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Budget fails to uplift sentiments, Sensex tanks over 390 pts

Reversing the gains made during the early trade on Friday prior to the Budget speech, the Sensex and Nifty declined around 1 per cent as the Union Budget failed to cheer the investors.
 
FMCG scrips and Bank stocks were the only sectors which closed with gains while heavy selling was seen in steel companies like SAIL, Tata Steel, Jindal Steel, JWS steel. Realty stocks also were among the worst hit as the Nifty Realty Index fell by 3.57 per cent.
 
"The big surcharge tax on the high income group and possible liquidity squeezing of secondary market liquidity due to disinvestment and increased public shareholding is causing the stock market to fall today," said Amar Ambani, President & Research Head, YES Securities.
 
The S&P Sensex lost 394.67 points to end at 39,513.39 after surging to as much as 40,032.41. The Nifty fell by 135.60 points or 1.14 per cent to 11,811.15.
 
"There were high expectation from the budget given the larger mandate of the new government. This excitement met with the weak financial position, limiting the government from announcing eventful new measures," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
 
IANS
 

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Sensex slumps 460 points post Budget presentation

The Union Budget 2019-20 failed to cheer the equity market as the BSE Sensex slumped over 460 points minutes after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman concluded her speech.
 
At 1.28 p.m., the Sensex fell 466 points to the day's low of 39,441.38, from the previous close of 39,908.06 points.
 
Although the market opened on a positive note, the downtrend began within half an hour of Sitharaman's speech as she presented her first budget and trade remained largely choppy throughout the two hours 15 minutes speech.
 
Sensex has, however, trimmed some losses and at 1.44 p.m. was trading at 39,632.85, lower by 275.21 points or 0.69 per cent from its previous close.
 
The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange traded at 11,849.40, lower by 97.35 points or 0.81 per cent from the previous close.
 
IANS
 

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UAE to give free SIM cards to all tourists

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Tourists arriving in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will receive free mobile phone SIM cards with free data, international calling minutes and text messages, authorities said here.
 
The free tourist friendly SIM cards will be valid for a month and they will get automatically renewed if the tourist extends their visa, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship announced.
 
The agreement between the authority and TeleKomNow was signed at the authority's headquarters in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday by Colonel Khamees Al Kaabi, executive director for Musanada Services at the authority and Charbel Fawaz Litany, chairman and CEO of TeleKomNow, reports Gulf News.
 
"Tourists will get the SIM card from the passport control officer on arrival as a gift," Litany told Gulf News on Thursday. "It will contain data and talk time, which they can recharge anywhere in the country."
 
Etisalat and du will be the service providers for the new facility to tourists and the services will remain the same throughout the year, Litany added. 
 
"It will be valid as long as the tourist stays in the country, and upon the extension of their visa the card will automatically get validated until the expiry of the visa.
 
"Tourists don't need to do anything and no documentation is required to obtain the card," he added.
 
Handed out at immigration, once the tourist inserts the card and enters their identification and arrival dates their service will be immediately activated and within two minutes the tourist can use the facility.
 
The initiative is the first of its kind in the world. 
 
IANS

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Maharashtra minister blames crabs for dam breach

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Shiv Sena Minister in Maharashtra, Tanaji Sawant, has held crabs responsible for Tuesday's dam breach incident in Ratnagiri that has claimed 18 lives so far.
 
Speaking to mediapersons on Thursday, the Water Conservation Minister claimed that there were no breaches in the ill-fated Tiware Dam earlier with the reservoir storing water for the past 15 years.
 
"The dam was built in 2004 and there were no breaches ever... However, there is huge problem of crabs in that dam and because of that the recent leakages took place," Sawant explained.
 
Terming the tragedy as a "huge calamity" the minister said that two days before, there was a massive downpour in that region, with a rainfall of 192 mm which raised dam water level by 8 metres in just eight hours.
 
He said the government was informed by the residents of Bhendewadi hamlet of the problems of breaches and the officials had taken action on it.
 
Attacking Sawant, Nationalist Congress Party national spokesperson Nawab Malik termed it as "a shameful defence of his party (Shiv Sena) legislator who is the contractor for the dam".
 
"You want to save a big, corrupt shark and blaming poor crabs? This cannot be tolerated. There must be an enquiry and he must be punished," demanded Malik.
 
Suhas Khandagale, chief of the Village Development Committee of Ratnagiri said that time has come to throw crabs at the minister's home now.
 
"When the crabs were gnawing away at the dam, did he (Minister) go there for an underwater shooting? This is the limit of playing around with the peoples' sentiments..." Khandagale said.
 
Meanwhile, the minister's crustacean justification for the dam burst had the social media in splits.
 
IANS

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Equity indices open in green ahead of Budget presentation

The key Indian equity indices opened on a positive note ahead of the presentation of the Union Budget by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday, with the Sensex trading over 100 points higher.
 
The budget is expected to feature several announcements with focus on the farm sector and rural India among others.
 
At 9.17 a.m., the BSE Sensex traded at 40,019.25, higher by 111.19 points or 0.28 per cent from the previous close of 39,908.06 points.
 
It had opened at 39,990.40 and has so far touched intra-day high of 40,031.81 points and a low of 39,944.93 points.
 
The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange traded at 11,980.45, higher by 33.70 points or 0.28 per cent from its previous close.
 
IANS
 

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Will fight 10 times more than in past five years: Rahul

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A day after he quit as Congress President, Rahul Gandhi on Thursday vowed to continue fighting "10 times more" than what he did in the past years.
 
Speaking to media persons briefly, unmindful of standing in the rain, he said: "I am with the poor and the farmers."
 
"My fight will continue. I will fight 10 time more than I did in the past five years," Gandhi asserted, indicating an aggressive stance in the future.
 
On his resignation as Congress President, he said he had stated in his letter released yesterday whatever he wanted to say. 
 
Gandhi was in Mumbai to attend a defamation case filed against him by a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) activist Dhrutiman Joshi.
 
At the hearing, the Congress MP from Wayanad pleaded "not guilty" to the charges and was granted bail on surety of Rs 15,000. The court has posted the matter for hearing on September 21.
 
A large number of Congress activists led by Mumbai Congress chief Milind Deora, former city chief Sanjay Nirupam and other leaders welcomed Gandhi at the Mumbai Airport on his first visit to the city, a day after he quit as party President.
 
Thousands more lined up enroute and outside the court in Mazagaon waving party flags and raising slogans, asking him to take back his resignation as Congress chief.
 
IANS
 

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Rahul pleads 'not guilty', gets bail in RSS defamation case

A Mumbai Magistrate on Thursday granted bail to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on a personal bond of Rs 15,000 in connection with a defamation case filed by an RSS worker, a party leader said.
File photo of Rahul Gandhi
File photo of Rahul Gandhi
A Mumbai Magistrate on Thursday granted bail to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on a personal bond of Rs 15,000 in connection with a defamation case filed by an RSS worker, a party leader said.
 
The surety amount was provided by former Mumbai MP Eknath Gaikwad who accompanied him to the hearing.
 
Earlier, during the course of the short hearing, Gandhi pleaded 'not guilty' to the charges levelled against him by a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker.
 
The case was filed by RSS worker Dhrutiman Joshi who accused Gandhi of linking the right-wing organization with the murder of Bengaluru-based journalist Gauri Lankesh in 2017.
 
In his plea filed in 2017, Joshi had contended that barely 24 hours after the Lankesh killing, Gandhi had posted tweets allegedly blaming the RSS and its ideology for the journalist's murder.
 
"For a mere political score, the accused (Gandhi) had unnecessarily dragged the name of RSS and it is a move to rake up negative sentiments in the minds of people against the RSS," Joshi's complaint said.
 
He added that statements made by the accused and the respective political parties are in utmost sense defamatory and belittle the RSS in the public eyes, which was a definite move by the accused to tarnish the image of RSS without any proof.
 
Gandhi's only engagement in Mumbai was to appear in the Sewree Metropolitan Magistrate Court before he returns to New Delhi, Mumbai Congress party chief Milind Deora told IANS.
 
This is the second petition filed by an RSS activist in Maharashtra against Rahul Gandhi, MP from Wayanad in Kerala.
 
In 2014, a local functionary, Rajesh Kunte had filed a plea against him for allegedly blaming the RSS for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. The case is pending in Bhiwandi Court in Thane.
 
A large number of Congress activists led by Deora, former city chief Sanjay Nirupam and other leaders welcomed Gandhi at the Mumbai Airport on his first visit to the city a day after he quit as party President.
 
Thousands more lined up enroute and outside the court in Mazagaon waving party flags and raising slogans, asking him to take back his resignation as Congress chief.
 
IANS

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Reliance Jio works with Facebook for largest ever digital literacy programme

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Telecom services provider Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, a subsidiary of the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited, has announced a digital literacy initiative in India.
 
Called ‘Digital Udaan’, the programme will empower first-time internet users with digital literacy and understanding of the Internet. 
 
"Thanks to Jio, over 300 million users are riding the digital wave, many of whom are first-time internet users," a press release from Jio said.
 
The release said that, as a part of the Digital Udaan initiative, Jio will engage with its users every Saturday to help them learn about the JioPhone features, use of various apps and internet safety including use of Facebook on JioPhone to connect with friends and family in a simple, safe and secure way. 
 
"This will be achieved via audio-visual training in 10 regional languages. Jio has worked with Facebook, to ensure that modules developed for Digital Udaan, are relevant for people in these cities and localities, and will provide train-the-trainer sessions and training videos and information brochures," it said.
 
To begin with, the programme is being launched in nearly 200 different locations across 13 states. The initiative is soon expected to reach over 7,000 locations empowering millions of JioPhone users and other first-time internet users.
 
“Jio is always looking to work with key global partners to enhance the digital life experience of the Indian consumer. The Digital Udaan initiative is one such example, which will help eradicate barriers of information asymmetry and provide accessibility in real time. It is a program for inclusive information, education and entertainment, where no Indian will be left out of this digital drive. Jio envisions to take this to every town and village of India, achieving 100% digital literacy in the country,” said Akash Ambani, Director, Reliance Jio.
 
Ajit Mohan, VP and MD, Facebook India, said “Jio is playing a vital role in driving India’s digital revolution by empowering millions of Indians and expanding access to the Internet. Facebook is an ally in this mission, and we are delighted to partner with Jio in attracting new Internet users and creating mechanisms for them to unleash the power of that access.”
 
"This unique initiative will connect the participants digitally to the nation and the world. They will have world of knowledge, government benefits and programs, access to essential services and entertainment on their phones through Facebook and the gamut of Jio apps," the release added.
 
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RSS defamation case: Rahul appears in Mumbai court

File photo of Rahul Gandhi
File photo of Rahul Gandhi
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday appeared in a Mumbai court in connection with a defamation case filed by a RSS worker, a party leader said.
 
The case was filed by a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker who accused Gandhi of linking the RSS with the murder of Bengaluru-based journalist Gauri Lankesh in 2017.
 
In his plea, Joshi had said that barely 24 hours after the Lankesh killing, Rahul Gandhi had allegedly blamed the RSS and its ideology for the murder.
 
Gandhi's only engagement in Mumbai was to appear in the Sewree Metropolitan Magistrate's Court before he returned to New Delhi, Mumbai party chief Milind Deora told IANS.
 
This is the second petition filed by an RSS activist in Maharashtra against Rahul Gandhi, MP from Wayanad in Kerala.
 
In 2014, a local functionary, Rajesh Kunte had filed a plea against him for allegedly blaming the RSS for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. The case is pending in Bhiwandi Court in Thane.
 
A large number of Congress activists led by Deora, former city chief Sanjay Nirupam and other leaders welcomed Gandhi at the Mumbai Airport.
 
Thousands lined up enroute and outside the court in Mazagaon waving party flags and raising slogans.
 
IANS
 

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Equity indices open in green ahead of Economic Survey presentation

The key Indian equity indices opened on a positive note ahead of the presentation of the Economic Survey in Parliament.
 
The Economic Survey will show the situation of the country's economy and its several segments and talk about the issues it may face in future.
 
At 9.35 a.m., the BSE Sensex traded at 39,917.74, higher by 78.49 points or 0.20 per cent from the previous close of 39,839.25 points.
 
It opened at 39,917.65 and so far touched an intra-day high of 39,936.45 and a low of 39,858.33 points.
 
The Nifty50 on National Stock Exchange traded at 11,946.65 points, higher by 29.90 points or 0.25 per cent from its previous close.
 
IANS
 

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Markets tepid ahead of Budget Day, oil prices surge

The Indian markets continue to be tepid, awaiting the key trigger, the tabling of the Union Budget, which is likely to provide direction to the markets for the rest of the year.
 
Investors showed higher risk aversion as the optimism over the US-China trade truce seemed to be fading and oil prices surged on account of a more than expected decline in US crude inventories.
 
The 30-scrip Sensex, after a choppy day of trade settled at 39,839.25, higher by 22.77 points while the Nifty50 finished Wednesday's trade at 11,916.75, up 6.45 points.
 
"The market will be volatile ahead of the big event and profit booking is natural at this high level. However, the underlying trend of the markets seems positive in expectation of revival in growth led by actions to boost infrastructure, investments, housing and bring relief to rural distress," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services. 
 
"A spur in safe haven asset indicates investors' fear in the global market, FIIs are on risk-off mode," Nair added.
 
European shares, Deepak Jasani of HDFC Securities said, largely ignored the overnight falls for Asia's big bourses to push higher, which fell in the morning trade on Wednesday amid trade worries as White House trade advisor Peter Navarro said a potential trade deal between the US and China is still some way off.
 
IANS
 

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Indian equity markets open in red

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The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) on Wednesday opened on a positive note during the morning session of the trade and soon entered the negative range.
 
The Sensex of the BSE opened at 39,907.57, touched a high of 39,908.47 and a low of 39,732.38.
 
The Sensex was trading in the morning at 39,776.60 down by 39.88 points or 0.10 per cent from its Tuesday's close at 39,816.48.
 
On the other hand, the broader 50-scrip Nifty at National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at 11,932.15 after closing at 11,910.30 on Tuesday.
 
The Nifty was trading at 11,897.20 points in the morning.
 
IANS

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39 killed as relentless rains wreak havoc in Maharashtra

At least 39 persons were killed across Maharashtra as relentless rain wreaked havoc and left Mumbai paralysed with the country's commercial capital being pounded by record rainfall on Tuesday, officials said.
An inundated King's Circle after heavy rains in Mumbai, on July 1, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
An inundated King's Circle after heavy rains in Mumbai, on July 1, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
At least 39 persons were killed across Maharashtra as relentless rain wreaked havoc and left Mumbai paralysed with the country's commercial capital being pounded by record rainfall on Tuesday, officials said.
 
Early on Tuesday, the compound wall of a water reservoir at Pimpripada in Malad collapsed on a dozen hutments, leaving 21 killed and another 78 injured.
 
The National Disaster Response Force, the Mumbai Fire Brigade and other agencies launched a massive rescue effort to remove dig out several others feared trapped in the rubble.
 
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who visited the victims of the tragedy, announced compensation of Rs 500,000 for each of the deceased, even as agitated Congress and Nationalist Congress Party leaders blamed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena for the mess and demanded action against those responsible for the loss of human lives.
 
"In the past 12 hours, the city has received an unprecedented 300 to 400 mm rains, the highest in the past decade. The existing drainage systems are unable to cope with such a heavy downpour, coupled with a high tide this afternoon," Fadnavis told journalists.
 
Two persons - Irfan S. Khan, 38, and Gulshad Sheikh, 37, who were trapped inside a sports utility vehicle (SUV) in the flooded Malad subway since last night, were found dead on Tuesday.
 
Gabri Singh, 45, the security guard of a private building, was killed in a wall crash in Mulund, and 22-year old Gopal V. Jha was electrocuted at Nehru Nagar in Vile Parle.
 
In adjoining Thane district, three persons were killed when the boundary wall of National Urdu School crashed in Kalyan town and several more were injured, and two persons were washed away in flood waters in an overflowing river in Jawahar.
 
Also on Tuesday, a 15-feet high compound wall of the Bharatiya Vidyapeeth College in Pune crashed on some hutments beside it, killing at least six persons. NDRF teams were at the site to extricate those still feared trapped in the debris.
 
In Nashik, two persons were killed by drowning in a water tank and one woman killed when she was struck by lightning in Buldhana.
 
The India Meteorological Department predicted extremely heavy to very heavy rains in Mumbai, many parts of coastal Konkan, besides Vidarbha and Marathwada till Friday.
 
Battered with over 375 mm rain, the highest July rainfall within a 24-hour period since July 1974, Mumbai has received around 35 per cent of its average annual total rainfall.
 
As a precautionary measure, the state government declared a public holiday in the city and the city administration ordered all schools and colleges to be shut while the Education Department postponed all examinations scheduled for Tuesday.
 
Many parts of Mumbai city and its suburbs, as well as towns in adjoining Raigad, Thane and Palghar districts, turned into huge tracts of muddy water, witnessing people struggling to safety in waist-deep water. Small vehicles were submerged, and several tempos, trucks and heavy vehicles stranded on the roads adding to traffic snarls. 
 
The inundation also stopped local and long-distance trains in their tracks and leaving thousands stranded as road traffic, trains and flights were hit for hours.
 
At least 150 BEST buses in Mumbai were also submerged and stranded at various locations since this morning, but operations continued near-normal with diversions and cancellations of services.
 
The Central Railway had stopped its services since early Tuesday as tracks were underwater in many places, especially Sion, Chunabhatti, Kurla, Bhandup and many commuters waded through the flood waters to reach their destinations.
 
After nearly 15 hours, the CR resumed full services around 5.15 pm, though the Western Railway managed to trudge along with delays and cancellations.
 
Domestic and international flight operations were hit at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport due to heavy rains coupled with a SpiceJet aircraft with 167 passengers overshooting the runway and getting stuck in soft mud.
 
With the stuck plane blocking the main runway, at least 55 incoming flights including 26 international were diverted, 13 go-arounds, 18 incoming flights including four international cancelled and 24 departures including four international cancelled, said a spokesperson for Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL).
 
A 150-metre long ramp was being built to push the stranded aircraft and clear the runway, but it was expected to take another 48 hours till the alternative (shorter) runway is operational.
 
As parts of Mumbai experienced a lull in rains for a few hours this afternoon, thousands of harried people rushed out of their homes to buy stocks of vegetables, fruits, groceries, milk from local markets, despite the higher rates being charged.
 
The Indian Navy's team of divers from INS Tanaji deployed rubber boats, life-jackets, lifebuoys to rescued over 1,000 people stranded in rising waters at Krantinagar slums in Kurla in north-east Mumbai.
 
IANS
 

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Order on bail plea of Kerala CPI-M leader's son again put off

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A court in Mumbai on Tuesday deferred -- for the fourth time -- its order on the anticipatory bail plea filed by Kerala CPI-M leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan's son Binoy Kodiyeri in a rape case against him and posted the case for Wednesday.
 
A 33-year-old Mumbai-based woman, who hails from Bihar, has alleged that Kodiyeri sexually exploited her for several years on the promise of marriage, according to the FIR filed at the Oshiwara police station in Mumbai's Andheri. She also claims they have a child
 
On Tuesday, the Dindoshi court gave a patient hearing to both sides, with each defending their stand and terming each other's evidences as false and bogus. Kodiyeri's counsel also argued that there was no need for a DNA test to be conducted.
 
After the arguments in the case got over, the court posted the case for final orders for Wednesday.
 
The victim registered the complaint on June 13 after she came to know that Kodiyeri was already married and this issue was again highlighted by her counsel on Tuesday.
 
According to her complaint, she entered into a relationship with Kodiyeri while working at a dance bar in Dubai in 2008 and now has an eight-year-old child with him. She said that till 2015, he even used to send her money every month, for which she has already produced documentary evidence.
 
A team of Mumbai Police officials, after visiting Kannur and Thiruvananthapuram in search of Kodiyeri, had to return empty-handed and for a week now, there has been no trace of him.
 
The national and state leadership of the CPI-M including the accused's father have washed their hands off the matter saying since Kodiyeri is not a party member, the party has nothing to do with this and he alone should handle it.
 
IANS
 

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Markets see little participation, Sensex ends 130 pts up

Markets remained subdued for the better part of the trading session on Tuesday, owing to the flood-like situation in the financial capital Mumbai, and caution ahead of the Budget.
 
Besides, poor auto sales figures and a dip in the GST collection, indicative of slowdown in consumption, resulted in low participation in the markets.
 
However, Sensex managed to end 130 points or 0.33 per cent higher at 39,816.48, with most gain coming during the final hour of the trade.
 
The broader Nifty50 advanced by 44.70 points to 11,910.30 led by IT companies.
 
"IT index out-performed due to the fall in rupee while momentum was seen in bond as premium valuation on equity influenced risk averse to stay on bonds. Trade war concern of US-China subsided but a fresh trigger emerged due to additional tariffs on the European Union, impacting the global market," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
 
Rating agency ICRA lost over 5 per cent a day after its board decided to send its MD and CEO, Naresh Takkar on a compulsory leave till the probe in the IL&FS case is completed.
 
"The Board of Directors of ICRA Limited has, at its meeting today, decided, pending the completion of the examination of the concerns raised in the anonymous representation that was forwarded to the Company by SEBI to place Mr Naresh Takkar on leave," ICRA said in a regulatory filling.
 
While Sun Pharma, Tata Motors and Yes Bank lost the most among the Nifty50 stocks, UPL, ONGC and IndiaBulls Housing Finance gained the most.
 
"We expect the market to continue finding support at 11,600 level and the index is expected to trade in the range of 11,600-11,900 until the budget announcements, beyond which we might witness volatility. Until then, we expect the market to continue with its consolidation," said Gaurav Garg, Head of Research CapitalVia Global Research/
 
IANS
 

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Record July rains paralyse Mumbai, government declares holiday

The Maharashtra government declared a precautionary public holiday on Tuesday in Mumbai after the Central Railway suspended services at several spots between Mumbai-Thane and suburban train services were disrupted on the Western Railway due to incessant record rain, officials said.
An inundated King's Circle after heavy rains in Mumbai, on July 1, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
An inundated King's Circle after heavy rains in Mumbai, on July 1, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
The Maharashtra government declared a precautionary public holiday on Tuesday in Mumbai after the Central Railway (CR) suspended services at several spots between Mumbai-Thane and suburban train services were disrupted on the Western Railway (WR) due to incessant record rain, officials said.
 
At 375 mm, Monday's was the maximum July rain that Mumbai has seen over a 24-hour period, breaking records since 1974.
 
The CR train services, which were earlier suspended between Thane-Kurla, were suspended from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus to Thane due to tracks getting submerged at various locations on the route. Delays were also reported on the WR suburban network.
 
Long-distance trains from different parts of India, expected to reach Mumbai, have also been stranded at various locations en route, details of which were awaited.
 
Flight operations at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport were severely hit due to heavy rains, while a Spicejet aircraft, carrying 167 passengers, overshot the runway shortly before midnight.
 
Till noon today, at least 55 incoming flights were diverted, including 26 international flights. There were 13 go-arounds, and cancellations of 18 incoming flights including four international and 24 departures including four international, said a spokesperson for Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL).
 
Road traffic also continued to be sluggish for the second consecutive day in the city and the suburbs as many areas were waterlogged and the subways in Andheri, Jogeshwari, Vile Parle and Dahisar flooded.
 
A road caved in near a construction site in Chandivali and locals claimed that some people may have been washed away in the incident. A few vehicles and autorickshaws were stuck in the cave-in, which was at least 10 feet deep, said a local resident Pradeep Menon.
 
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has appealed to people not to step out unless absolutely necessary in view of the continued downpour.
 
"In the past 12 hours, the city has received an unprecedented 300 to 400 mm rain, the highest in the past decade. The existing drainage systems are unable to cope with such a heavy downpour, coupled with a high tide this afternoon," Fadnavis told mediapersons.
 
The Indian Navy deployed rubber boats and a team of naval divers from INS Tanaji, armed with lifebuoys, life-jackets and food packets, rescued around 1,000 people stranded in Kranti Nagar slums of Kurla.
 
With roads and trains -- the main lifelines of millions of commuters in Mumbai -- remaining practically out of bounds, the state government declared a precautionary holiday for the city on Tuesday.
 
Prior to that the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had declared a holiday for all schools and colleges, and the state government expanded it to include other parts of coastal Konkan region.
 
Fadnavis visited the BMC Disaster Cell and those injured in the Malad wall crash tragedy in hospitals.
 
Since dawn, heavy rain continued to lash the city, Thane, Raigad and Palghar districts with the IMD forecasting more rains till Friday, besides continuing downpour in Nashik and parts of Western Maharashtra, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg.
 
IANS
 

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Sensex down 85 points, Nifty above 11,800

Ahead of the Union Budget, the Sensex and the Nifty on Tuesday were trading marginally in the red.
 
The Union Budget is scheduled to be presented on July 5. Analysts said that the Budget will be a key trigger for the markets, ahead of which some caution was being witnessed.
 
The Sensex was trading 84.57 points or 0.21 per cent down at 39,601.93, while the Nifty traded 28.30 points lower at 11,837.30.
 
The Sensex opened higher at 39,811.68 from its previous close of 39,686.50.
 
Oil and power companies like Coal India, BPCL, ONGC, NTPC and Power Grid were the top gainers among the Nifty 50 stocks.
 
Yes Bank, Tata Motors and Sun Pharma were trading lower.
 
IANS
 

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20 killed in Mumbai, Pune wall crashes

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At least 13 persons were killed in a wall crash in Malad, north-west Mumbai and another seven perished in a wall collapse in Pune, early on Tuesday as rains continued to wreak havoc in large parts of Maharashtra.
 
In the wake of the incessant rainfall, the state government has declared July 2 as a public holiday for Mumbai.
 
According to officials, the compound wall of a school in Pimpripada in Malad suburb, collapsed on some adjoining hutments in which more than 13 people were killed, around 1 am on Tuesday.
 
Early today, the compound wall of the Sinhagad College in Pune crashed on some hutments beside it, killing at least seven persons.
 
In both the incidents, many more victims are still feared buried under the rubble and teams of NDRF are at the site for rescue and relief operations.
 
As the IMD predicted extremely heavy to very heavy rains in parts of coastal Konkan, the Maharashtra government declared a public holiday for Mumbai city.
 
Early today, Brihanmumbai Municipal Commissioner Pravin Pardeshi declared all schools and colleges shut for the day as a precautionary measure.
 
Air, road and rail traffic was also hit for the second consecutive day on Tuesday and rains have so far claimed around 50 lives in the past five days in the state so far.
 
IANS
 

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Rains paralyse Mumbai, Maharashtra declares holiday

The Central Railway on Tuesday suspended suburban train services after incessant heavy rain flooded tracks at several spots between Mumbai and Thane and services on Western Railway were also hit even as the Maharashtra government declared a public holiday for the city as a precautionary measure.
An inundated King's Circle after heavy rains in Mumbai, on July 1, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
An inundated King's Circle after heavy rains in Mumbai, on July 1, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
The Central Railway (CR) early on Tuesday suspended suburban train services after incessant heavy rain flooded tracks at several spots between Mumbai and Thane and services on Western Railway were also hit even as the Maharashtra government declared a public holiday for the city as a precautionary measure, officials said.
 
The CR train services, which were earlier suspended between Thane and Kurla, were suspended from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus to Thane due to tracks getting submerged at various locations on the route and delays were reported on the WR suburban network.
 
Long-distance trains from different parts of India, expected to reach Mumbai, have also been stranded at various locations en route, details of which are awaited.
 
There were delays in arrivals and departures and 54 flights diverted to and from Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, with operations getting hit after a Spicejet aircraft overshot the runway shortly before midnight.
 
Road traffic also continued to be affected for the second consecutive day in the city and suburbs as many areas were waterlogged and the subways in Andheri, Jogeshwari, Vile Parle and Dahisar flooded.
 
The two highways and the main and arterials roads remained virtually deserted as people chose to remain indoors. Autorickshaws, taxis and aggregator cab services were also largely missing.
 
With the main lifelines of the millions of Mumbai commuters, the roads and trains, remaining practically off-bounds, the state government early today declared a precautionary holiday for Mumbai.
 
Prior to that the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had declared a holiday for all schools and colleges, and the state government expanded it to include other parts of coastal Konkan region.
 
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has appealed to people not to step out unless absolutely necessary in view of the continued downpour.
 
IANS

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Depressed over mother's death, two brothers end life in Delhi

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Two brothers allegedly ended their life by hanging themselves from ceiling fans at their residence in west Delhi's Janakpuri on Monday, police said.
 
The deceased have been identified as Kunal Aggarwal (27) and Gaurav Aggarwal (24).
 
"The incident was reported to the police at about 12.30 pm. Both the brothers were found hanging from ceiling fans," said police.
 
Police have recovered a suicide note, which states that they held themselves responsible for their death.
 
According to police, the siblings used to work with their father, who is a railway contractor.
 
Prima facie, it seems the duo were under depression ever since their mother passed away due to cancer on March 23, police said.
 
The bodies have been sent for post-mortem examination. Police suspect no foul play in the incident.
 
Further investigation is underway. 
 
IANS
 

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SBI, NIIF join hands to provide greater thrust to infrastructure financing

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State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest lender, and the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) today inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to boost availability of capital for infrastructure projects. 
 
The scope of the MoU includes equity investments, project funding, bond financing, renewable energy support and take-out finance for operating assets, a press release from the two organisations said.
 
"The objective of this initiative is to aid in filling the gap at a time when the availability of equity and debt financing for infrastructure has moderated," it said.
 
On the sidelines of the signing event, Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, SBI said, “Today on auspicious occasion of 64th Bank’s Day, SBI and NIIF have joined hands to provide a suite of financing solutions to Infrastructure sector. The initiative will address concerns relating to availability of equity and long term debt funding options to large scale projects thereby stimulating infrastructure development."
 
Sujoy Bose, Managing Director and CEO, NIIF said, “The availability of post-construction take-out equity and debt financing for developers and builders of infrastructure projects will play an important role in the infrastructure development cycle in India.  NIIF’s partnership with SBI will allow us to design large-scale long-term financing solutions to address this need.  We are delighted to sign this MOU today, and congratulate SBI on its 64th Bank’s Day.”
 
According to the release, the initiative will help SBI and NIIF to review opportunities to unlock capital from operational projects, thereby creating room for fresh lending, and addressing asset-liability mismatches. In addition to focusing on takeout financing, including through the IDF route, the partnership will also explore new avenues of financing renewable energy projects.
 
During the last financial year 2018-19, SBI through its specialised Project Finance & Structuring Business Unit have extended financial assistance of about Rs. 51,000 crore to 47 infrastructure projects and during current financial year the bank has a robust pipeline, it added.
 
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Sensex ends 291 points higher on US-China trade truce

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Indian markets, along with global stock markets, edged higher on Monday over signs of easing trade tension between the US and China.
 
The Sensex finished 291.86 points or 0.74 per cent higher at 39,686.50 while the Nifty gained 76.75 points to settle at 11,865.60.
 
Global markets rallied on account of the trade truce between the US and China and the scope to maintain required oil supply from OPEC. 
 
"Sequential pick up in monthly auto sales and a likely proposal to simplify Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate due to rise in revenue collection boosted the market sentiment," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
 
Both the US and China have agreed to restart trade talks. Investors feared that the US would levy additional tariffs on goods imported from China, which could roil the global financial markets, if the trade talk between the two countries in G20 summit failed.
 
The trade tension was one of the single biggest reasons for a slowdown in global growth, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had said.
 
"Crude prices surged after top producers Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iraq backed a plan to extend supply cuts for another six to nine months," said Deepak Jasani of HDFC Securities.
 
Nair added that the investors are watchful ahead of the Union Budget and hope that fiscal deficit is maintained in the long-term while short-term support is provided with minor dilution in FY20 with non-budgetary resources like RBI reserves, divestment and public sector units.
 
IANS
 

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Mumbai rain: 4 killed, traffic hit for fourth day

A view of the water-logged Matunga Market after heavy rains in Mumbai, on July 1, 2019. (Photo: K. A. Viswanathan/IANS)
A view of the water-logged Matunga Market after heavy rains in Mumbai, on July 1, 2019. (Photo: K. A. Viswanathan/IANS)
A person was electrocuted and three were killed after being struck by lightning as rain pounded Mumbai and many parts of Maharashtra for the fourth consecutive day, disrupting normal life and hitting air, road and rail traffic, officials said on Monday.
 
A 30-year-old man, Mohammed Ayub Kazi, was electrocuted inside his home in Shivajinagar, Govandi suburb in north-east Mumbai. He was rushed to the Rajawadi Hospital where he was declared dead.
 
Three others, including a woman, were killed and two injured after being struck by lightning as they took shelter from heavy rain in a shed in Solapur on Monday afternoon.
 
"The five victims were waiting for the rains to subside in a shed near the Mandrup village when suddenly lightning struck them. The three killed are Parvati M. Kore, 55, Chatursingh J. Rajput, 41 and Sanket D. Chormule, 17. The other two have been rushed to the district hospital," Mandrup police official Baburao Rathod told IANS.
 
Overnight heavy spells of rain inundated at least 137 spots all over Mumbai, including Dadar, Sion, Matunga, Parel, Wadala, Mahim, Santacruz, Andheri, Jogeshwari, Malad, Dahisar and virtually halted all traffic movement, leading to huge traffic snarls since daybreak.
 
Flights to and from Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport were delayed by 35 minutes owing to heavy rain and low visibility, said an official.
 
Long-distance services on the Central Railway's Mumbai-Pune sector were hit following the derailment of at least four wagons of a goods train between Jambrung and Thakurwadi in the Monkey Hill section of the Western Ghats early on Monday.
 
Several Mumbai-Pune trains were cancelled, some diverted and other long-distance trains hit at various locations en route as the CR made frantic efforts to restore normalcy.
 
Railway tracks were flooded at locations like Sion, Matunga and Kurla, impacting the CR's suburban sector with trains running behind schedule, delaying lakhs of office-goers and students.
 
On the Western Railway (WR), some material from ongoing construction work fell and broke the overhead electric wires at Marine Line, hitting services on the slow line between Churchgate-Mumbai Central around 8 a.m.
 
Restoration was taken up on a war-footing and services were restored at 11 a.m., said a WR official, while heavy rains led to cancellation of several outstation services today.
 
Road traffic took the brunt of the heavy rain with water-logging in several areas of the city, eastern and western suburbs, though a majority of the subways escaped flooding as the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation activated pumps to throw out the gushing rainwater.
 
As students were stranded in the rain in different areas, some schools in and around central Mumbai declared a precautionary holiday.
 
In Palghar district, the Surya River was hovering near the danger mark, posing a risk to at least 26 villages on its banks even as relief agencies were kept on standby.
 
Thane city and district were also lashed by heavy flooding several parts of the city, including housing complexes, stranding people and halting vehicular traffic.
 
The IMD has forecast heavy to very heavy spells in and around Mumbai on Monday, with rainy conditions likely to continue for the next four days, and temperatures at a maximum of 28 degrees and 23 degrees.
 
IANS
 

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Mumbai rain: Man killed, traffic hit for fourth day

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A person was electrocuted as rain pounded Mumbai and its surroundings for the fourth consecutive day, disrupting normal life and hitting air, road and rail traffic, officials said on Monday.
 
A 30-year-old man, Mohammed Ayub Kazi, was electrocuted inside his home in Shivajinagar, Govandi suburb in north-east Mumbai. He was rushed to the Rajawadi Hospital where he was declared dead.
 
Overnight heavy spells of rain inundated several areas in the city including Dadar, Sion, Matunga, Parel, Wadala and virtually halted all traffic movement, leading to huge traffic snarls across the city since daybreak.
 
Flights to and from Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport were delayed by 35 minutes owing to heavy rain and low visibility, said an official.
 
Long-distance services on the Central Railway's Mumbai-Pune sector were hit following the derailment of at least four wagons of a goods train between Jambrung and Thakurwadi in the Monkey Hill section of the Western Ghats early on Monday.
 
Several Mumbai-Pune trains were cancelled, some diverted and other long-distance trains hit at various locations en route as the CR made frantic efforts to restore normalcy.
 
Railway tracks were flooded at locations like Sion, Matunga and Kurla, impacting the CR's suburban sector with trains running behind schedule, delaying lakhs of office-goers and students.
 
On the Western Railway (WR), some material from ongoing construction work fell and broke the overhead electric wires at Marine Lines, hitting services on the slow line between Churchgate-Mumbai Central around 8 a.m.
 
Restoration was taken up on a war-footing and services were restored at 11 a.m., said a WR official.
 
Road traffic took the brunt of the heavy rain with waterlogging in several areas of the city, eastern and western suburbs, though a majority of the subways escaped flooding as the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation activated pumps to throw out the gushing rain water.
 
As children were stranded in the rain, several schools in and around central Mumbai declared a holiday for the day as a precautionary measure.
 
The IMD has forecast heavy to very heavy spells in and around Mumbai on Monday, with rainy conditions likely to continue for the next four days, and temperatures at a maximum of 28 degrees and 23 degrees.
 
Between 8 a.m.-noon on July 1, the city experienced 34 mm of rainfall, the eastern suburbs 16 mm and the western suburbs 17 mm.
 
In the past 24 hours, the city notched 118 mm, eastern suburbs 99 mm and the western suburbs 71 mm of rainfall, said a BMC spokesperson.
 
IANS
 

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Sensex up 200 points, Nifty at 11,840

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The Sensex gained over 200 points during the early trade on Monday following global markets over signs of easing US-China trade tension.
 
On June 29, the US and China agreed to resume trade negotiations in an effort to end the impasse between the world's two largest economies, with Beijing saying that Washington would not impose any new tariffs on its goods.
 
This was decided on the sidelines of the recently concluded G20 summit.
 
The trade tension was one of the single biggest reason of a slowdown in global growth, the IMF had said.
 
Fitch rating earlier last month said that even economies not involved in the trade war could be impacted if the tension between the two countries escalated.
 
At 10 a.m., the Sensex was up 202.04 points or 0.51 per cent at 39,596.68.
 
It opened higher at 39,543.73 from its previous close of 39,394.64.
 
Nifty was 51.80 points up or 0.44 per cent at 11,840.65.
 
Investors would now focus on the next big trigger, the Union Budget where the government is expected to announce measure to kick-start a slowing economy.
 
The Budget will be tabled on Friday.
 
IANS
 

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