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Two dead, six injured as Tatanagar-Jammu Tawi Muri Express derails in UP

At least two passengers died and five others suffered injuries when nine coaches of the 18101 Tatanagar-Jammu Tawi Muri Express derailed on Monday afternoon near Sirathu, about 70 km from Allahabad, in Uttar Pradesh, official sources said.

 
2 dead, 5 injured as Tatanagar-Jammu Tawi Muri Express derails near Allahabad
 
 
At least two passengers died and six others suffered injuries when nine coaches of the 18101 Tatanagar-Jammu Tawi Muri Express derailed this afternoon near Sirathu, about 60 km from Allahabad, in Uttar Pradesh, official sources said.
 
Those killed in the mishap included a man, Govind Kumar (30), and a woman, Mohini Shetty, North-Central Railway (NCR) officials said.
 
One of the injured had suffered grievous injuries, while the other five received minor injuries, the sources said.
 
The accident occurred between Sirathu and Athsarai stations in Kaushambi district on the Allahabad-Kanpur section of North-Cental Railways (NCR)
 
Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 2 lakh for the next-of-kin of those killed in the accident, Rs 50,000 for each of the grievously injured and Rs 20,000 for those with minor injuries.
 
Senior railway officials, including the General Manager of NCR and the Divisional Railway Manager of Allahabad division had left for the scene of the mishap, which occurred around 2 pm.
 
Locally available officials of the railways, police and district administration had launched rescue and relief efforts as soon as news of the mishap was received.
 
The affected coaches included one general coach, four second class sleeper coaches (S3-6), a pantry car, two 3AC coaches and one 2AC coach, they said. One of the coaches is reported to have overturned in the impact of the crash.
 
Medical and accident relief trains had been despatched to the spot from Allahabad.
 
The derailment had disrupted traffic on the main Howrah-Delhi route and efforts were on to restore the affected line at the earliest, the sources added.
 
Mr Prabhu directed Railway Board Chairman A K Mittal and Member Engineering V K Gupta to leave for the site immediately. He also directed the railway administration to effectively undertake rescue and relief operations and provide best medical care and all assistance to the injured. 
 
The Railways have set up the following helpline numbers for information and assistance: Allahabad -0532-1072, 035-23662/23763, Kanpur – 0512-2322015, Jammu -01912480116, Tata Nagar- 0657-2290324, 2290382, New Delhi – 011-23962389, 23342954, 23341074, 1072, Delhi Main -011-23962389.
 
Stranded passengers of the affected trains are being cleared through special train and by deploying buses. They were also provided with drinking water and snacks. 
 
An inquiry will be by Commissioner Railway Safety, to ascertain the cause of the accident, an official press release added.
 
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Priyanka Vadra kicks off 2019 LS campaign from Prayagraj

Congress General Secretary and eastern Uttar Pradesh in-charge Priyanka Gandhi Vadra embarking on a boat ride from  Manaiya ghat in Kachnar tehsil of Prayagraj to Varanasi, on March 18, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Congress General Secretary and eastern Uttar Pradesh in-charge Priyanka Gandhi Vadra embarking on a boat ride from Manaiya ghat in Kachnar tehsil of Prayagraj to Varanasi, on March 18, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
With less than a month to go for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Congress General Secretary and eastern Uttar Pradesh in-charge Priyanka Gandhi Vadra kicked off her political campaign from here on Monday.
 
Vadra left Swaraj Bhawan, her ancestral home, and arrived at the Bade Hanuman Mandir, popular as 'Lete huye Hanuman Mandir' near Prayagraj Sangam.
 
She offered prayers at the temple, as well as to the river Ganga.
 
She then embarked on her much anticipated boat ride from the Manaiya Ghat in Kachnar tehsil of Prayagraj district, according to party leaders.
 
On the first day of her three-day river ride from Prayagraj to Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she will cover the distance up to Sitamarhi ghat in Bhadohi district.
 
On her way from Manaiya to Sitamarhi, she will make her first pit stop at Dumduma ghat and interact with the villagers.
 
The 47-year-old younger sibling of Congress President Rahul Gandhi will also hold discussions with students onboard the boat that are being called "Sanchi baat". 
 
Priyanka Gandhi is also supposed to meet the family members of a slain Central Reserve Police Force trooper, who died in the February 14 Pulwama terror attack.
 
After leaving Dumduma ghat, the Congress leader will reach Sirsa ghat and then also visit the Lakshagrih ghat.
 
She is expected to reach Sitamarhi ghat in the evening.
 
On Sunday, she held marathon meetings with party workers at the Nehru Bhawan, the party's state headquarters in Lucknow. 
 
Congress had won only two seats from the state in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
 
IANS
 

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Priyanka to kick off steamer poll campaign on Monday

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With less than a month to go for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Congress General Secretary and eastern Uttar Pradesh in-charge Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will kick off a three-day poll campaign from her great grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru's birthplace Prayagraj to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's parliamentary constituency Varanasi by a steamer on March 18.
 
According to Congress leaders, during her three-day programme, she will cover a distance of over 140 km through four districts of the state -- Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad), Bhadohi, Mirzapur and Varanasi -- by steamer as well as car.
 
Priyanka's journey will commence from Prayagraj on Monday and conclude at Varanasi's Assi Ghat and Dashashwamedh ghat on Wednesday evening.
 
She will take the steamer ride from Chhatnag in Prayagraj on March 18 and en route meet elderly citizens of Dumduma in Prayagraj and the family members of Mahesh Raj Yadav, who was killed in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama on February 14 in a suicide bombing.
 
Priyanka Gandhi will be back on her steamer ride from Rampur ghat in Bhadohi. From there, she will also visit Vindhyachal temple in Mirzapur and meet the carpet weavers before a night halt there.
 
She will commence her journey on Tuesday from Vindhyachal and visit the Dargah of Maulana Ismail Chisti in Bhadohi's Kantit area and interact with people there.
 
The Congress leader will then again be back on the steamer ride from Mirzapur. She will interact with advocates at Kachahri Ghat in the district and then visit Bhatauli village and meet people there.
 
Thereafter, the newly-appointed General Secretary will reach Chandrika Devi temple and interact with people after offering her prayers there.
 
After leaving Chandrika Devi temple, Priyanka will reach Devri in Mirzapur and interact with local villagers there before arriving at Chunar for the night halt.
 
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In the last leg of her three-day journey on Wednesday, she will visit road Varanasi's Sheetla Mandir by  road and meet women groups there.
 
From Sheetla temple, Priyanka will again take the steamer ride till Ramnagar and interact with the fishermen community there.
 
She will also visit the house of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in Varanasi's Ramnagar before arriving at Assi Ghat by the steamer. There she will interact with the local people, people from Jain communities and offer prayers at Vishwanath temple.
 
After performing rituals at the Vishwanath temple in Varanasi, she will again take the steamer ride to Dashashwamedh ghat.
 
After that, she will leave for the Congress office in Varanasi and interact with party workers during a Holi Milan programme.
 
She will then leave for Delhi on Wednesday evening from Varanasi airport.
 
The Congress is contesting the Lok Sabha polls alone in Uttar Pradesh which sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha. The Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal are contesting in alliance.
 
In 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ally Apna Dal had won 73 seats while the Congress had managed to win only two. The Samajwadi Party had won five seats and the BSP had drawn a blank in the state.
 
The Congress has to date announced 26 candidates for Uttar Pradesh. Her brother Rahul Gandhi is contesting from Amethi, while her mother Sonia Gandhi will contest from Rae Bareli seat.
 
Polling in the Lok Sabha elections will be held in seven phases between April 11 and May 19. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.
 
IANS
 

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Prayagraj Kumbh concludes with bathing festival of Maha Shivratri

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The nearly two-month-long Prayagraj Kumbh has concluded with its sixth bathing festival on Maha Shivratri on Monday.
 
The Prayagraj Kumbh attracted more than 24 crore bathers on different bathing festivals including Makar Sankranti, Paush Purnima, Mauni Amavasya, Vasant Panchami, Maghi Purnima and Maha Shivratri. 
 
For the first time in the history of Prayagraj Kumbh, an unprecedented rush of devotees was witnessed throughout the Mela period. 
 
Maha Shivratri, the sixth and the last bathing festival of Prayagraj Kumbh, was celebrated yesterday with religious fervour and enthusiasm. A large number of devotees thronged the Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, braving the chill and rain from midnight. 
 
Prayagraj Mela Authority has said that above 1.10 crore devotees took the holy dip on the occasion. The Mela administration had developed eight ghats spread over eight km at Sangam and other areas of the Mela for the pilgrims. 
 
As many as 27 special trains and thousands of buses were put into service to ferry the devotees. Elaborate security arrangements were in place in and around the Mela area. Several dignitaries including Union and State Ministers took the holy dip on the occasion. 
 
The Mela was spread over 3200 hectares divided into 20 sectors. As many as 20 pontoon bridges were erected on the river Ganga to connect the different sectors. For the first time, Prayagraj Kumbh successfully put its name in Guinness Book of World Records in three fields including sanitation and cleaning, traffic plan and mob management and “paint your city”. 
 
Representatives of the World Record Book visited the Mela and observed the proceedings for three days. They have handed over three certificates to the Mela Authority in this regard. 
 
For the first time, the President, the Vice-President, the Prime Minister, Union Ministers, Governors and Chief Ministers and State Ministers not only visited the Kumbh but also took the holy dip at Sangam. 
 
Similarly, representatives of 72 countries put up their national flags at Kumbh and more than 3500 representatives from different countries visited the Mela. Thousands of non-resident Indians (NRIs) also visited the Kumbh and took a holy dip. The Prime Minister of Mauritius with his wife visited the Kumbh and took a holy dip and met the saints.
 
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Modi honours sanitation workers, addresses Swachh Kumbh, Swachh Aabhaar programme

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a dip in the waters of the Sangam and conducted “Charan Vandana” by washing the feet of sanitation workers, as a mark of respect to their efforts in ensuring a clean Kumbh here today.
 
Speaking at the “Swachh Kumbh, Swachh Aabhaar” event later, Modi described all those who have been involved in ensuring the best of arrangements for the devotees gathering at Prayagraj for the Kumbh as “Karma Yogis.” 
 
In this context, he mentioned the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF), the boatmen, the local population and the sanitation workers.
 
Noting that more than 21 crore people have visited the Kumbh over the last few weeks, he said the sanitation workers have shown that nothing is impossible. 
 
He said they are the most deserving, for all the appreciation that the Kumbh got this year. He said the moments when he offered Charan Vandana to some sanitation workers would always remain etched in his memory.
 
On the occasion, he also announced a Swachh Seva Samman Kosh, to help the sanitation workers and their families in times of need.
 
Referring to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, he noted that the scheme for a clean India was making rapid progress. The country was moving towards becoming Open Defecation Free (ODF) before the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, on October 2 this year.
 
Cleanliness of the River Ganga has also been the subject of much discussion this year and he said he had witnessed it at first-hand today. This was a result of the efforts of Namaami Gange programme and the Union Government, he said.
 
Drains discharging waste into the river were being blocked and sewage treatment plants were being built. He said that a few days ago, he received the Seoul Peace Prize, which included an amount of about Rs 1.30 crore. He has donated that amount towards the Namaami Gange Mission. 
 
The gifts and mementoes he has received as Prime Minister have also been auctioned and their proceeds have also gone towards this programme, he added.
 
The Prime Minister had a special word of appreciation for the boatmen (Naviks) involved in Kumbh as well. He also noted that for the first time since independence, pilgrims arriving for Kumbh had a chance to visit the Akshay Vat, connected with the legend of Markandeya Rishi.
 
He thanked everyone present in the gathering for fulfilling his vision of a Kumbh that was a blend of spirituality, faith and modernity. He also appreciated the role being played by the Uttar Pradesh Police in this regard.
 
The Prime Minister said the arrangements made for Kumbh this year included the development of vital infrastructure, which will continue to serve the city, even after the Kumbh Mela is over.
 
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UP Cabinet meets at Kumbh for first time, decides on 600 km Ganga Expressway

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For the first time ever, the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet held a meeting at Prayagraj Kumbh today and decided, among other things, to construct a 600 km-long Ganga Expressway from Meerut to Prayagraj at a cost of Rs. 36,000 crore.
 
The project is expected to provide better connectivity from the Western UP districts to Prayagraj, a press release said.
 
Before chairing the meeting, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath offered worship at the Hanuman Temple at Sangam and visited Akshaya Vat. 
 
Most of the Cabinet Ministers, including Deputy Chief Ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, attended the meeting.
 
After the meeting, the Chief Minister took a holy dip at Sangam, the confluence of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati,  along with his cabinet colleagues and visited his Nath sect to meet saints and seers. 
 
Talking to media persons, Adityanath extended his government's gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union Government for extending great cooperation in organising Divya and Bhavya Kumbh at Prayagraj. 
 
The undisrupted flow of clean water in river Ganga was the result of the attempt made by the Prime Minister, he said. In 2013, then Mauritius Prime Minister had visited the Prayagraj Kumbh but he did not take a holy dip due to pollution in the river. 
 
This year, not only did the Mauritius Prime Minister take a holy dip, but more than 3000 Pravasi Bharatitas also took the dip. It has happened only due to the cleaning of the river Ganga, he said.
 
He said the Cabinet also approved a proposal for the Gorakhpur link road project connecting Azamgarh and Ambedkarnagar with Purvanchal Expressway. An amount of Rs 5,555 crore will be spent on this project. 
 
The Cabinet also decided to exempt the film Uri from State GST as it promoted patriotism by highlighting the sacrifice of soldiers.
 
The Cabinet also decided to set up a statue of Nishadraj at Sringverpur at Prayagraj and develop the Ashram of Maharshi Valmiki at Chitrakoot, the release added.
 
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Kovind to visit Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj on Thursday, inaugurate Gandhian Insurgence Summit

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President Ram Nath Kovind will visit Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh tomorrow and also inaugurate a two-day Gandhian Resurgence Summit at the camp of Parmarth Niketan Ashram at Arail side of the Mela.  
 
Before addressing the summit, Mr. Kovind will perform Puja at Sangam and meet the saints and seers camping in the Mela, an official press release said. He will also unveil the statue of Maharshi Bharadwaj. 
 
Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will be amongst those present on the occasion.
 
The release said the Kumbh Mela is not only witnessing religious and spiritual activities but also generating awareness on cleanliness.
 
The Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural) has set up a high tech exhibition in Sector 6 of the Mela at Prayagraj. It contains digital platforms on themes of  Mahatma Gandhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and  Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. It also has success stories on cleanliness. 
 
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Government launches special weather services for Kumbh Mela

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Union Minister of Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan has launched special weather services for the benefit of people visiting Prayagraj during Kumbh Mela. 
 
Speaking at the launch here yesterday, the Minister stated that to provide information of the prevailing weather and forecasts for the next three days, four Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) have been installed at four different locations at Prayagraj and made operational. 
 
A mobile van (AWS) has also been made operational. “The real-time location-specific weather information will not only be very helpful for the local and state authorities in the efficient management of the entire event but also benefit the pilgrims by keeping them abreast of the latest weather information,” he said.
 
He also launched a mobile application named "Kumbh Mela Weather Service" developed to disseminate the live weather information (temperature, humidity, rainfall and winds) as observed in all four sites. 
 
In addition, the mobile app will also provide weather forecast and warnings if any for Prayagraj for the next three days. The Mobile App will be available for downloading from Google Store.
 
The observational sites are distributed in all four directions within 5-10 km radius and are located at: Allahabad University, Delhi Public School, G. B. Pant Institute of Social Science and Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences (SHUATS).
 
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Special arrangements for “Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas” delegates at Kumbh Mela

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Special arrangements have been made for delegates attending the “Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas”-- the high-profile convention of non-resident Indians (NRIs) and persons of Indian origin (PIOs) -- at the Kumbh Mela here.
 
The 15th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas is scheduled to commence in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh on January 21. Around 10,000 participants are expected to attend the convention. 
 
The delegates will arrive in Prayagraj on January 24 to be the part of ongoing largest spiritual gathering on earth, the Kumbh, where arrangements are in place for holy bathing at Sangam. 
 
From there the delegates will travel to Delhi to witness the 70th Republic Day event.
 
Ganga Mahotsav, an annual cultural event showcasing culture and heritage, is being also organised during January 21 to 23 at Ganga Ghats by the Uttar Pradesh government. 
 
Ganga Arti at Ghat of Kashi is well known among tourists. A special area has been reserved for PBD guests to enable them to witness and enjoy various events at the venues.
 
Varanasi has geared up to welcome delegates from all over the world who will participate in “Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas”.
 
"This vibrant and colourful convention is meant to strengthen the engagement of the overseas Indian community with the Union Government and reconnect them with their roots," an official press release said.
 
This will be the 15th edition of the Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas (PBD) organized at an interval of two years now, though it was originally an annual event.
 
During the Convention, selected overseas Indians are also honoured with the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award to recognize their contributions to various fields both in India and abroad.
 
The theme of PBD Convention 2019 is "Role of Indian Diaspora in building New India". The venue will be the Trade Facilitation Centre (TFC) and Craft Museum at Bada Lalpur in Varanasi. 
 
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SpiceJet introduces new flight connecting Delhi to Prayagraj

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Low-cost carrier SpiceJet has announced special daily flights to be operated during the Maha Kumbh Mela between Prayagraj (Allahabad) in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
 
The airline has also announced a host of other new non-stop flights and frequencies connecting Hyderabad to Ahmedabad, Bagdogra and Goa. 
 
The flights on the Delhi-Prayagraj (Allahabad) sector are scheduled to operate from January 6, 2019 to March 30, 2019 while the other flights will start from January 10, 2019.
 
Of the eight new direct flights, the ones between Delhi and Prayagraj and Hyderabad and Goa will operate on all day, while they will be operational on all days of the week except Sundays on other routes.
 
The airline will deploy its Boeing 737 – 700 aircraft on the Delhi- Prayagraj-Delhi route while all the other sectors will be served by Boeing 737 – 800 aircraft, a press release from the airline said.
 
Shilpa Bhatia, Chief Sales & Revenue Officer - SpiceJet, said, “We are delighted to introduce a new flight on the Delhi-Prayagraj route. The city stands testimonial to India’s glorious history and rich cultural heritage besides being a key pilgrim destination. And we are sure that this flight and the other flights introduced from Hyderabad and Ahmedabad will offer added options and convenience to our customers.”
 
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IndiGo starts operations on Allahabad-Bengaluru route

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Low-cost carrier IndiGo today introduced non-stop flights between Allahabad and Bengaluru, making the sector the sixth Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) route and the 60th destination on the airline's network.
 
IndiGo’s other RCS routes are Hubli- Ahmedabad; Hubli-Chennai; Hubli-Goa; Hubli-Kochi; and Kolkata- Jorhat.
 
The inaugural flight on the new route was operated from Bengaluru to Allahabad.
 
William Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo said, “We are pleased to announce Allahabad as our 60th destination effective this November 2018. Allahabad is a key market for us and the fourth strategic launch in Uttar Pradesh after Lucknow, Varanasi and Gorakhpur on IndiGo’s network. We are strengthening our network from the state and hope to create more affordable, point-to-point connectivity for our passengers."
 
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Allahabad now officially renamed Prayagraj

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Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh will now on be officially known as Prayagraj.
 
A decision to this effect was ratified by the Uttar Pradesh cabinet at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday.
 
Briefing the media, government spokesman and Health Minister Siddhartha Nath Singh said the decision was taken keeping in mind the rich cultural, historic and religious heritage of the city.
 
He added that the name Prayagraj was found mentioned in ancient Hindu scriptures.
 
Adityanath had made the announcement in Allahabad on Saturday. Allahabad will host 'Ardh Kumbh' in January. 
 
The cabinet also took 12 major decisions including allocation of funds for seven medical colleges in the state and assimilation of 23 villages under the 'sadar' tehsil in Lalitpur district.
 
To encourage milk production, the cabinet approved a proposal for granting 'Nand Baba Award' to farmers who excel in milk production. 
 
IANS
 

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2019 Indian diaspora conclave to be bigger affair

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The 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), the External Affairs Ministry-organised conclave of Indian diaspora, to be held in Varanasi from January 21 to 23, 2019, will be a bigger affair than all the past editions with a couple of more programmes being added, it was announced on Saturday.
 
Speaking at the launch of the official website for the event here, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that in addition to attending the three-day PBD in Varanasi, the participants will also be taken to Allahabad where the Kumbh Mela will be going on then and then brought to New Delhi for the Republic Day celebrations.
 
Giving details of the programme, Sushma Swaraj said that on January 21, a Youth PBD will be held where Himanshu Gulati, an Indian-origin member of parliament of Norway will be the chief guest and Kanwaleet Singh Bakshi, also an Indian-origin member of parliament of New Zealand will be the guest of honour.
 
On January 22, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the main event with Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Jugnauth, who is also of Indian-origin, attending as the chief guest.
 
The event will conclude on January 23 with a valedictory session that will be addressed by President Ram Nath Kovind.
 
During the session, the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman will be conferred on 30 Indian-origin individuals for their exceptional and meritorious contributions in their chosen fields or professions. 
 
"On January 24, we will take the participants to Prayagraj (as Allahabad is also known) for the Kumbh Mela, which has been inscribed on the Unesco's Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity," Sushma Swaraj said.
 
Following this, the participants will be brought to New Delhi by special trains to take part in the Republic Day celebrations on January 26.
 
After being an annual event for 13 consecutive years starting in 2003 at the initiative of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, PBD was turned into a biannual affair after the 2015 edition in Gandhinagar.
 
After the 2017 edition held in Bengaluru, the External Affairs Ministry has now roped in Uttar Pradesh as the partner state with Varanasi as the host city.
 
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Giving the rationale behind turning PBD into a biannual affair, Sushma Swaraj said that after the 2015 edition, she realised that PBD was not yielding much in terms of results as an annual affair.
 
"So, I suggested to the Prime Minister that it should be held every two years with the intervening year being used to hold meetings with groups of diaspora members on various issues and he agreed," she said.
 
Though the earlier editions were three-day affairs ending on January 9, the day Mahatma Gandhi returned from South Africa, on January 9, 2019, PBD will be observed in Indian missions across the world.
 
With the launch of the website, registration for PBD 2019 has started effective from September 15 and will continue till November 15 when the process will close.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh said that more participation is expected in the Varanasi event than the last one in Bengaluru.
 
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who was also present, recalled his participation in the mini PBD held in Mauritius in 2012 and said that with the 2019 PBD being held in Varanasi, many participants will be able to trace their roots back in India.
 
Many of the people of Indian origin in Mauritius are descendants of people taken from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar during the time of the British Raj to work as indentured labour on the sugarcane plantations on the Indian Ocean island nation.
 
IANS
 

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Jet Airways links Allahabad with Lucknow, Patna with Udan flights

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Full-service carrier Jet Airways has commenced services under UDAN, the Government's Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), by linking Allahabad with Lucknow and Patna.
 
Of the seven sectors that Jet Airways has been awarded in the second round of bidding under the UDAN scheme, the airline is launching five this week, including Lucknow-Allahabad-Lucknow, Patna-Allahabad-Patna, Nagpur-Allahabad-Nagpur, Indore-Allahabad-Indore, and Delhi–Nashik-Delhi.
 
A press release from the airline said services on the remaining two routes -- Lucknow–Bareilly–Lucknow and Delhi-Bareilly-Delhi -- are expected to be launched in the coming days, once necessary clearances and approvals have been received for the Bareilly airport.
 
Jet Airways will deploy its 72-seater ATR aircraft on the RCS routes that connect Allahabad with various other destinations in its network. Operating thrice a week, the new routes will offer Allahabad a 6 day/ week connectivity, complementing the existing connectivity to/from the city.
 
The new flights will offer two-way connections to Mumbai from Allahabad via Nagpur/Indore/Lucknow. Similarly, the flights offer two-way connections to Bengaluru from Allahabad via Indore/Patna. Guests also have the choice to connect to Pune and Ahmedabad from Allahabad, via Indore. Likewise, the flight will also connect to Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Jaipur and Abu Dhabi from Allahabad via Lucknow, allowing guests to connect through Abu Dhabi over Lucknow to multiple international destinations in Europe, North America, Africa, Middle East and the Gulf, enhancing the global connectivity from India’s emerging metros, the release said.
 
Aside from Abu Dhabi – Jet Airways’ gateway in the Gulf and home of its strategic partner Etihad Airways, guests traveling to Europe and North America can also take advantage of the airline’s excellent connectivity to over 100 destinations in Europe and over 200 in North America, made available via its codeshare partnerships with leading airlines including Air France-KLM, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic via its gateways at Amsterdam, Paris and London Heathrow, the release added.
 
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New tri-weekly Allahabad-Anand Vihar Humsafar Express introduced

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The Indian Railways has introduced a new Humsafar Express train that will ply thrice a week between Allahabad and Anand Vihar in  New Delhi.
 
The train service was inaugurated by Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha from Allahabad station here yesterday.
 
The train number 22437 will run from Allahabad to Anand Vihar Terminus on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2220 hours to reach its destination at 0615 hours.  On the way, it will halt at Kanpur Central at 0040 hours and depart at 0045 hours.
 
Train number 22438 will depart Anand Vihar Terminus at 2240 hours on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays to reach Allahabad at 0610 hours. It will stop for 5 minutes at Kanpur Central at 0340 hours, departing at 0345 hours.    
 
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Ambedkar statue vandalised in Allahabad

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A statue of Dalit icon Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was vandalised in Allahabad on Saturday, police said.
 
The statue with its head chopped off was found by residents at a park in the city's Trivenipuram locality.
 
"We are aware of the matter and are trying to locate the suspects," Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Allahabad Aakash Kulhari told IANS.
 
He said a case has been registered and ruled out any tension in the area following the incident. 
 
A similar incident took place in Meerut on March 7.
 
IANS
 
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Kovind lays foundation stone of Nyaya Gram Project of High Court of Allahabad

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President Ram Nath Kovind laid the foundation stone of the Nyaya Gram project of the High Court of Allahabad here yesterday.
 
Speaking on the occasion, he said freedom of the judiciary is a cornerstone of the country's democracy. India’s credibility is enhanced by a fearless and independent judiciary, he said.
 
The President said that citizens have faith in the judiciary. And yet common people tend to avoid knocking on its door. It is important to change this situation. 
 
"On all of us lies the responsibility of providing justice on time, making the justice system less expensive, providing judgments in a language understandable to the common citizen, and ensuring justice for women and weaker sections in society," he said.
 
Mr. Kovind said that it is necessary to strengthen judicial infrastructure. He expressed hope that the Nyaya Gram project would prove to be a milestone in fulfilling the requirements of the Allahabad High Court.
 
He said that training of judicial officers is very important to improve the efficiency and quality of the lower courts. He noted that there is a plan to establish a judicial academy on the Nyaya Gram campus. He expressed confidence that this judicial academy will make a significant contribution to the capacity of the lower judiciary in Uttar Pradesh.
 
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Kovind urges educational institutions to help find solutions to problems related to their surroundings

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Stressing that education was the foundation of the country, President Ram Nath Kovind said here yesterday that true education, apart from providing technical skills, made people aware of their responsibilities towards society by building an ethical character.
 
"And this is the real contribution of education to the nation," he said in his address at the 14th convocation of the Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (MNNIT) here.
 
Mr. Kovind said that, if students use their talent and knowledge in everyday life, they will be able to advance their prospects in a balanced and rounded manner and also contribute to society. 
 
He said that MNNIT should help find comprehensive solutions to problems related to its surroundings. 
 
"For instance, its students could contribute to the Namami Gange campaign by making technical suggestions," he said.
 
He was also happy to note that MNNIT has set up an Entrepreneurship Cell, the aim of which is to produce job creators. 
 
Mr. Kovind expressed happiness at the fact that since 2007 the Institute has the status of an “Institute of National Importance”. He noted that talented students from this institution are contributing impressively across the country and abroad. 
 
MNNIT, he said, should now set itself the goal of figuring in global rankings of best technology institutions.
 
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Kovind to pay two-day visit to Uttar Pradesh on December 15-16

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President Ram Nath Kovind will visit Lucknow and Allahabad during a two-day visit to Uttar Pradesh on December 15-16.
 
Tomorrow, Mr. Kovind will commence his engagements by paying tributes at the mortal remains of Boudh Bikshu Bhadant Pragyanandji in Lucknow. Later in the day, the President will grace the 7th convocation of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University and inaugurate Ambedkar Bhawan in Lucknow.
 
On the same day, the President will reach Allahabad and pay tributes at the statue of freedom fighter Chandra Shekhar Azad at Chandra Shekhar Azad Park, Allahabad. He will also attend the 14th convocation of Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad.
 
On December 16, the President will lay the foundation stone of the ‘Nyaya-Gram’ project of the High Court of Allahabad, before returning to Delhi, an official press release added.
 
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Three dead, 10 injured as Vasco da Gama-Patna Express derails near Manikpur in UP

 
3 dead, 10 injured as Vasco da Gama-Patna Express derails in UP
Three people died and ten others suffered injuries as 13 coaches of the 12741 Vasco Da Gama-Patna Express derailed near Manikpur railway station in Chitrakoot district of Uttar Pradesh early this morning.
 
The accident occurred at around 0418 hours when the train was passing through Manikpur railway station in Allahabad division of North-Central Railway, about 250 km from here, after passing the starter signal, railway sources said.
 
The injured were admitted to hospitals at Manikpur and Chitrakoot, they said.
 
All the stranded passengers were moved to Allahabad in the unaffected coaches of the train, which left at 0725 hours from the spot. 
 
A special train will be arranged from Allahabad for the passengers of the affected coaches to travel to Patna, the sources said.
 
The derailed coaches were the ninth to the 22nd coaches -- S3 to S11, two general coaches and two extra coaches, the sources said.
 
Uttar Pradesh Police identified two of the deceased passengers as Deepak Patel and his father Ram Swaroop of Betiya, Bihar. Both of them died on the spot, while a third passenger succumbed to his injuries in hospital, they said.
 
An accident relief train from Allahabad was rushed to the spot and senior railway officers had reached there to oversee rescue and relief operations.
 
Movement of trains on the Patna-Allahabad section was affected for some time as a consequence of the accident. The Railways said normal traffic had been restored on the route, with the first Up train passing through Manikpur at 0810 hours and Dn train at 0835 hours.
 
The Railways announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 5 lakh for the next-of-kin of those who died in the accident, Rs. 1 lakh for those with  grievous injuries and Rs. 50,000 for those with simple injuries.
 
The Railways have set up the following helplines for passengers and their relatives:
 
Allahabad 0532-2408149/2408128/2407353
Patna  0612-2206967
Mirzapur 05442-220095/ 220096
Jabalpur 0761-2677746
Mughalsarai 05412 - 254148
Satna 07672 - 228510
Katni 07622-297468
 
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Talwars return home, after acquittal in murder of their daughter Arushi, help Hemraj

Four days after the Allahabad High Court acquitted them of the sensational murder of their 14-year-old daughter Arushi and domestic help Hemraj Banjade on the night of May 15-16, 2008, dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar walked out free from the Dasna jail and returned home to Noida on Monday.

 
Rajesh, Nupur Talwar return home after acquittal in Arushi muder case
Four days after the Allahabad High Court acquitted them of the sensational murder of their 14-year-old daughter Arushi and domestic help Hemraj Banjade on the night of May 15-16, 2008, dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar walked out free from the Dasna jail near here and returned home to Noida.
 
The High Court, while acquitting the Talwars, who had spent four years in prison after being convicted by the trial court, had said that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had not been able to conclusively prove their guilty.
 
The much-awaited judgement overturned the verdict of a special CBI court in Ghaziabad which had, on November 26, 2013, sentenced the couple to life imprisonment after holding them guilty of the twin murders.
 
The release of the Talwars took some days as the jail authorities had to receive a copy of the court verdict, delivered on October 12, and complete various other formalities.
 
The Talwars' release was delayed because a copy of that verdict had not been delivered to the jail last week. The Talwars have asked for police protection, citing an earlier attack on Rajesh Talwar at the Ghaziabad court.
 
There was a large crowd waiting outside the Dasna prison  in Ghaziabad as Dr. Rajesh Talwar and his wife Nupur stepped out of jail, holding bags, even as scores of cameras recorded the moment in a case that has captured the imagination of people across the country.
 
From the prison, the Talwars drove straight to Dr. Nupur Talwar's parents' home in Noida, not far from their own flat where Arushi and Hemraj were found with their throats slit on May 16, 2008. Police had provided tight security to them in view of an earlier attack on Dr. Rajesh Talwar at the Ghaziabad court. There was a large crowd outside their Noida home this evening when  they arrived from jail.
 
Members of the Talwars' family as well as their lawyers pleaded with journalists to respect their privacy so that they could rebuid their lives after nine years of suffering.
 
Media reports said the couple had promised to visit the prison every fortnight to treat prisoners. During their four years in prison, they had helped revive the dental department at the prison hospital and treated other prisoners as well as the staff, police officers and their families without charging anything.
 
However, the mystery continues about who murdered the teenager and Hemraj in a case that has evoked tremendous interest across the nation and has been the subject of a book and also a Hindi movie.
 
The two-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court, comprising Justices B. K. Narayana and A. K. Mishra, upheld the appeals filed by the Talwars against the Ghaziabad court's order, saying they could not be held guilty on the basis of the evidence on record.
 
They said the prosecution's hypothesis that the parents were the only other people in the house at the time of the murder and nobody else had entered or left the house during that period could not be proved.
 
“Nupur and Rajesh Talwar should be forthwith released because the entire evidence supplied by the prosecution counsel was not sufficient and the chain of circumstances could not be established,” Justice Narayana said in his verdict.
 
The Ghaziabad court had given Dr. Rajesh Talwar and Dr. Nupur Talwar life imprisonment under section 302 and five years in jail under section 201 (destruction of evidence).
 
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Dr Rajesh Talwar was also sentenced to one year in prison under section 203 for misleading the police by filing a "fake" first information report (FIR) about his daughter's murder.
 
Aarushi was found murdered in her room in the Talwars' residence at Jal Vayu Vihar in Noida, near here, in the morning of May 16, 2008 after being killed sometime during the previous night, just days before her 14th birthday.
 
Initially, Hemraj, who was missing, was suspected to be behind the murder but the case took a major twist when, on the next day, his body was found on the terrace of the Talwars' apartment building. Hemraj had clearly been murdered in the same way as Aarushi was, and at the same time.
 
After initially being investigated by the Noida police, the case was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which accused the Talwars of commiting the murder and destruction of evidence.
 
The couple had always maintained they were held for a crime they had not committed and had said at that time they would appeal in the Allahabad High Court against the Ghaziabad court's verdict.
 
The case, which has witnessed several twists and turns over the past nine years, had also attracted unprecedented media attention. In August 2009, the Supreme Court had restrained the media from sensational or scandalous reporting of the case.
 
Dr Rajesh Talwar had, immediately after the discovery of the body of Aarushi, lodged a complaint with the police in which he said he suspected the missing servant Hemraj of the murder. Both Aarushi's and Hemraj's bodies had injuries caused by a blunt weapon and their throats had been slit in a similar manner.
 
In December 2010, the CBI had filed a closure report, in which it ruled out involvement of the Talwar's other employees and making it clear that they suspected the dentist-couple of having killed their ddaughter. They cited various circumstantial evidence in this regard, but said there was an absence of a clear motive and an incomplete understanding of the sequence of events on that fateful night.
 
The agency urged special judicial magistrate Priti Singh to close the case, but she rejected the closure report and summoned Aarushi's parents as accused.
 
The Talwars moved petitions against the magistrate's orders before the Allahabad High Court and the Supreme Court and they also filed a review petition, which were all rejected.
 
The CBI said the manner which the throats of Aarushi and Hemraji had been slit pointed to the use of a surgical knife. It also said the injuries on their bodies were most likely caused by a golf club. Both these factors pointed to the Talwars, it said.
 
The Talwars, on the other hand, have been saying that their daughter was killed by three of their helpers who knew Hemraj well and often visited him at their home.
 
The CBI arrested the three men -- Krishna, Rajkumar, the domestic help of Talwars' neighbour and Vijay Mandal, the driver of the Talwars' neighbour --  in 2008 but released them later, saying it had found nothing against them.
 
In the initial investigation conducted by the Uttar Pradesh police, they suspected the dentist couple and had arrested Dr Rajesh Talwar on May 23, 2008.
 
Dr Rajesh Talwar is a dental surgeon, while his wife, who was born to a Maharashtrian family, is an orthodontist. They had met while studying at the Maulana Azad Medical College here and got married later. They had a fairly successful practice. Aarushi was their only daughter.
 
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Allahabad HC acquits Talwars in murder of their daughter Arushi, help Hemraj

The Allahabad High Court on Thursday acquitted dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in the case of the murder of their 14-year-old daughter Aarushi and help Hemraj Banjade on the night of May 15-16, 2008, giving them the benefit of doubt because the CBI had not been able to conclusively prove their guilt.

File photo of Drs. Rajesh and Nupur Talwar.
File photo of Drs. Rajesh and Nupur Talwar.
The Allahabad High Court today acquitted dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in the sensational case of the murder of their 14-year-old daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj Banjade on the night of May 15-16, 2008, giving them the benefit of doubt because the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had not been able to conclusively prove their guilt.
 
The much-awaited judgement has overturned the verdict of a special CBI court in Ghaziabad which had, on November 26, 2013 sentenced the couple to life imprisonment after holding them guilty of the twin murders.
 
However, at the end of the day, the mystery about who murdered the teenager and Hemraj in a case that has evoked tremendous interest across the nation and has been the subject of books and also a Hindi movie.
 
In their verdict today, pronounced before a packed court, Justices B. K. Narayana and A. K. Mishra upheld the appeals filed by the Talwars against the Ghaziabad court's order, saying they could not be held guilty on the basis of the evidence on record.
 
They said the prosecution's hypothesis that the parents were the only other people in the house at the time of the murder and nobody else had entered or left the house during that period could not be proved.
 
The judges said that this was a fit case where the benefit of doubt could be given to the appellants.
 
“Nupur and Rajesh Talwar should be forthwith released because the entire evidence supplied by the prosecution counsel was not sufficient and the chain of circumstances could not be established,” Justice Narayana said in his verdict.
 
 
The Ghaziabad court had given Dr. Rajesh Talwar and Dr. Nupur Talwar life imprisonment under section 302 and five years in jail under section 201 (destruction of evidence).
 
Dr Rajesh Talwar was also sentenced to one year in prison under section 203 for misleading the police by filing a "fake" first information report (FIR) about his daughter's murder.
 
Aarushi was found murdered in her room in the Talwars' residence at Jal Vayu Vihar in Noida, near here, in the morning of May 16, 2008 after being killed sometime during the previous night, just days before her 14th birthday.
 
Initially, Hemraj, who was missing, was suspected to be behind the murder but the case took a major twist when, on the next day, his body was found on the terrace of the Talwars' apartment building. 
 
Hemraj had clearly been murdered in the same way as Aarushi was, and at the same time.
 
 
Aarushi murder case: Allahabad HC acquits Rajesh, Nupur Talwar
After initially being investigated by the Noida police, the case was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which accused the Talwars of commiting the murder and destruction of evidence.
 
The couple had always maintained they were held for a crime they had not committed and had said at that time they would appeal in the Allahabad High Court against the Ghaziabad court's verdict.
 
The case, which has witnessed several twists and turns over the past nine years, had also attracted unprecedented media attention. In August 2009, the Supreme Court had restrained the media from sensational or scandalous reporting of the case.
 
Dr Rajesh Talwar had, immediately after the discovery of the body of Aarushi, lodged a complaint with the police in which he said he suspected the missing servant Hemraj of the murder. Both Aarushi's and Hemraj's bodies had injuries caused by a blunt weapon and their throats had been slit in a similar manner.
 
In December 2010, the CBI had filed a closure report, in which it ruled out involvement of the Talwar's other employees and making it clear that they suspected the dentist-couple of having killed their ddaughter. They cited various circumstantial evidence in this regard, but said there was an absence of a clear motive and an incomplete understanding of the sequence of events on that fateful night.
 
The agency urged special judicial magistrate Priti Singh to close the case, but she rejected the closure report and summoned Aarushi's parents as accused.
 
The Talwars moved petitions against the magistrate's orders before the Allahabad High Court and the Supreme Court and they also filed a review petition, which were all rejected.
 
The CBI said the manner which the throats of Aarushi and Hemraji had been slit pointed to the use of a surgical knife. It also said the injuries on their bodies were most likely caused by a golf club. Both these factors pointed to the Talwars, it said.
 
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The Talwars, on the other hand, have been saying that their daughter was killed by three of their helpers who knew Hemraj well and often visited him at their home.
 
The CBI arrested the three men -- Krishna, Rajkumar, the domestic help of Talwars' neighbour and Vijay Mandal, the driver of the Talwars' neighbour --  in 2008 but released them later, saying it had found nothing against them.
 
In the initial investigation conducted by the Uttar Pradesh police, they suspected the dentist couple and had arrested Dr Rajesh Talwar on May 23, 2008.
 
Dr Rajesh Talwar is a dental surgeon, while his wife, who was born to a Maharashtrian family, is an orthodontist. They had met while studying at the Maulana Azad Medical College here and got married later. They had a fairly successful practice. Aarushi was their only daughter.
 
The couple is learnt to have followed proceedings of the Allahabad High Court today on television news channels in the Dasna prison in Ghaziabad, where they have been lodged. Later, they are understood to have broken into tears of joy after hearing news of the verdict. They are expected to be released from prison tomorrow after a copy of the judgement reaches the jail authorities and formaliteis are completed.
 
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Turtle Sanctuary to be set up in Allahabad

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The Government has approved the development of a turtle sanctuary in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, along with a River Biodiversity Park, at Sangam under the Namami Gange programme.
 
An official press release said setting up of the sanctuary and park would help protect the rich aquatic biodiversity of river Ganga from escalating anthropogenic pressures.
 
The project, at an estimated cost of Rs 1.34 crore, would include the development of River Biodiversity Park at Sangam (confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Sarasvati).
 
The Turtle Rearing Centre involves setting up a permanent nursery at Triveni Pushp and makeshift annual hatcheries. Steps would be taken to spread awareness about the importance of river Ganga and imperativeness of its conservation, the release said.
 
The project will provide a much-needed platform to make the visitors aware of their place in the ecosystem and their roles and responsibilities.
 
It would also improve their understanding of the complexity of co-existence and help generate awareness for reducing the impact of human activities on critical natural resources.
 
The task of disseminating knowledge about river Ganga will be taken up in this project, which is 100% centrally funded.
 
The sustenance of more than 2000 aquatic species including threatened gharials, dolphins and turtles in river Ganga exemplifies the rich biodiversity of this lifeline to over 40% of the country’s population.
 
Rivers Ganga and Yamuna at Allahabad are home to some of the most endangered fauna like turtles (Batagur kachuga, Batagur dhongoka, Nilssonia gangetica, Chitra indica, Hardella thurjii etc.), the National Aquatic Animal - Gangetic dolphin (Platanista gangetica), the Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) and numerous migratory and resident birds.
 
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AAI to develop new airport at Rajkot, add facilities at Lucknow, Deogarh, Allahabad airports

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The Airports Authority of India (AAI) will take up the work of development of a greenfield airport at Hirasar, Rajkot in Gujarat on build, operate and maintain basis.
 
The Government of Gujarat has provided land free of cost and proposed construction of the greenfield airport to meet the traffic potential of the Saurashtra region, as indicated by its high level of economic growth, an official press release said here today.
 
The release said the AAI would undertake new development works at Lucknow, Deogarh and Allahabad airports to improve infrastructure and meet growing traffic demands.
 
AAI plans to construct a new integrated passenger terminal building at Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport, Lucknow at an estimated cost of Rs. 1230 crore. Passenger traffic at this airport has grown steadily during the last five years. The new terminal will be able to handle 4000 passengers during peak hour and 6.35 million passengers per annum, it said.
 
At Deoghar in Jharkhand, AAI will develop the airport to facilitate joint use for civil operation up to Airbus-320 and DRDO operation up to C-130 type of aircraft, the release said.
 
The work will be carried out at an estimated cost of Rs. 401.34 crore on fixed cost basis and Rs. 427.43 crore on completion cost basis. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Government of Jharkhand, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and AAI in March, 2017. As per the MoU, there will be financial input to the tune of Rs. 50 crore by Government of Jharkhand, Rs. 200 crore by DRDO and balance cost by AAI. 
 
To meet the demand of increasing air travel in Allahabad, a new civil enclave at will be developed by AAI at an estimated cost of Rs. 125.76 crore. The new terminal is to be made operational before the ‘Ardh Kumbh Mela’ to be held in January 2019. 
 
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43 injured as 12 coaches of Kaifiyat Express derail in Auraiya district of UP

 
43 injured as Kaifiyat Express derails in UP
At least 43 passengers suffered injuries when 12 coaches and the engine of the 12225 Azamgarh-Delhi Kaifiyat Express derailed in Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh after a dumper collided with the train at an unauthorised crossing in the early hours of today.
 
The dumper was attempting to cross the tracks at a place where crossings are not allowed when it stalled and was hit by the engine of the train, resulting in the derailment, between Pata and Achalda stations on the Kanpur-Tundla section of Allahabad Division of North Central Railway, official sources said.
 
Today's accident has occurred just four days after 21 passengers died and 97 others suffered injuries when 14 of the 23 coaches of the 18477 Utkal Express, from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, derailed at Khatauli, about 25 km from Muzzafarnagar, in Uttar Pradesh, last Saturday evening.
 
North Central Railway spokesman Gaurav Krishna Bansal told NetIndian over the telephone that 43 passengers had suffered injuries and were taken to nearby hospitals. Of them, four had serious injuries while 39 had received "simple injuries", he said.
 
Railway officials from nearby stations, including Allahabad, Kanpur and Etawah, have rushed to the scene of the mishap to oversee relief operations.
 
Among others, the General Manager of North Central Railway and the Divisional Railway Manager, Allahabad have left for the scene, the sources said.
 
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Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu is monitoring the rescue and relief efforts and has directed senior officers to reach the site immediately, they said.
 
Mr. Bansal said work on restoration of normal rail traffic on the affected section was in progress and was expected to be completed soon.
 
Apart from railway officials and staff, district administration officials, police and other emergency services personnel rushed to the scene. A team from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was also sent to the spot.
 
Following the accident, the Railways have cancelled or diverted some trains, the sources said.
 
The Railways have set up the following helplines for the benefit of passengers and their relatives:
 
New Delhi: 011-23342954, 23341074
Delhi: 011-23962389, 23967332
Nizamuddin: 011-24359748
Anand Vihar 09717648382
Ghaziabad 09412715210
Allahabad: 0532-1072, 220095, 220096, 220097
Etawah-05688-1072, 266382, 266383
Lucknow-0522-2237677, 9794830975
Faizabad-05278-222603
Kanpur-0512-1072, 2323015, 2323016, 2323018
Aligarh-0571-1072, 2403458, 2403055
Tundla-05612-1072, 220337, 220338, 220339
Shahganj-9794839010
Allahabad-0532-1072, 2408149, 2408128, 2407353
Fatehpur-05180-1072, 222025, 222026, 222436
Hathras: 05722-107200, 242741, 242742, 242803
Khurja: 05738-1072, 253084, 253085, 253308
Chuna: 05443-1072, 222487, 222137, 290049
Mirzapur: 05442-1072, 220095, 220096, 220097
 
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