at a cost of Rs. 450 crore, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said the improvement in the computing capacity would go a long way in delivering various societal applications committed by MoES. It will also give a major fillip to research activities not only in MoES but also in academic institutions working on earth science related issues.
 
“MoES endeavours to provide world class services in the areas of weather, climate, ocean and seismology and constantly strives to upgrade its research activities and other infrastructure facilities. In order to provide useful services, it runs several computationally intensive applications on high performance computers. In the last 10 years, the HPC infrastructure at MoES had grown from 40 Teraflops in 2008 to one Petaflop in 2013-14. Now, it has gone up further,” the minister added.
 
Speaking to India Science Wire, MoES Secretary Dr. Madhavan Nair Rajeevan agreed that upgradation of the computing capability was only a necessary condition and was by itself not adequate to improve various forecasting services offered by MoES. “We are aware that there is a need to also have more effective models, larger data at different levels and well qualified manpower to make use of the increasing computing capacity. We are working on them in parallel. The benefits of the supercomputer would keep growing over time.”
 
(India Science Wire) 
 
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Dalit protests disrupt normal life in Mumbai, other parts of Maharashtra

Normal life in Mumbai and many other parts of Maharashtra was disrupted by protests by Dalit groups and some cases of violence were reported from different parts of the state during a shutdown called by them on Wednesday in protest against the Bhima Koregaon incident in Pune on January 1.

Protesters blocking the railway tracks at Nallasopara station on Western Railway's suburban railway line in Mumbai in the morning of January 3, 2017.
Protesters blocking the railway tracks at Nallasopara station on Western Railway's suburban railway line in Mumbai in the morning of January 3, 2017.
Normal life in Mumbai and many other parts of Maharashtra was disrupted by protests by Dalit groups and some cases of violence were reported from different parts of the state during a shutdown called by them today in protest against the Bhima Koregaon incident in Pune on January 1.
 
In that incident, a 28-year-old man was killed during the bicentennial celebrations in Koregaon of a British-era war. In that war in 1818 between the British and the Peshwa, the British are said to have defeated the Peshwa with the help of Dalit soldiers.
 
The protesters blocked roads and railway tracks at many places in Mumbai such as Virar, Powari, Dadar, Chembur, Bandra East and Ghatkopar.
 
They have demanded action against senior police officers in connection with the Koregaon incident. They burnt effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Thane near here.
 
The rail blocks put up by the protesters forced the railways to suspend suburban railway traffic for some time and delayed the running of trains on the network, often described as the lifeline of Mumbai. Bus services continued in most areas.
 
During the day today, there were reports about damage to about 20 buses and of stone-pelting in Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nagpur and Solapur.
 
 
Shutdown disrupts normal life in Maharashtra
Mr. Fadnavis has already ordered a judicial inquiry into the Bhima Koregaon incident and also a CID inquiry into the death of the youth. He has also sanctioned an assistance of Rs. 10 lakh to his kin. He has promised strict action against those spreading rumours and trying to provoke violence.
 
Today, the Chief Minister issued a fresh appeal for peace and unity and assured the people that investigations in the Bhima Koregaon incident and the violence in different parts of the state would be taken to a logical end.
 
Today's bandh called by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar's grandson Prakash Ambedkar and supported by more than 200 groups, was called off this evening.
 
Mr. Ambedkar, whose grandfather is revered as the architect of the Indian Constitution, said the shutdown was peaceful, "barring a couple of incidents". He demanded the arrest of two right-wing leaders against whom FIRs have been registered for allegedly inciting the January 1 violence.
 
Travellers had difficulties reaching airports in different cities of the state and airlines have waived cancellation and rescheduling charges for yesterday and today. 
 
Commuters at many places had to walk long distances on the road or on railway tracks to reach their destinations. Offices and educational institutions were open, but school buses did not operate today as a precautionary measure.
 
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Minor earthquake recorded in Thane region of Maharashtra

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.2 on the Richter scale, was recorded in the Thane region of Maharashtra in the early hours of today, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 19.8°N and longitude 73.1°E, occurred at 0221 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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14 dead, 23 injured in huge fire at restaurant in Mumbai

At least 14 people died and 23 others suffered injuries in a massive fire that broke out in a rooftop restaurant at a building in the Kamala Mills Compound in the Lower Parel area of Mumbai in the early hours of Friday.


 
14 dead, 23 injured in Mumbai restaurant fire
At least 14 people died and 23 others suffered injuries in a massive fire that broke out in a rooftop restaurant at a building in  the Kamala Mills Compound in the Lower Parel area of Mumbai in the early hours of today.
 
Sources in the Disaster Management Unit of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai told NetIndian that those killed in the blaze included 11 women and three men.
 
According to various sources, a 28-year-old woman who was celebrating her birthday with friends at the restaurant was among those who died in the fire, which broke out shortly after midnight last night.
 
"We got the first call about the fire at 0027 hours. The fire was completely put out by 0625 hours today," the Disaster Management Unit sources said.
 
The injured were rushed to the King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital and the Sion Hospital, the sources said.
 
The sources said that the cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained. Several fire tenders, water tankers, ambulances as well as fire brigade personnel and teams from other emergency services rushed to the scene.
 
Doctors at KEM Hospital said most of the deaths had occurred to burns and asphyxiation.
 
They said 12 persons with injuries had been brought to their hospital with superficial burns. All of them were discharged after treatment. Some injured persons were admitted to other hospitals.
 
The fire broke out on the third floor of the four-storeyed building, located on Senapati Bapat Marg, a commerical hub in the city, which houses several commercial establishments, including restaurants. The flames spread quickly to several other nearby restaurants and offices and affected the entire building. At many places, the roof had collapsed.
 
Some media outlets are also located in the building, and the fire affected the working of some television channels.
 
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Sources said the police had fired a first information report (FIR) against the management of the "1 Above" restaurant, where the fire started, under section 304 (culpable homicide) of the Indian Penal Code.
 
Many people managed to escape the fire by rushing out of the building. Witnesses said there was a panic and a near stampede-like situation as people pushed past each other to the exits.
 
President Ram Nath Kovind conveyed his condolences to the bereaved families.
 
"Disturbing news about the fire in Mumbai. Condolences to the bereaved families and wishing the injured an early recovery. Commend the valiant efforts of fire-fighters and those in rescue ops," Mr. Kovind said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
"Anguished by the fire in Mumbai. My thoughts are with the bereaved families in this hour of grief. I pray that those injured recover quickly," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter. 
 
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said he had directed the Municipal Commissioner to conduct an in-depth inquiry into the incident.
 
"Disturbing to know about the loss of lives in unfortunate #KamalaMills fire incident in Mumbai. My thoughts are with the families who lost their loved ones and prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured," he said.
 
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12 die in fire at snacks shop in Saki Naka area of Mumbai

 
Fire engulfs shop in Mumbai, kills 12 people
At least 12 people died in a major fire that broke out in a snacks shop on Khairani Road in the Saki Naka area of the city early this morning, official sources said.
 
Sources in the Disaster Management Unit of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai told NetIndian over the telephone that the fire was reported around 0416 hours today.
 
The structure of the shop, about 250 square feet in area and located near the Laxmi Narayan Temple, came crashing down in the blaze, trapping workers inside under the debris.
 
Fire tenders and ambulances were rushed to the spot and fire brigade men and personnel of other emergency services pulled out 12 peop12 bodies from the debris and rushed them to a nearby hospital where they were declared dead on arrival.
 
Search and rescue teams were digging through the rubble to ensure that all the workers in the shop at that time were accounted for.
 
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BJP MP Nana Patole resigns from Lok Sabha, party

Mr. Nana Patole addressing a press conference after resigning  from the Lok Sabha and from the Bharatiya Janata Party in New Delhi, on December 8, 2017
Mr. Nana Patole addressing a press conference after resigning from the Lok Sabha and from the Bharatiya Janata Party in New Delhi, on December 8, 2017
Mr. Nana Patole, the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Member of Parliament from Bhandara-Gondia in Maharashtra, who has been critical of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis over the agrarian crisis and farmer suicides in the state, resigned from the Lok Sabha and the party today.
 
"I hereby tender my resignation of my seat in the House with immediate effect," Mr. Patole said in a one-line resignation letter addressed to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan today.
 
Mr. Patole, 54, was in the news recently for criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that he did not like to be asked questions during meetings.
 
He has extended his support to senior BJP leader and former Finance MInister Yashwant Sinha, who has joined the farmers' agitation in Akola in Maharashtra.
 
Mr. Patole had resigned from the Congress in 2008 and joined the BJP. He defeated Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and former Union Minister Praful Patel in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
 
Though Mr. Patole said that he was not joining any other party, there was speculation that he might ultimately return to the Congress. This impression was strengthened by the fact that he met Congress General Secretary Mohan Prakash here today. 
 
Talking to journalists here, he said he had resigned from the primary membership of the BJP, too. He said the BJP leadership tried to suppress those who tried to raise issues affecting the people such as the agrarian crisis and the impact of demonetisation and the Goods and Service Tax (GST).
 
Before being elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 2014, he had served three terms as a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly from 1999 to 2014.
 
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Minor earthquake recorded in Ratnagiri region of Maharashtra

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.2 on the Richter scale, was recorded in the Ratnagiri region of Maharashtra in the early hours of today.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 17.6°N and longitude 73.3°E, occurred at 0109 hours at a focal depth of 15 km.
 
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Ockhi weakens, could cross south Gujarat, north Maharashtra coasts tonight: IMD

Cyclone Ockhi weakened into a deep depresssion over eastcentral Arabian Sea today and is expected to weaken further and cross south Gujarat and adjoining north Maharashtra coasts near Surat as a depression later tonight.

 
Cyclone Ockhi to hit south Gujarat today: IMD
Cyclone Ockhi weakened into a deep depresssion over eastcentral Arabian Sea today and is expected to weaken further and cross south Gujarat and adjoining north Maharashtra coasts near Surat as a depression later tonight.
 
However, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) also held out the possibility that the sytem could dissipate over the sea before the landfall due to unfavourable environmental conditions.
 
In a bulletin issued at 2000 hours today, the IMD said the deep depression had moved further north-northeastwards with a speed of 18 kmph during the past six hours and lay centred at 1730 hours near latitude 19.4º N and longitude 71.5º E, about 240 km south-southwest of Surat and 150 km west-northwest of Mumbai. 
 
"It is very likely to continue to move northnortheastwards, weaken further and cross south Gujarat & adjoining north Maharashtra coasts near urat as a depression by tonight, the 5th December 2017. However, there is also a probability of dissipation of the system over the sea before the landfall due to unfavourable environmental conditions, like high wind shear and colder sea surface temperatures near the coast," it said.
 
The bulletin said that, under the influence of the system, light to moderate rainfall was very likely at most places over south Gujarat region (Valsad, Surat, Navsari, Bharuch, Dang, Tapi, Amreli, Diu, Daman, Dadra, and Nagar Haveli districts) till tomorrow morning, with heavy isolated rainfall.
 
Light to moderate rainfall was also likely at a few places over Saurashtra till tomorrow morning and over north Gujarat and west Madhya Pradesh till tomorrow noon.
 
In Maharashtra, light to moderate rainfall was likely over north Konkan (Palghar, Thane, Raigarh, Greater Mumbai, Dhule, Nandurbar, Nashik, Jalgaon, Ahmednagar and Pune districts)till tomorrow morning, with isolated heavy rainfall.
 
The bulletin said squally winds, with speed reaching 50-60 kmph, gusting to 70 kmph, were very likely along and off north Maharashtra and South Gujarat coasts during the next six hours before becoming 40-50 kmph, gusting to 60 kmph, during the subsequent six hours.
 
Sea conditions would be rough to very rough along and off north Maharashtra and South Gujarat during  the next 18 hours, it said.
 
Fishermen were advised not to venture into the sea along and off south Gujarat and north Maharashtra coasts during the next 18 hours.
 
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Meanwhile, a well-marked low pressure area over southeast Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood persisted and was very likely to become a depression over the same area during the next 12 hours and further intensify into a deep depression during the subsequent 48 hours, the bulletin said.
 
"It is very likely to move towards north Tamil Nadu-south Andhra Pradesh coasts during the next 48 hours and subsequently to north Andhra Pradesh coast," it said.
 
The bulletin said rainfall was very likely at most places over Nicobar Islands during the next three days, with isolated heavy rainfall.
 
Rainfall was also very likely at many places over north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha on December 7 and 8, with heavy falls at isolated places.
 
Squally winds with speed reaching 40-50 kmph, gusting to 60 kmph, were very likely over and aroun Nicobar Islands today and tomorrow before decreasing thereafter.
 
Sea conditions would be rough to very rough today and tomorrow around Nicobar Islands, it said.
 
Fishermen along and off Nicobar Islands were advised not to venture into sea till tomorrow. Similarly, fishermen along and off Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu coasts were advised not to venture into sea between December 6 and 8.
 
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Cyclone Ockhi to weaken, cross south Gujarat, north Maharashtra coasts Tuesday night

Photo:IMD
Photo:IMD
The severe cyclonic storm Ockhi over eastcentral Arabian Sea is very likely to weaken gradually and cross south Gujarat and adjoining north Maharashtra coasts near Surat as a deep depression by tonight, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
A bulletin issued by the IMD at 0830 hours today said the cyclone had moved further northnortheastwards with a speed of 21 kmph during the past six hours and lay centred at 0530 hours IST today near latitude 17.5º N and longitude 70.4º E, about 480 km southwest of Surat and 300 km west-southwest of Mumbai. 
 
"It is very likely to continue to move north-northeastwards, weaken gradually and cross south Gujarat and adjoining north Maharashtra coasts near Surat as a deep depression by the night of 5th December 2017," the bulletin said.
 
According to it, light to moderate rainfall is very likely at most places over Saurashtra and south Gujarat region (Valsad, Surat, Navsari, Bharuch, Dang, Tapi, Amreli, Gir- Somnath, Bhavnagar, Diu, Daman, Dadra, and Nagar Haveli districts) during the next 24 hours, with heavy rainfall at isolated places. It said light to moderate rainfall would occur over Gujarat region at many places during the subsequent 12 hours.
 
The bulletin said light to moderate rainfall was also likely at most places over north Konkan hours (Palghar, Thane, Raigarh, Greater Mumbai, Dhule, Nandurbar, Nashik, Jalgaon, Ahmednagar and Pune districts) during the next 24 hours with isolated heavy rainfall.
 
Squally winds with speed reaching 50-60 kmph, gusting to 70 kmph, were very likely along and off north Maharashtra and South Gujarat coasts during the next 36 hours, it said.
 
Sea conditions would be rough to very rough along and off north Maharashtra and South Gujarat coasts during the next 36 hours, it said.
 
The bulletin said minor damage to looose andunsecured structures, banana trees, agriculture near coast due to salt spray, ripe paddy crops and kutcha embankments was likely in coastal areas of Saurashtra, south Gujarat and north Maharashtra.
 
Fishermen were advised not to venture into the sea along and off South Gujarat and north Maharashtra coasts during the next 36 hours.
 
Meanwhile, a well-marked low pressure area over southeast Bay of Bengal and adjoining south Andaman Sea persisted this morning. It is  very likely to become a depression over southeast Bay of Bengal during the next 24 hours and further intensify into a deep depression during the subsequent 48 hours. It is very likely to move west-northwestwards towards north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coasts during the next three days, the bulletin said.
 
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Under its influence, rainfall was very likely over Nicobar Islands and at many places over Andaman Islands during the next three days, with isolated heavy rainfall.
 
Rainfall was also very likely over north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha on December 7 and 8, with heavy falls at isolated places.
 
Squally winds with speed reaching 40-50 kmph, gusting to 60 kmph, were very likely over and around Nicobar Islands today and tomorrow and would decrease thereafter, it said.
 
Sea conditions would be rough to very rough today and tomorrow around Nicobar Islands.
 
Fishermen along and off Nicobar Islands are advised not to venture into sea till tomorrow. Similarly, fishermen along and off Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu coasts are advised not to venture in the sea from December 6 to 8, the bulletin added.
 
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Cyclone Ockhi weakens, heads towards south Gujarat, north Maharashtra

Photo:IMD
Photo:IMD
Even as cyclone Ockhi over eastcentral Arabian Sea is gradually weakening and moving towards South Gujarat and north Maharashtra,  a well-marked low pressure area has developed over southeast Bay of Bengal, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said today.
 
A bulletin issued by IMD at 1620 hours today said Ockhi had moved further north-northeastwards with with a speed of 13 kmph during the past six hours and lay centred at 1430 hours IST near latitude 15.2º N and longitude 69.0º E, about 590 km southwest of Mumbai and 770 km south-southwest of Surat. 
 
"It is very likely to continue to move north-northeastwards, weaken gradually and cross south Gujarat and adjoining north Maharashtra coasts near Surat as a deep depression by the night of tomorrow, the 5th December 2017," it said.
 
The bulletin said heavy rainfall was light to moderate rainfall was very likely at a few places over Saurashtra and south Gujarat region today. Light to moderate rainfall was very likely at most places over Saurashtra and south Gujarat (Valsad, Surat, Navsari, Bharuch, Dang, Tapi, Amreli, Gir- Somnath, Bhavnagar, Diu, Daman, Dadra, and Nagar Haveli districts) tomorrow with heavy rainfall at isolated places, and light to moderate rainfall at many places in the two regions on December 6.
 
According to it, light to moderate rainfall was very likely over north Konkan, including Mumbai, in Maharashtra today. Light to moderate rainfall was also likely at most places over north Konkan (Palghar, Thane, Raigarh, Greater Mumbai, Dhule, Nandurbar, Nashik, Jalgaon, Ahmednagar and Pune districts) tomorrow, with isolated heavy rainfall.
 
Squally winds with speed reaching 50-60 kmph, gusting to 70 kmph, were very likely along and off north Maharashtra and South Gujarat coasts from today from tonight to December 6 morning.
 
Sea conditions would be rough to very rough along and off north Maharashtra and South Gujarat coasts from tonight till December 6 morning, the bulletin said.
 
The IMD advised fishermen not to venture into the sea along and off south Gujarat and north Maharashtra coasts from today till December 6 morning.
 
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The bulletin said the low pressure area over southeast Bay of Bengal and adjoining south Andaman Sea was very likely to become a depression during the next 24 hours and further intensify into a deep depression during the subsequent 48 hours. It is very likely to move west-northwestwards towards north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coasts during the next three days, it said.
 
According to it, rainfall was very likely at most places over Andaman Islands over Andaman Islands during the next three days, with isolated heavy rainfall.
 
Rainfall was also very likely at many places over north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha on December 7 and 8, it said.
 
Squally winds with speed reaching 30-40 kmph, gusting to 50 kmph, were likely around Nicobar Islands today and 40-50 kmph, gusting to 60 kmph, on December 5 and 6 and would decrease thereafter.
 
Sea condition would be rough to very rough around Nicobar Islands during December 4 to 6.
 
Fishermen along and off Nicobar Islands are advised not to venture into sea during this period. Similarly, fishermen along and off the Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu coasts were advised not to venture into the sea from December 6 to 8.
 
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One dead, 9 injured as four-storeyed building collapses in Thane

 
One dead, nine injured in Bhiwandi building collapse
An 18-year-old girl died and nine others suffered injuries when a portion of a four-storeyed building collapsed in Bhiwandi in Thane district near here this morning.
 
The injured persons were rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment, official sources said.
 
The deceased girl was identified as Ruksa Ahmed Khan, 18, whose body was extricated from the rubble.
 
Rescue teams, including personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), were digging through the debris to look for survivors, they said.
 
The building, located in the crowded K.G. Nagar locality of Navi Vasti area, collapsed around 9 am, the sources said. Rescue teams had a difficult time reaching the spot because of the congested streets leading to it.
 
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Minor earthquake recorded in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale, was recorded in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra early this morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 17.6°N and longitude 73.6°E, occurred at 0519 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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Prannoy, Nehwal crowned National Badminton champions

H.S. Prannoy and Saina Nehwal were crowned India’s national Badminton champions, after the country’s top titans clashed in the hotly-contested finals of the 82nd Senior National Badminton Championships on Wednesday.
 
World number 11 Prannoy faced off against Kidambi Srikanth in the men’s finals, beating the world number 2 after a hard-fought battle that lasted 49 minutes.
 
Srikanth, winner of three of the last four matches between the pair until Wednesday’s final, had gone into the tie as favourite to clinch the title. But Prannoy proved to be more than a match for the 24-year-old, beating him 21-15, 16-21, 21-7.
 
World number eleven Nehwal went head-to-head with number 2 Sindhu for the women’s title. There was practically nothing to choose between the pair, both two-time national champions.
 
Sindhu doggedly hung on after losing the first game, trying hard to force the second all the way to a golden-point decider, but Nehwal pulled out just that little bit extra to edge her out with a score of 21-17, 27-25 and add to her back-to-back national title success achieved in 2006 and 2007. 
 
The capacity crowds packing Nagpur’s Divisional Sports Complex lapped up every bit of the action as India’s top shuttlers pulled out all the stops in a scintillating display of unbridled skill.
 
Among the spectators were Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Badminton Association of India President Himanta Biswa Sarma and Maharashtra Badminton Association President Arun Lakhani.
 
Results:
 
Mixed Doubles: Satwik Sairaj and Ashwini Ponnappa beat Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy: 21-9, 20-22, 21-17
Men’s Singles: H.S Prannoy beat K Srikant: 21-15, 16- 21, 21-7
Women’s Doubles: Sikki Reddy N and Ashwini Ponnappa beat Sanyogita Ghorpade and Prajakta Sawant: 21-14, 21-14
Men’s Doubles: Manu Attri and Sumit Reddy B. Beat Satwik Sai Raj R. and Chirag Shetty: 15-21, 22-20, 25-23
Women’s Singles: Saina Nehwal beat P.V. Sindhu: 21-17, 27-25
 
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P.V Sindhu, Saina Nehwal enter semi-finals of Senior National Badminton Championship

Saina Nehwal and P. V. Sindhu stormed into the semi-finals of women's singles in the 82nd Senior National Badminton Championship with easy victories in the quarter-finals here today.
 
Nehwal wasted in no time in taking control of the match against Aakarshi Kashyap, winning the first game convincingly. The second game saw Kashyap trying to make a desperate comeback but Nehwal was too good for her and with every shot the latter looked more and more formidable. Her strong shots helped Nehwal to not allow Kashyap to make a comeback as she went on to win the game convincingly.
 
The second quarter-final saw Sindhu, playing with great speed and grit, stunning Shriyanshi Pardeshi.
 
In a men's singles quarter-final match, K. Srikanth created some magical moments as he demolished Shubham Prajapati with a superb display of skill and talent. 
 
In mixed doubles, Satwik Sai Raj R. and Ashwini Ponnappa took on Shivam Sharma and Poorvisha S. Ram. It was Satwik and Ponnappa pair with their high speed and seamless coordination managed to bag the first game of the match in their name. The second game as was expected had both the teams playing their best badminton as they mixed their shots in order to deceive the other.
 
Main results of the day:
 
Women’s Singles:
Saina Nehwal (PET) bt Aakarshi Kashyap (AAI) : 21-17 21-10
P.V.Sindhu (AP) bt Shriyanshi Pardeshi ( MP) : 21-11 21-17
 
Men’s Singles: 
K Srikanth (PET) bt Shubham Prajapati (MP) : 21-17 23-21
 
Mixed Doubles:
 
Satwik Sai Raj and Ashwini Ponnappa (AP/PET) bt Shivam Sharma and Poorvisha S. Ram (RBI): 21-14 21-12
 
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HCC-Al Fara'a JV awarded Rs. 497 crore contract for Pune Metro

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Infrastructure major Hindustan Construction Company Ltd. (HCC), as a lead partner in the joint venture (JV) with Al Fara'a, has been awarded a Rs.  497.09 crore contract by the Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Ltd for the Pune Metro Rail Project. 
 
HCC’s share in the JV is 51% (Rs 253.5 crore). The project is to be completed in 110 weeks, a press release from the company said here today
 
The contract is for construction of nine elevated metro stations -- Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, Tukaram Nagar, Bhosari, Kasarwadi, Phugewadi, Dapoli, Bopodi, Khadki and Range Hill. The work involves general and structural civil works of the station buildings and architectural and site development, it said.
 
The total length of Pune Metro – Phase I is 32 km. It is divided between Line I of 16.59 km and Line II of 14.66 km. The Line I is partly elevated and partly underground starting from Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation to Swargate. All elevated stations on the Line I are being constructed by the HCC-Al Fara'a JV, the release said.
 
“We are honored to be a part of this prestigious project with MMRCL, which is the testimony to our proven execution excellence and capabilities across Mumbai Metro, Delhi Metro and Kolkata Metro. The project will bring relief to millions of commuters and will assist in easing the severe traffic congestion in the city,” said Mr. Arun Karambelkar, President & CEO - E&C, HCC Ltd.
 
HCC has been associated with six packages of Delhi Metro totaling 18.14 km of tunnels and 13 underground stations. In Kolkata Metro, HCC has constructed 6.47 km tunnels in six packages that include four underground stations. In Mumbai Metro I, the company has built eight elevated stations. 
 
Currently, HCC is executing a section of Mumbai Metro Line III, involving 3,115 m long twin bored tunnels including four underground stations and a section of Bangalore Metro Rail Project involving 6,340 m long elevated corridor including a road-cum-rail flyover and five metro stations, the release added.
 
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Minor earthquake recorded in Latur region of Maharashtra

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.0 on the Richter scale, was recorded in the Latur region of Maharashtra today, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 18.1°N and longitude  76.6°E, occurred at 1223 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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10 dead, 14 injured as truck overturns in Sangli district of Maharashtra

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At least 10 labourers died and 14 others suffered injuries when the truck they were travelling in, laden with tiles, overturned in Sangli district of Maharashtra in the early hours of today, police said.
 
Police sources told NetIndian over the telephone that the mishap occurred near Yogewadi around 3.30 am when the truck was on its way from Miraj to Karad.
 
Police officials and other emergency  services personnel rushed to the scene and removed the injured to a nearby hospital, the sources added.
 
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5th India-Sri Lanka joint exercise Mitra Shakti 2017 begins in Pune

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The fifth India-Sri Lanka Joint Training Exercise Mitra Shakti 2017 started with a grand opening ceremony at Aundh Military Station here today.
 
The exercise is based on Counter Terrorist Operations and an infantry company from both the countries is participating in it. The opening ceremony commenced with a parade, followed by skill displays carried out by troops from the two countries.
 
A spectacular display of Unarmed Combat, Khukri Dance and Pipe Band was carried out by Indian Army and Udarata Narthanaya by Sri Lanka Army. The fly past by two Cheetah helicopters of Indian Army Aviation carrying the national flags of both countries was held at the start of the ceremony.
 
It was presided by Brigadier Alok Chandra and Brigadier Ajith Pallawela, Senior Indian Observer and Senior Sri Lanka Observer, respectively. 
 
 
"The India - Sri Lanka joint training exercise will send a strong signal to the world that both India and Sri Lanka understand the emerging threat of terrorism and stand shoulder to shoulder in countering this menace," an official press release said.
 
The exercise will be conducted for the next 14 days up to October 26 and will involve sharing and learning from each other’s experiences, the release added.
 
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Kovind attends function to declare urban Maharashtra open defecation free

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President Ram Nath Kovind today attended a function organised here to declare urban Maharashtra open defecation free (ODF).
 
During a visit to Maharashtra, Mr. Kovind also inaugurated the Shirdi airport and the centenary year celebrations of the samadhi of Sai Baba.
 
Speaking at the function in Mumbai, the President said a healthy and prosperous India could be built only on the foundations of a clean India. 
 
He congratulated the Government and Chief Minister of Maharashtra on the occasion of urban Maharashtra being declared Open Defecation Free. 
 
He congratulated all the members of the “Swachh Maharashtra Team” and those who worked hard on the ground to achieve this goal and had kept to the commitment of a two-year deadline, set on October 2, 2015. He stated that such success is possible only with the cooperation and participation of all stakeholders.
 
The President said that the declaration of 'ODF' Urban Maharashtra is particularly relevant for the state as 49 per cent of Maharashtra’s people live in urban areas. ‘Smart Cities’, he said, also require ‘Smart Sanitation’ and ‘Smart Waste Management’. 
 
Mr. Kovind added that it was a matter of great satisfaction that the Government is focusing on sustainability of this successful campaign. The ‘OD Watch’ monitoring will be useful in alerting people and helping them quit old habits and not relapsing to open defecation. He hoped that just as the state has been successful in realising the goal of 'ODF', it would also realise the goal of 'Managing 100 per cent Waste'. 
 
The President said that tomorrow is Gandhi Jayanti and Maharashtra has paid a befitting tribute to Gandhiji by declaring urban Maharashtra Open Defecation Free today.
 
Speaking in Shirdi, the President said that Sai Baba attracted people from every caste, religion, sect and class. Using simple phrases such as ‘Sabka Malik Ek Hai’, Sai Baba explained the philosophy of 'Advaita' to the common man. The influence of Sai Baba can be seen all over the world.
 
The President added that along with ‘spiritual connectivity’, the country also needed ‘physical connectivity’ through large infrastructure projects. He commended the building of the airport as a measure that would help pilgrims and visitors as well as trigger economic activity and job creation in Shirdi. He hoped that people in large numbers would use the Shirdi International Airport inaugurated today.
 
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Air India subsidiary Alliance Air links Shirdi to Mumbai, Hyderabad

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Alliance Air, the wholly owned subsidiary of national carrier Air India, today linked the pilgrimage town of Shirdi in Maharashtra to Mumbai and Hyderabad with an ATR 72 aircraft.
 
The first flight AI 9654 from Shirdi to Mumbai was flagged off by President Ram Nath Kovind.
 
Minister for Civil Aviation Ashok Gajpati Raju and Maharashtra Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis launched the flight by giving away the boarding passes to passengers along with Air India Chairman and Managing Director Rajiv Bansal and senior Air India officials.  
 
The flight from Mumbai to Shirdi and return will operate daily with an ATR 72 aircraft. Flight AI 9653 will depart Mumbai at 0830 hours to reach Shirdi at 0915hrs and the return flight will depart Shirdi at 0945 hrs to arrive in Mumbai at 1105 hrs on Wednesday,Friday and Sundays. 
 
On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays the flight AI 9653 will leave Mumbai at 1520 hrs to arrive in Shirdi at 1605 hrs and leave Shirdi at 1630 hrs to arrive in Mumbai at 1715 hrs.
 
The flight from Hyderabad to Shirdi and return will operate on all days except Thursdays with the ATR 72 aircraft. The flight AI 9869 will leave Hyderabad at 1410 hrs to arrive in Shirdi at 1600 hours and the return flight AI 9870 will depart Shirdi at 1630 hrs to arrive in Hyderabad at 1815 hrs. 
 
"This flight will also give a boost to tourism and will fulfill a long standing demand of travellers to this pilgrimage town.These new connections by Alliance Air will lend a further boost to the national carrier's Connect India mission," a press release from the airline added.
 
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