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Rajasthan

15 dead, 31 injured as high-tension wire falls on bus in Rajasthan

At least 15 people were electrocuted and 31 others suffered injuries when the bus they were travelling in came in contact with a high-tension electricity wire in the Tonk district of Rajasthan on Friday afternoon, official sources said.

 
At least 15 dead as high-tension wire falls on bus in Rajasthan
At least 15 people were electrocuted and 31 others suffered injuries when the bus they were travelling in came in contact with a high-tension electricity wire in the Tonk district of Rajasthan this afternoon, official sources said.
 
Police officials in Tonk told NetIndian over the telephone that the injured were initially taken to nearby hospitals from where they were referred to a hospital in Jaipur.
 
All the victims were men and were going to attend a marriage when the mishap occurred in the Malpura area of the district around 3 pm.
 
Senior district admininstration and police officials rushed to the spot to oversee the rescue and relief efforts, the sources said.
 
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje condoled the loss of lives in the incident and announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 5 lakh each to the next-of-kin of those killed.
 
She also asked State Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria and other senior ministers and officials to rush to the spot and ensure the best possible medical care for the injured.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives in the incident. 
 
"The bus incident at Tonk, Rajasthan is very heart-rending. My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives," he said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
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Denied LS ticket by BJP, Jaswant Singh says will file nomination on Monday

Senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh, who is upset at being denied a ticket by the party to contest the coming Lok Sabha elections from his home town of Barmer, confirmed on Sunday that he would file his nomination from there on Monday, presumably as an independent candidate.

Not furniture that BJP can adjust me: Jaswant
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jaswant Singh, who is upset at being denied a party ticket to contest the coming Lok Sabha elections from his home town of Barmer in Rajasthan, today confirmed that he would file his nomination from there tomorrow, presumably as an independent candidate.
 
At the same time, he ruled out joining the Congress or any other party, saying it was insulting to him for any party to even think on such lines.
 
Reacting to media reports that the Congress might try and rope him in, Mr Singh, 76, told newspersons in his village that he had spent his entire political life in the BJP and had never thought of joining any other party.
 
"If the Congress is thinking along those lines, it is a waste of their time," he said.
 
But, despite repeated queries, he refused to confirm or deny whether the Congress had, in fact, made any overtures to him or not.
 
To another question, Mr Singh said he would go to Barmer tomorrow and file his nominations. "I will go to Barmer, will discuss the issue with others and act accordingly," he said.
 
Asked if he would resign from the party before filing his nomination, he said these things would be known tomorrow.
 
Mr Singh was particularly unhappy with senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley's statement that the party could not "adjust" Mr Singh in its list of candidates and that it would find other ways of using his abilities.
 
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"I saw on television a party leader saying that the could not 'adjust' me. The choice of words shows their way of thinking and their arrogant nature. It is insulting to me. I am not a piece of furniture, a chair or a table, which can be moved to some other part of the room if it does not fit in one place.
 
"I don't want to be 'adjusted'," he said. "All my life, I have worked for the party, in its best interests, to the best of my ability," he said.
 
About Barmer, he said it was the place where he was born and where he had grown. "All that I know today, I learnt from here," he said.
 
Asked about the caste equations in the area, Mr Singh regretted that the social fabric of the region was being torn by such considerations. He said he had never practised such politics. "You cannot divide society and people in this manner. If we persist in doing so, the state will end up as a second-rate UP, a third-rate Bihar," he said.
 
The BJP had, on Friday, announced that its candidate from Barmer would be Col Sonaram Chaudhary, a former MLA, who had recently joined it after resigning from the Congress, ignoring Mr Singh's claims and his wish that he be allowed to contest what could possibly be his last election from his home turf.
 
Reacting to the move, Mr Singh had hit out at the party yesterday, saying that it had been encroached upon by "outsiders", an obvious reference to the fact that it had given tickets to several people who had joined it in recent weeks, ignoring the claims of party loyalists.
 
He also made it clear to journalists at Jodhpur on his way to barmer that he would not indulge in any kid of bargaining with the party for post-election positions or any other officers from it.
 
"My sense of honour is not subject to trading," he said, even as Mr Jaitley and BJP President Rajnath Singh said that the party would utilise Mr Singh's abilities in some other way.
 
Mr Rajnath Singh said the importance that the BJP acccorded to Mr Singh could not be judged on the basis of an election ticket alone. "He is far above that," he said.
 
"The challenge today is between the real BJP and the fake BJP," Mr Singh said. "Only the people can decide on the difference between the two," he said.
 
He said he had lived and struggled all these years to uphold the principles on which the BJP was founded and it was important that he continued to do so.
 
He said it was for the BJP to realise what would add value to the party, to India and to the people of India.
 
The BJP's decision to deny the ticket to Mr Singh is being seen as yet another indication that the old order in the party is being forced to yield place to the new.
 
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According to media reports, Mr Singh had conveyed to the BJP leadership that he would contest the election from Barmer as an independent candidate if the party decided against nominating him.
 
He has never contested from Barmer, having been elected to the Lok Sabha from Chittorgarh in Rajasthan in 1991 and 1996, and from Darjeeling in West Bengal in the last general elections in 2009.
 
According to sources, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje had pushed for a ticket for Col Choudhary, a Jat leader, after he joined the BJP some time ago.
 
Col Choudhary had lost the 2004 Lok Sabha elections from Barmer to Mr Jaswant Singh's son Manvendra Singh, who now represents Sheo - a part of the Barmer Parliamentary constituency - in the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly.
 
The move to deny Mr Singh a ticket has also upset a section of BJP workers in Barmer, who staged protests and tore party posters to express their anger.
 
The denial of the party nomination to Mr Singh came just a day after the BJP had, on Thursday, managed to mollify its veteran leader Lal Krishna Advani into accepting the party's decision to field him from Gandhinagar in Gujarat, though he had expressed his wish to shift to Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.
 
Earlier, another party veteran, Murli Manohar Joshi, was reportedly upset after he had to make way for BJP Prime Ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who wanted to contest the Lok Sabha elections from his constituency of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. He was persuaded finally to move to Kanpur.
 
Another senior leader, Lalji Tandon, had to give up his claim over Lucknow, the seat held by him, to accommodate Mr Rajnath Singh, who decided against contesting from Ghaziabad, the seat he had won the last time.
 
In Punjab, three-time MP and former Indian cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu had to make way in Amritsar for senior leader Arun Jaitley.
 
Yesterday, the BJP denied renomination to seven-time MP Harin Pathak from Ahmedabad East and fielded well-known actor Paresh Rawal as its candidate from the constituency. Mr Pathak is known to be close to Mr Advani and was reportedly not on very good terms with Mr Modi.
 
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SC stays ban by three States on screening of film "Padmaavat"

The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a stay of the operation of the notifications and orders issued by three States against the screening of the film "Padmaavat" and also restrained other States from issuing similar orders in any manner prohibiting the exhibition of the movie.

A poster of the film Padmaavat
A poster of the film Padmaavat
The Supreme Court today ordered a stay of the operation of the notifications and orders issued by four States against the screening of the film "Padmaavat" and also restrained other States from issuing similar orders in any manner prohibiting the exhibition of the movie.
 
"We are sure, the concerned State authorities shall keep paragraph 27 of the judgment in the case of Prakash Jha (supra) in mind which clearly lays down that it is the paramount obligation of the State to maintain law and order," a three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A. M. Khanwilkar and D. Y. Chandrachud said in an interim order on a petition filed by Viacom 18 Media Private Limited, the producers of the film, and others against the ban imposed by Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana.
 
"It should always be remembered that if intellectual prowess and natural or cultivated power of creation is interfered without the permissible facet of law, the concept of creativity paves the path of extinction; and when creativity dies, values of civilization corrode.
 
"Keeping in view the fact situation, we have no hesitation in stating by way of repetition and without any fear of contradiction that it is the duty of the State to sustain the law and order situation whenever the film is exhibited, which would also include providing police protection to the persons who are involved in the film / in the exhibition of the film and the audience watching the film, whenever sought for or necessary," the judges said, listing the matter for March 26 for final disposal.
 
Appearing for the petitioners, senior counsel Harish Salve and Mukul Rohatgri, submitted that the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) had issued a certificate under the Cinematograph Act, 1952 after constituting an Expert Committee which had seen the movie, critically examined it and suggested few excisions which had been carried out. The CBFC also directed the producer to file two disclaimers, which he had filed.
 
The CBFC had certified that the film is fit for public exhibition with an  endorsement of caution that the question as to whether any child below the age of 12 years may be allowed to see the film should be considered by the parents or guardian of such child, and also subject to excision and modification sought.
 
Directed by Sanjay Leela Bansali, Padmaavat has actors Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor in the lead roles. The film is due for worldwide release on January 25. Apart from Hindi, the film will also be released in Tamil and Telugu.
 
The court noted that the notification issued by the Gujarat Government had said the ban was necessary in the public interest and to maintain the law and order situation in the state. The Rajasthan Government's order also said similar things, while the Haryana Government was yet to issue formal orders in this regard.
 
The court noted that the disclaimers made by the producers said that the film was inspired from the epic poem Padmavat, written by Malik Muhammad Jayasi, which is considered a work of fiction. They said the film does not infer or claim historical authenticity or accuracy in terms of the names of the places, characters, sequence of events, locations, spoken languages, dance forms, costumes and/or such other details. They also said they did not intend to disrespect, impair or disparage the beliefs, feelings, sentiments of any person(s), community(ies) and their culture(s), custom(s), practice(s) and tradition(s).
 
The second disclaimer said the film did not intend to encourage or support "sati" or such other practices.
 
Counsel for the petitioners argued that, once a certificate had been issued by the CBFC, the States could not issue notifications or orders prohibiting the exhibition of the film in theaters. Citing the judgement in the case of Prakash Jha Productions & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors. (2011), they said it was obligatory on the part of the State to maintain the law and order situation effectively because it is the responsibility of the State to maintain law and order as was laid down in the case of  Union of India v. K.M. Shankarappa (2001).
 
Mr. Salve and Mr. Rohatgi contended that the Act is a parliamentary legislation and the CBFC has been constituted under the said Act and once the CBFC exercises the power and suggests certain excisions and the producers without appealing against the said directions, accept the same and certificate is issued, the States, taking recourse to law and order, cannot prohibit the film from being exhibited. It was also contended by them, the term "being publicly exhibited" as has been interpreted in the case of Prakash Jha (supra) has to be appositely understood by the authorities. They said that the freedom of speech and expression and the creative potentiality through any medium including the medium of celluloid cannot be curtailed in this manner.'
 
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Mr. Tushar Mehta, Additional Solicitor General, appearing for Gujarat and Rajasthan, submitted that  the grant of Certificate by the CBFC cannot denude the the State of the power to prohibit the exhibition of a film. He also argued that State Governments could suspend the public exhibition of a film if they are of the opinion that it was likely to cause breach of the peace. He also said the CBFC was not in a position to take all aspects into consideration as it does not have the inputs regarding the law and order situation in the concerned States.
 
Stating that they were, for the present, considering the prayer for grant of interim relief, the judges said creative content was an insegregable aspect of Article 19(1) of the Constitution. 
 
"Needless to emphasise, this right is not absolute. There can be regulatory measures. Regulatory measures are reflectible from the language employed under Section 5B of the Act and the guidelines issued by the Central Government. Once the parliamentary legislation confers the responsibility and the power on a statutory Board and the Board grants certification, non-exhibition of the film by the States would be contrary to the statutory provisions and infringe the fundamental right of the petitioners. That apart, as we understand at present from paragraph 27 of the judgment in the case of Prakash Jha (supra), it is the duty and obligation of the State to maintain law and order in the State. We may also note here with profit that the guidelines are to be kept in mind by CBFC. 
 
"For the sake of completeness, we reproduce the relevant part of the guidelines :
“2. In pursuance of the above objectives, the Board of Film Certification shall ensure that...
... ...
(vii) human sensibilities are not offended by vulgarity, obscenity or depravity;
... ... ...
(ix) scenes degrading or denigrating women in any manner are not presented;
... ... ...
(xii) visuals or words contemptuous of racial, religious or other groups are not presented;
(xiii) visuals or words which promote communal, obscurantist, anti-scientific and anti-national attitudes are not presented;
... ... ...
(xvii) public order is not endangered;'
 
"It has to be borne in mind, expression of an idea by any one through the medium of cinema which is a public medium has its own status under the Constitution and the Statute. There is a Censor Board under the Act which allows grant of certificate for screening of the movies. As we scan the language of the Act and the guidelines framed thereunder it prohibits use and presentation of visuals or words contemptuous of racial, religious or other groups.
 
"Be that as it may. As advised at present once the Certificate has been issued, there is prima facie a presumption that the concerned authority has taken into account all the guidelines including public order," they said.
 
They disagreed with Mr. Mehta's contention that grant of an interim order would tantamount to final expression of an opinion on the merits of the case. 
 
"We do not think so. If a substantial ground is established in law by the States, there may be a different perception, for we are passing an interim order, considering the prima facie case and having due regard to the fundamental conception of right of freedom of speech and expression," they added.
 
Originally, the movie, then called Padmavati, was due for release on December 1 but the producers announced on November 20 that they had decided to defer the release in the face of continuing protests by Rajput and other groups against the period drama for allegedly distorting history.
 
The film has become the subject of a major controversy, with various groups accusing its makers of distorting Rajput history and the story of Rani Padmini. While some say that Padmini was only  a fictional character, there are others who insist she was a historical figure. In any case, she is widely revered in Rajasthan.
 
Fringe elements have issued death  and violence threats against Bhansali and actress Deepika Padukone, who plays the title role in the film. 
 
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Modi launches work on Rajasthan Refinery in Barmer, Rajasthan

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today attended a ceremony to mark the commencement of work on the Rajasthan Refinery at Pachpadra in Barmer district of Rajasthan.
 
Rajasthan has significant reserves of oil and gas and the refinery, a joint venture of public sector HPCL and the Rajasthan government, will be the first in the state. It is envisaged as a 9 MMTPA Refinery-cum-Petrochemical Complex.
 
The product output from the refinery will conform to the advanced BS-VI emission norms. The estimated cost of the project is over Rs. 43,000 crore.
 
Addressing a public meeting on the occasion, Mr. Modi congratulated Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan for the commencement of work on the project. He said the project would bring happiness and prosperity in the lives of many.
 
"This is a time for 'Sankalp Se Siddhi.' We have to identify our targets and work towards achieving them by 2022, when we mark 75 years of freedom," the Prime Minister said.
 
The Prime Minister recalled the contribution of former Vice President and former Rajasthan Chief Minister Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, and said that he had worked towards modernising Rajasthan. He also prayed for the speedy recovery of senior leader and former Union Minister Jaswant Singh, noting that his contribution to the nation is immense.
 
Mr. Modi praised the Rajasthan Government and the Chief Minister for managing the drought in the state and helping the people tide over a difficult situation.
 
He said the Union Government was committed to make One Rank, One Pension, for the Armed Forces, a reality, and added that the Government has worked towards making it possible.
 
He mentioned the Jan DhanYojana, and said that the poor have now got access to banking facilities. He also spoke about the Ujjwala Yojana for cooking gas, and the significant progress made in electrification of 18,000 unelectrified villages.
 
The Prime Minister praised Ms. Raje for her commitment towards the benefit and progress of Rajasthan.
 
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Modi to attend commencement of work for Rajasthan Refinery in Barmer

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend a function to mark the commencement of work for the Rajasthan Refinery at Pachpadra in Barmer district of Rajasthan tomorrow.
 
He will also address a public meeting on the occasion, an official press release said here today.
 
Rajasthan has significant reserves of oil and gas and the refinery, a joint venture of public sector HPCL and the Rajasthan government, will be the first in the state. It is envisaged as a 9 MMTPA Refinery-cum-Petrochemical Complex.
 
The release said the product output from the refinery would conform to the advanced BS-VI emission norms. The estimated cost of the project is over Rs. 43,000 crore.
 
The Governor and Chief Minister of Rajasthan, and several Union Ministers are expected to attend the event, the release added.
 
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11 dead, 15 injured as bus collides with truck in Rajasthan

 
11 dead, 15 injured in road mishap in Rajasthan
At least 11 people died and more than 15 others suffered injuries when a bus collided with a truck on National Highway (NH)-52 in Fatehpur area of Sikar district in Rajasthan today, official sources said.
 
The sources said 13 of the injured were referred to the government hospital in Sikar, while the rest were treated at a local hospital in Fatehpur.
 
The mishap occurred around 8 am near Rohalsahabsar on the Bikaner-Jaipur highway. According to various accounts, the bus was trying to overtake another vehicle when it collided with the truck. The bus was on its way from Sardarshahar in Churu to Jaipur.
 
Senior administration and police officials rushed to the spot to oversee the rescue and relief efforts. Local people joined emergency services personnel in extricating the victims from the bus.
 
District Collector Naresh Thakral announced an assistance of Rs. 50,000 to the next-of-kin of those who died and Rs. 10,000 for those who were injured.
 
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Bye-elections to be held in Rajasthan, West Bengal on January 29 for three LS, two Assembly seats

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The Election Commission of India (ECI) today said it would hold bye-elections on January 29, 2018 to fill three vacancies in the Lok Sabha – two from Rajasthan and one from West Bengal – as well as a vacancy each in the Legislative Assemblies of the two States.
 
The Lok Sabha seats which are vacant are Alwar and Ajmer in Rajasthan and Uluberia in West Bengal, while the vacant Assembly seats are Mandalgarh in Rajasthan and Noapara in West Bengal.
 
An official press release said that the notifications for the bye-elections would be issued on January 3 and the last date for filing nominations would be January 10. Nominations will be scrutinized on January 11 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is January 15. Counting of votes will be taken up on February 1.
 
All the three Lok Sabha vacancies have arisen due to the death of sitting members.
 
The Ajmer seat fell vacant after the death on August 9 of former Union Minister and BJP MP Sanwar Lal Jat, while the Alwar seat became vacant after the death on September 17 of BJP MP Chand Nath.
 
The Uluberia vacanacy has arisen following the death of Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sultan Ahmed on September 4.
 
The electoral rolls of the constituencies with reference to January 1, 2018 will be used for the bye-elections and these will be finally published on January 2.
 
The Commission has decided to use electronic voting machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) units in all the polling stations in these constituencies.
 
The Model Code of Conduct has come into force with immediate effect in the district(s) in which the whole or any part of the Parliamentary/ Assembly Constituency going for bye-election is included, subject to partial modification as issued vide Commission’s instruction No. 437/6/INST2016-CCS, dated 29th June, 2017 (available on the Commission’s website). The Model Code of Conduct shall be applicable to all candidates, political parties and the State Government concerned. The Model Code of Conduct shall also be applicable to the Union Government for the State concerned, the release added.
 
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Congress names Karan Singh Yadav as its candidate for LS bye-election from Alwar

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The Congress has named former MP Karan Singh Yadav as its candidate for the coming bye-election to the Lok Sabha from the Alwar constituency in Rajasthan.
 
The bye-election has been necessitated by the death on September 17 of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament Chand Nath, who was elected to the Lok Sabha from the constituency in the 2014 General Elections. He had defeated Mr. Jitendra Singh by a margin of more than 2.8 lakh votes.
 
"Congress President Rahul Gandhi has approved the candidature of Mr. Karan Singh Yadav as Congress candidate for the ensuing by-election to the Lok Sabha from 8--Alwar Parliamentary Constituency," a press release from Mr. Oscar Fernandes, in-charge of the party's Central Election Authority said here yesterday.
 
A cardiac surgeon by profession, Mr. Yadav represented the constituency in the 14th Lok Sabha from 2004-09. He has also been elected twice to the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly from Behrod constituency.
 
The Election Commission is expected to announce the schedule for the bye-election soon.
 
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32 dead, seven injured as bus plunges into river in Rajasthan

 
32 dead, 7 injured after bus falls into river
At least 32 people died and seven others suffered injuries when a private bus carrying them crashed off a bridge into the Banas river in Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan this morning, official sources said.
 
The incident occurred near Dubi at around 7 am when the bus was on its way from Sawai Madhopur to the Ramdevra Temple in Lasot.
 
The passengers were pilgrims from different parts of the country, including Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Assam, Sawai Madhopur District Collector Kailash Chand Verma told NetIndian over the telephone from the spot.
 
Mr. Verma, District Superintendent of Police Maman Singh and other senior district administration and police officials as well as emergency services personnel rushed to the scene. Ambulances were deployed to take the injured passengers to nearby hospitals.
 
According to various sources, the driver of the bus appeared to have lost control over the wheel and the vehicle crashed through the railings of a bridge and plunged into the river, which is quite deep at that point. The driver was among those who died in the mishap.
 
Mr. Verma said the bus was carrying 39 people and all those on board were accounted for at the end of the search and rescue efforts. 
 
The bodies of the victims were taken to the mortuary at the district hospital for identification.
 
The ill-fated bus was pulled out of the river using a crane, the sources added.
 
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20 dead, several injured as bus falls into river in Sawai Madhopur

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At least 20 people died and several others suffered injuries when a private bus carrying them crashed off a bridge into the Banas river in Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan this morning, official sources said.
 
The incident occurred near Dubi at around 7 am when the bus was on its way from Sawai Madhopur to Lalsot, they said.
 
Senior district administration and police officials as well as emergency services personnel rushed to the scene. Ambulances were deployed to take the injured passengers to nearby hospitals.
 
According to various sources, the driver of the bus appeared to have lost control over the wheel and the vehicle crashed through the railings of a bridge and plunged into the river, which is quite deep at that point.
 
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Southern Command conducting major exercise in Rajasthan

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In a significant show of strength, formations of the Southern Command are conducting a major exercise called "Hamesha Vijayee" in the deserts of Rajasthan from December 16-22 to evaluate the capability of the armed forces to strike deep into enemy territory in an integrated air-land battle. 
 
An official press release said units of the formations underwent training in the past two months to hone their skills and tactics.  After the preparatory training, a large number of troops along with tanks and other armoured vehicles, duly supported by overwhelming land and air based firepower, have commenced conducting fully integrated operational manoeuvres to validate their operational plans, it said.
 
"Unique in scope and scale, the exercise, being conducted in battle-like conditions, aims at fine tuning surveillance and destruction mechanisms to support precision strikes and manoeuvres by network enabled forces.  With emphasis on joint operations, the exercise would test robust sensor to shooter grids by employing a vast array of surveillance and air assets networked with land based strategic and tactical vectors.  Besides conventional warfare, troops will also be rehearsed to operate in the backdrop of chemical and nuclear contingencies," the release said.
 
The exercise showcasing a high degree of synergy between the Army and Air Force along with new generation aviation assets of the army will be reviewed by a large number of senior officers of both the Services to obtain inputs for further refinement of operational procedures. 
 
The Southern Command undertakes such exercises at regular intervals to ensure a high degree of battle readiness as well as validation of operational plans using modern weapons and equipment, the release added.
 
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Minor earthquakes shake Rajasthan, Uttarakhand

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Two minor earthquakes shook the Jodhpur region of Rajasthan and Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand today.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the first quake, measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale, had its epicentre at latitude 26.4°N and longitude 73.8°E in Rajasthan and occurred at 1521 hours at a focal dpeth of 10 km.
 
The second tremor, measuring 3.3 on the Richter scale, had its epicentre at latitude 29.9°N and longitude 80.2°E in Uttarakhand and occurred at 1832 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, the bulletin added.
 
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13 dead, more than 20 injured as transformer explodes in village near Jaipur

 
13 dead in transformer explosion near Jaipur
At least 13 people died and more than 20 others suffered injuries when an electrical transformer exploded suddenly at Khatulai village near Shapura in Jaipur district of Rajasthan yesterday.
 
The injured were rushed to the SMS Hospital here where the condition of some of the victims was stated to be serious.
 
Jaipur (Rural) Superintendent of Police Rameshwar Singh told NetIndian that five of the victims had died on the spot.
 
The explosion occurred when a marriage procession was making its way past the transformer. Media reports quoted eyewitnesses as saying that scalding oil from the transformer fell on many of the victims -- mainly women and children -- and that their clothes caught fire.
 
Officials of the electricity department rushed to the scene, even as an angry mob gathered on the spot. The cause of the explosion could not be immediately ascertained. The state government has set up a committee to conduct an inquiry into the incident.
 
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje visited the SMS Hospital and met the injured persons, their families and doctors treating them. 
 
"Saddened by the unfortunate incident at #Shahpura near #Jaipur. Took feedback and directed Officials to take necessary measures and actions," she said on Twitter.
 
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SpiceJet puts Jaisalmer on country’s aviation map, to introduce more flights to Rajasthan

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Low-cost carrier SpiceJet today said it would it would introduce a flight between Jaipur and Jaisalmer in Rajasthan as part of its plans to launch a slew of flights to connect key tourist and business destinations in the state from October 29.
 
The Jaipur-Jaisalmer service would be SpiceJet's fourth daily flight under UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik), a regional connectivity scheme, a press release from the airline said.
 
"SpiceJet will be the only airline to offer daily direct flight connectivity on this route which has a heavy demand from both business and leisure travellers," it said.
 
On the same day, SpiceJet will also launch a new direct flight between Jaisalmer and Delhi, making it the first and only airline in the country to provide direct air connectivity between the two cities.
 
The day will also mark the launch of SpiceJet’s new Jaipur-Varanasi flight – a sector that no other airline in the country operates.
 
SpiceJet will also recommence operations on the Delhi – Jodhpur and Mumbai – Udaipur sectors the same day. With the addition of Jaisalmer and Jodhpur, SpiceJet will be operating to 45 domestic destinations, the release said.
 
SpiceJet already connects Jaipur with Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jammu and Surat with direct flights and connects Goa and Mumbai via Ahmedabad and Surat respectively and a host of other Indian cities on the domestic network. Internationally, SpiceJet connects Jaipur with a daily flight to Dubai and convenient via connections to Muscat, Colombo and Bangkok.
 
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SpiceJet’s Bombardier Q400 aircraft - SG 2981 will ceremoniously be flagged off on October 29 from Jaipur at 11:00 am for its first flight to Jaisalmer. On its return journey the flight SG 2982 will depart at 4:55 p.m. and reach Jaipur by 6:15 p.m.
 
The announcement about the flights was made in the presence of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
 
SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh said, "SpiceJet is proud to connect Rajasthan like never before. Today is a very special day for us as we announce the launch of multiple new flights to Rajasthan, India’s most vibrant and colourful state, which will greatly aid both leisure and business travellers. We are proud of the fact that SpiceJet will be the first and only airline to offer direct air connectivity between Jaipur-Jaisalmer; Jaisalmer-Delhi and Jaipur-Varanasi and we hope to continue to serve the people of Rajasthan with the same vigour in future.”
 
SpiceJet is India’s largest regional player operating a fleet of 20 Bombardier Q400s in addition to 35 Boeing 737s. SpiceJet is already operating on three UDAN sectors which include Mumbai-Porbandar-Mumbai, Mumbai-Kandla-Mumbai and Hyderabad-Puducherry-Hyderabad.
 
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Bye-election to RS from Rajasthan to be held on November 16

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The Election Commission of India (ECI) will hold a bye-election on November 16 to fill a casual vacancy in the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of Parliament, caused by the resignation of sitting member M. Venkaiah Naidu on August 10 after his election as the Vice-President of India.
 
In the normal course, Mr. Naidu's term of office as a member of the Rajya Sabha would have been up to July 4, 2022.
 
An official press release said the notification for the bye-election would be issued on October 30 and the last date for making nominations would be November 6. 
 
Polling will be held between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on November 16 and counting of votes will be taken up at 5 p.m. on the same day, the release added.
 
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Rajnath Singh inaugurates West Zone Regional Training Centre of IB in Jodhpur

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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh yesterday inaugurated the West Zone Regional Training Centre of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), in Jodhpur, Rajasthan which is expected to strengthen and professionally empoer the State Police Special Branches in the region.
 
The West Zone includes the states of Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, an official press release said.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Rajnath Singh said the centre would play an important role in enhancing the professional and behavioural skills of the police officers posted in the region. He said that intelligence plays an important role in the effective execution of internal security system of the country. 
 
Mr. Rajnath Singh said that IB has been playing an important role in tackling the challenges of terrorism, separatism and Left-wing extremism. He appreciated the officials of IB for fulfilling their duties within limited resources. He also said the Central Government or IB alone could not meet all challenges of internal security. The role of states’ police is very important for internal security, he added. 
 
He also emphasized on coordination among special branch of state police, IB and police forces for meeting the challenges. 
 
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Modi launches major highway projects at Udaipur, visits Pratap Gaurav Kendra

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the inauguration and laying of foundation stone of various major highway projects, at Udaipur, in Rajasthan on August 29, 2017.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the inauguration and laying of foundation stone of various major highway projects, at Udaipur, in Rajasthan on August 29, 2017.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of several major highway projects worth Rs 15,100 crore during a day[s visit to Udaipur in Rajasthan.
 
Altogether, Mr Modi inaugurated 12 National Highways projects worth Rs 5610 crore and performed "bhoomi poojan" for 11 projects worth Rs 9490 crore.
 
Among the projects was a 6-lane cable stayed bridge across river Chambal at Kota. Built at a cost of Rs 278 crore, the bridge marks the completion of the East-West corridor, an official press release said.
 
The construction of the bridge was stuck since 2006.  This bridge will now enable heavy vehicles to bypass Kota city, thus bringing down pollution and traffic congestion. The bridge design is also friendly for wildlife, ensuring minimum noise pollution for them, it said.
 
The other projects that were  inaugurated include 4-laning of Gomati Chauraha - Udaipur section of NH-8 at a cost of  Rs 1129 crore,  4-laning of Rajsamand-Bhilwara section of NH-758 at Rs 1360 crore, Nagaur Bypass to Netra village on NH-65 at a cost of  Rs 301 crore and 48 road safety projects at a cost of  Rs 381 crore.
 
Mr Modi said projects worth over Rs 15,000 crore were either being Inaugurated or initiated today in a single function.
 
He said India can no longer afford a delay in infrastructure projects, especially connectivity projects.
 
Referring to the Golden Quadrilateral initiated by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he said it benefited farmers by connecting them to markets.
 
Rajasthan could benefit a lot from tourism, through better infrastructure connectivity, which would bring in employment, he added.
 
He also referred to the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, under which LPG connections are being given to rural households, which will especially benefit women.
 
The Prime Minister said GST had hugely benefited the nation's economy, by eliminating long waiting time at inter-state borders.
 
He later visited the Pratap Gaurav Kendra, which celebrates the life, valour, and achievements of Maharana Pratap, the great king of the erstwhile kingdom of Mewar.
 
The 11 projects for which Prime Minister did the bhoomi poojan include 4-laning of Bar-Bilara-Jodhpur section of NH-112 at Rs 1249 crore, 6-laning of Kishangarh-Gulabpura section of NH-79A  and 79 at Rs 1184 crore. 
 
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari announced that the Centre proposed to spend Rs 2 lakh crore in the next five years for building national highways in Rajasthan.
 
The state had just 7498 km of national highways till June 2014. This length has nearly doubled to 14465 km in the last three years under the present Government. The number of national highways in the state has gone up from just 35 in June 2014 to 85.  
 
National highways construction work worth Rs 10,430 crore was completed in Rajasthan since 2014.  This includes 44 large projects totaling 1938 km length.
 
The prominent projects  include 4-laning of 244 km Beawar- Pali-Pindwara section of NH 14, 4-laning of 88 km Deoli- Kota section of  NH 12, 4-laning of Gomti- Udaipur section of NH 8 , 4-laning of Rajsamand - Bhilwara section of NH 758 and 6-laning of Kishangarh- Ajmer- Beawar section of NH 8.
 
Mr Gadkari announced that further work worth Rs 50,000 crore would be completed soon. This includes the 132 km Jaisalmer - Barmer section of NH 15  by November  2017,  the 107 km Barmer-Sachaur section on the same highway by February 2018 and the 204 km Uniyara- Gulabpur section of NH 148 (D) and 160 km Bikaner-Falaudi section of NH 15 by April 2018.
 
The DPR for the highway from  Swarupganj- Dungarpur- Banswara to MP border on NH 927( A) was ready. The work on six lane Delhi-Jaipur highway was 90% complete and work on  Falaudi- Jaisalmer section on NH 15 was proceeding fast.
 
A 195 km greenfield expressway will also come up between Delhi and Jaipur. This will start from Kherki Daula in Gurgaon, connect with Dwarka Expressway, then, going via Pataudi, it will connect with NH 8 at Chandwaji near Jaipur. Feasibility study for this project was being done.
 
The Prime Minister was earlier welcomed by Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh and Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
 
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Modi to visit Rajasthan on Tuesday, to launch key national highway projects

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Rajasthan tomorow when he will inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of several major highway projects with a total outlay of over Rs. 15,000 crore.
 
“Tomorrow I will be visiting Rajasthan, the land of the brave, where I will inaugurate and lay the foundation of key National Highway projects," he said on Twitter.
 
"I will address a public meeting in Udaipur. I will also visit the Pratap Gaurav Kendra and pay my respects to the great Maharana Pratap," he said.
 
Among the projects which  will be inaugurated are: 6-Lane Cable Stayed Bridge across river Chambal at Kota; 4 Laning of Gomati Chauraha - Udaipur section of NH-8; and 4-Laning of Rajsamand-Bhilwara section of NH-758. 
 
Among the important projects for which the foundation stone will be laid is the Jaipur Ring Road. 
 
The Prime Minister will also address the gathering at the function, an official press release said.
 
The Prime Minister will later visit the Pratap Gaurav Kendra in Udaipur. The Kendra provides information through various exhibits, about the life, valour and achievements of Maharana Pratap, the famous king of the erstwhile kingdom of Mewar, it added.
 
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Modi to inaugurate, perform bhoomi poojan for NH projects worth Rs. 15,000 crore in Rajasthan

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate or lay the foundation stone for National Highway (NH) projects worth nearly Rs 15,000 crores in Rajasthan during his visit to Udaipur on August 29.
 
An official press release said Mr. Modi would dedicate to the nation eleven completed National Highway projects totaling a length of about 873 km. These include a six-lane Cable Stayed Bridge across river Chambal at Kota.
 
In addition to this, he will perform bhoomi poojan for six NH projects of about 556 km.
 
The 11 completed projects ready for inauguration include 4-laning of Gomati Chauraha – Udaipur section of NH-8; 4-laning of Rajsamand – Bhilwara section of NH-758; upgradation to 2-lane with paved shoulder of Bheem – Parasoli section of NH-148-D; upgradation to 2-lane with paved shoulder of Parasoli – Gulabpura section of NH-148-D.
 
The six projects ready for bhoomi poojan include 4-laning of Bar-Bilara-Jodhpur section of NH-112; 6-laning of Kishangarh-Gulabpura Section of NH-79A & 79; 6-laning of Gulabpura-end of Chittorgarh Section of NH-79; and 6-laning of Chittorgarh to Udaipur Section of NH-76.
 
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6 MW model solar power plant in Neemrana commissioned

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India’s first 1MW smart micro grid demonstration project (off-grid) that uses Japanese technology to integrate solar power with diesel generators to provide reliable green energy supply for industrial use, along with a 5MW model solar power plant, was inaugurated in Neemrana today, setting an example for how large industrial units can successfully make the switch to renewables and reduce their carbon footprint.
 
The Neemrana Solar Power Project, built by the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC) in partnership with the Government of Japan, was dedicated to the nation by Mr. Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, Department of Industrial Promotion and Policy (DIPP), in the presence of Mr. Kenji Hiramatsu, the Ambassador of Japan to India, and senior government officials and business heads from both the countries.
 
The 6MW model project consists of a 5MWp solar power plant which uses thin film technology and feeds power directly to the state grid, and a 1MWp plant that uses poly crystalline technology with 2MW Diesel Generator Set integrated with a Smart Micro Grid feeding power to Japanese industrial consumers in the Neemrana Industrial Park.
 
The project has been implemented in partnership with the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Government of Japan, with the solar panels and other equipment like inverters, Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) System and so on procured from Japanese companies including Hitachi, Kyocera, Itochu, Sharp, Solar Frontier and Kaneka.
 
The power project, managed by the DMICDC Neemrana Solar Power Company Limited (DNSPCL), a wholly owned subsidiary of DMICDC, is spread over an area of 36 acres of land allocated by the Rajasthan State Industrial Development & Investment Corporation (RIICO) in the Japanese Zone, Neemrana.
 
The DNSCPL has a power purchase agreement with NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Limited (NVVNL) for the 5MW Solar Power Plant for a period of 25 years.
 
Japanese automotive parts manufacturer Mikuni India Pvt. Ltd., is the first industrial consumer of the 1MW micro grid project and has been receiving power from the unit since July this year under a 10-year Power Purchase Agreement. Operational since 2008, Mikuni manufactures a wide range of auto components including electronic control fuel injection system, carburetors, pumps and heaters.
 
“Projects such as these are part of the larger goal to minimize India’s dependence on fossil fuels as we move towards a manufacturing economy,” said Mr. Abhishek in his inaugural address at the commissioning. “We deeply appreciate the Japanese Government’s assistance in setting up the plant and will look to execute more such projects along the industrial corridors and manufacturing zones that we are developing.”
 
In his keynote address Mr. Hiramatsu reaffirmed the Japanese Government’s desire to partner with India in large scale infrastructure projects.
 
"This project is a symbol of strategic partnership between the two countries. The DMIC itself is a unique initiative under this partnership. I am delighted to witness the commissioning of this project using the latest technology from Japan, contributing to India in the field of energy, here in Neemrana," he said.
 
Mr. Kazuo Furukawa, Chairman, NEDO, who delivered a special address, said: “NEDO, in partnership with Government of India, has always promoted the use of the latest, cutting edge technologies from Japan. This project will help in reducing overall carbon footprint in the region and it has the potential of scaling up at every industry level and will help in meeting the energy requirement as the Govt. of India expands its manufacturing base under the Make in India policy.”
 
Mr. Rajeev Swarup, Chairman, RIICO; Mr Rajan Vishal, District Collector, Alwar; Mr. Hisataka Ikuta, President and COO of Mikuni Corporation; Mr. Kojin Nakakita, Corporate Officer, Hitachi Ltd; Mr. Yasuhiko Yoshida - Deputy Director General for Trade Policy; Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; Govt. of Japan, and Mr. Takamasa Murakami, Chief Representative, NEDO; also spoke on the occasion.
 
DMICDC, which has set up the 6MW project in Neemrana to give a fillip to the large-scale use of solar power and smart micro grid technology, hopes to promote indigenous development of solar panels and other equipment and technology.
 
Neemrana falls in Khushkhera-Bhiwadi-Neemrana Investment Region, one of the eight industrial nodes being developed in Phase I of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor.
 
Mr. Alkesh Kumar Sharma, CEO and MD of DMICDC, who welcomed the delegates, said, “The wider adoption of green energy systems for industrial use is limited by concerns with regard to reliability and uninterrupted supply. With the integrated 1MW micro grid, it is amply demonstrated that such systems are viable and will become even more efficient over time.”
 
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Lok Sabha member and former Union Minister Sanwar Lal Jat passes away

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Sanwar Lal Jat, former Union Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha member from Ajmer in Rajasthan, passed away at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here early today after a brief illness.
 
He was 62. He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.
 
Mr. Jat, who had served as the Minister of State for Water Resources in the Narendra Modi government, had been in coma for more than a week before the end came at 6.15 am today.
 
He had suffered a heart attack during a meeting of the party in Jaipur on July 22, sources said.
 
Born on January 1, 1955, Mr. Jat had a Master's degree in Commerce and a Ph.D. from the Rajasthan University. He initially worked as a supervisor at the Ajmer Dairy and later taught at the local government college.
 
He was a five-time member of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly and had also served as a Minister in the State Government. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in May 2014 and served as Minister of State for Water Resources from November 9, 2014 to July 5, 2016.
 
He had also served as the Chairman of the Rajasthan Farmers' Commission.
 
His body was flown to Jaipur today and kept at the State BJP headquarters there for people to pay their last respects. His last rites will be performed at Gopalpura, his native village, tomorrow.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled his passing away. " Anguished by the demise of MP & former Union Minister, Shri Sanwar Lal Jat. This is a big loss for the BJP & the nation. My condolences," he said on Twitter.
 
"Shri Sanwar Lal Jat worked extensively for wellbeing of villages & farmers. My thoughts are with his family & supporters in this sad hour," he added.
 
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255 sorties flown by IAF during HADR operation in Gujarat, Rajasthan

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The Indian Air Force (IAF) flew 255 sorties during a dedicated Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations in Gujarat and Rajasthan that experienced heavy rains and floods in past few days.
 
A press release from the Ministry of Defence said here today that, considering the gravity of the situation, the State Emergency Operation Cell in Gujarat requested the IAF for rescue operations in flood affected areas of Mehasana, Deesa, Banaskantha and Patan. 
 
Accordingly, the IAF team swung into action and deployed Mi-17V5 and Chetak helicopters at various location of the State for rescue and relief operations, it said.
 
A dedicated HADR Cell was activated at South Western Air Command, Gandhinagar to monitor the relief operations round the clock. Under the challenging weather conditions, with limited ground reference, these helicopters carried out rescue operations to save stranded people, the release said.
 
The rescue operation included a patient in dire need of dialysis who was airlifted from the rooftop in the shortest possible time, along with a pregnant woman with small child and husband.
 
Despite inclement weather, a total of 220 sorties were flown by IAF rescue team in Gujarat area and 35 sorties in Rajasthan area. During the rescue operations, the crew dropped a total of 86 tonnes of food packets in flood affected areas of Gujarat. A radar was also operationalised at Deesa for communication which was specially transported by An-32 aircraft till Ahmedabad and thereafter moved by road to Deesa.
 
The C-17 and C-130J aircraft airlifted National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel and load to the airports nearest to the flooded areas, the release added.
 
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Nine dead as bus from Gujarat overturns near Udaipur in Rajasthan

 
Nine dead as bus overturns near Udaipur
Nine persons died and 22 others suffered injuries when a private bus carrying pilgrims from Gujarat overturned near Nehla village, about 10 km from Udaipur, this morning, police said.
 
The mishap occurred around 8.45 am today when the driver of the bus apparently lost control over the wheel while trying to avoid hitting a motocyclist on a bridge, they said.
 
The deceased included six women and three women, the sources said.
 
Police and other emergency services personnel reached the spot and helped extricate the victims from the bus. The injured were taken to a nearby hospital, they said.
 
The pilgrims had left Ahmedabad yesterday night and were on a fortnight-long tour of various religious places in North India, including Haridwar in Uttarakhand, the sources said.
 
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Power supply begins from DMICDC’s 1MW Smart Micro Grid Solar Project in Neemrana

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A model 1 MW Smart Micro Grid Solar Power Plant built in Neemrana, Rajasthan, by the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC) to demonstrate integration of solar power with backup diesel generators, has begun commercial operations, supplying clean, stable, renewable energy to its first industrial consumer – Japanese automotive parts manufacturer Mikuni India Pvt. Ltd.
 
A press release from DMICDC said the 1MW unit is a part of a larger project by the DMICDC — which also includes a 5 MW Model Solar Power Plant that uses thin film technology — being implemented in partnership with the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Government of Japan, with Japanese firms supplying solar panels and equipment.
 
The project, which now has a total capacity of 6 MW, is spread over 36 acres of land allocated by the Rajasthan State Industrial Development & Investment Corporation (RIICO) in the Japanese Zone, Neemrana.
 
The DMICDC Neemrana Solar Power Company Limited, which manages the project, has a power purchase agreement (PPA) with NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Limited (NVVNL) for the 5MW Solar Power Plant and has been supplying power to the state grid in Rajasthan since September 2015.
 
Mikuni India Pvt. Ltd., which is operating in the Industrial Area since 2008, manufacturing a wide range of auto components including electronic control fuel injection system, carburetors, pumps and heaters,  executed a 10-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for the 1 MW Micro Grid Solar Power Project in May 2016.
 
Power began flowing to Mikuni India Pvt. Ltd., from yesterday. The plant, which has a 1 MW Solar PV integrated with 2 MW Diesel Generator sets, has been built with the support of NEDO and Hitachi Ltd.
 
DMICDC has set up the 6 MW project in Neemrana to give a fillip to the large-scale use of solar power and smart micro grid technology, and promote its replication in other industrial areas. Neemrana falls in Khushkhera-Bhiwadi-Neemrana Investment Region, one of the eight industrial nodes being developed in Phase I of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor.
 
“We are encouraging a shift to clean energy, for instance combining renewable solar power with reliable backup from diesel generators, to help reduce the overall industrial carbon footprint,” said Mr Alkesh Kumar Sharma, CEO and MD of DMICDC. “It would also give a boost to indigenous manufacture of solar panel and other equipment and technology.”
 
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ADB to provide $ 220 million loan for improving state highways in Rajasthan

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India yesterday signed an agreement for a $ 220 million loan for improving connectivity as well as transport efficiency and safety on State Highways of Rajasthan.
 
The loan is the first tranche of the $ 500 million Rajasthan State Highways Investment Program, approved by ADB Board in May this year, that will upgrade about 2,000 kilometers of state highways and major district roads to two-lane or intermediate-lane standards to meet road safety requirements, an official press release said.
 
The signatories to the loan agreement were Mr. Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance, who signed on behalf of the Government of India, and Mr. Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission, who signed for ADB. The project agreement was signed by Mr. S. L. Sharma, Chief Engineer and Additional Secretary, Public Works Department, the Government of Rajasthan.
 
 
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Raj Kumar said that the project would help improve State Highways and major district roads in Rajasthan. He said that it would also enhance the capacity of the State public works department in the areas of road asset management, road safety and project management.
 
Mr. Yokoyama said one of the focus areas of the program is to attract private sector financing through government capacity building on public private partnership (PPP) development. He said that ADB would finance part of the construction costs for the annuity-based PPP concessions and engineering procurement construction (EPC) contracts, enhance the stability of contract regime, and ensure good governance during project implementation.
 
The first tranche loan will improve about 1,000 kilometers of State Highways and major district roads. It will have a 25-year term, including a grace period of 8 years, and carry an annual interest rate determined in accordance with ADB’s London interbank offered rate-based (LIBOR) lending facility. 
 
The total cost of the project is $ 1.415 billion, with the government contributing $ 465 million and $ 450 million coming from the private sector and other concessionaries, the release added.
 
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