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CM Vijay Rupani reviews Ahd Metro project work

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AHMEDABAD: Gujarat chief minister on Wednesday reviewed the progress of the Rail project near its underground site and directed the authorities to complete the Metro’s stretch from Vastral Gam to Apparel Park on priority basis and start its trial run in January 2019.

Rupani was told that the viaduct atop the pillars on Vastral-Apparel Park stretch has been completed, while work is in progress for the track and traction, as well as on six stations on this stretch.

While 33.5km of the 40km Metro lines will be elevated, 6.5km will be underground.

Since the underground portion of the Metro passes through the old city’s crowded areas with people living in old structures, Rupani directed the authorities to ensure no damage to the people’s property and existing structures, and least inconvenience to people’s movement.

He said the Centre has approved the project as it passes through ten protected monuments falling under this route.

The Metro is envisaged as an alternative to Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s growing traffic problem for public transportation. Out of Rs 10,700 crore project cost, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is extending Rs 6,000 crore loan.

There will be 32 stations on the Metro tracks being laid in two corridors – East-West and North-South. The two kilometre long viaduct on the western end of the East-West Corridor is ready, whereas work on another 2km stretch is under progress.

The work is in progress for another bridge being built across Sabarmati river near Gandhi Bridge from where the elevated viaduct will enter the tunnel near Shahpur beneath the old city area. Four Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) are working on two up and down tunnels, having completed 0.65km.
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BJP wants CM, others to join Atal‘s memorial service

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BHUBANESWAR: The BJP is planing a memorial service for former Prime Minister at the Exhibition Ground in Unit III on Friday. The party hopes that the service will be attended by members of all faiths and irrespective of political beliefs.
Given Vajpayee‘s acceptance across political divide, the party hopes it will allow people from all walks of life to pay homage to the former Prime Minister. “We appeal to everybody across the political divide to join in the memorial service,” BJP spokesperson Golak Mohapatra said at press conference here on Tuesday.

He also said the party plans to invite chief minister and BJD president to atend the memorial service. “We will send personal invitations to various political leaders including Naveen Patnak, presidents of various political parties, leader of opposition and prominent citizens. We hope all of them will attend the memorial service,” Mohapatra added.

It remains to be seen whether Naveen, who served as Union minister for steel and mines in the Vajpayee government from 1998 to 2000, attends the memorial service. Naveen had gone to Delhi to visit an ailing Vajpayee and had described him as one of the tallest leaders of the country.

Mohapatra said BJP state unit president Basanta Panda, Union ministers Jual Oram and Dharmendra Pradhan and BJP legislature party leader KV Singhdeo will reach here with the ‘asthi kalash‘ (urn) from Delhi on Wednesday evening. The ashes will be brought to the party office and kept there for people to pay homage before it is immersed in the Bay of Bengal.

The BJP is planning bhajan and kirtan at the party office throughout the night. The saffron outfit is mobilising people from its more than 800 organizational units to take part in the immersion and memorial service.

On Thursday morning, the BJP will take out a massive procession from Bhubaneswar to Puri to immerse the ashes in the Bay of Bengal. The procession will pass through Pipli, Danda Mukundpur, Sakhigopal, Chandanpur and Atharanala, Mohapatra said. There would be brief stopovers in these places for people to pay their respects to Vajpayee.

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Special drive to trace missing kids

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BHUBANESWAR: The state has decided to launch a month-long special drive to trace missing children from September 1. The drive will be executed under the banner of (angel).
“We have asked police in districts to form special squads to undertake the special drive, though the police stations look for missing children in normal days as well. While the police personnel will carry out the drive inside the state between September 1 and 15, they will conduct the search operations outside the state from September 16 to 30,” additional director general of police (Crime Branch) Santosh Upadhyay said.

Crime Branch sources said at least 1,792 minors, including nearly 900 , had gone missing in the state in 2016. An official source said 1,851 minors, including about 1,000 girls, went missing in 2017. Police said bulk of the cases involved elopement and engagement of children at several workplaces. Crime Branch said the rescue rate of missing children increased from 18.6% in 2011 to 80.43% in 2017.

“We often found the rescued children belonged to poor families and were sent by their parents to workplaces in the state and outside to earn money. Children were also rescued from houses where they were engaged as domestic helps, another cop said.

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State to put its best foot forward for Men‘s Hockey WC

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BHUBANESWAR: The state government has planned a massive campaign ahead of the Men‘s to showcase as developed, progressive and proactive through the mega sporting event.
Though the tournament is scheduled to be held from November 28 to December 16 at the here, the publicity campaign – which will be launched on August 29 – will showcase the state as the sports capital of the country, as a skill powerhouse, a tourism destination, a Smart City and a cultural hub, official sources said.

The campaign will be organized mainly in the cities of Bhubaneswar and , and some state capitals where hockey is popular. “We have planned to hold the campaign in 17 cities,” sports secretary Vishal Dev said. Some international celebrities are likely to be involved in the campaign, though the detailed programme is yet to be finalized.

The grand opening ceremony will be held on November 27 and it will showcase the state‘s culture and heritage. “To popularize hockey through music, entertainment, fashion and panel discussion, a campaign called ‘Heart Beats for Hockey‘ will be launched on August 29,” Dev said.

The digital campaign, which stars members of the national hockey team, urges the people to pledge their support for the game by saying, “My heart beats for hockey, does yours?” said an official source.

As the 100-day countdown for the event begins, Hockey India, and the sports department have also started a campaign on social media to promote it.

To facilitate live telecast of the match for those who cannot make it to the stadium, four large LED screens will be installed in the city. Sources said the Baramunda Ground, Janata Maidan, Idco Exhibition Ground and Ground would house the giant screens. Besides, the facility is expected to be extended to some district headquarters.

A fan zone has also been planned near the stadium where spectators will get an opportunity to meet the players and officials of various teams. It will also have a food and music zone. A replica of the World Cup will be installed near the stadium.

The state government will bear the expenses of the two camps for the Indian men‘s hockey team at Kalinga Stadium. The first camp will be held from September 16 to October 14, while the second will be from November 1 to 17.

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BJB authorities want cops on campus till union polls

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BHUBANESWAR: A day after clashes between two rival students‘ groups rocked BJB Autonomous College, the authorities on Tuesday said they would ask the government to deploy security personnel on its campus till the election was over. The election is supposed to be held next month. <br

Police on Hockey World Cup duty to get smart civvies

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BHUBANESWAR: Just like the capital city is getting a makeover ahead of men’s hockey at , the police headquarters too has decided to give a smart and sportive look to its personnel. The police personnel, who would be deployed in the stadium, would be given civvies especially track suits and safari clothes.
“We have decided to give smart civvies (track suits and safari clothes with police written behind the shirts) to our personnel, who would be deployed in stands. Khaki or olive-green uniform may symbolise military-like security, which we decided to avoid. While maximum deployment will be made outside the stadium, we will rely heavily on more than 150 CCTV cameras inside the sport venue. A control room will come up in the stadium to track footages of the cameras,” director general of police (DGP) R P Sharma told TOI. Sharma said those police personnel, who would be mobilized at the entry points of stadiums for frisking and crowd control, would be dressed in khaki. Besides, some police personnel would be deployed in plain clothes with concealed identity so that they keep an eye on suspicious movements and gather intelligence about mischievous activities, if any.

Sharma along with sports secretary Vishal Kumar Dev, commissioner of police (CP) Satyajit Mohanty, inspector general of police (law and order) Amitabh Thakur and deputy commissioner of police Anup Kumar Sahoo attended a security preparedness meeting in the state home department here on Tuesday.

Sharma said the police will set up at least five help desks at strategic locations in the city to address the grievances of visitors. “We plan to have those ‘may I help you’ kiosks near , hotels where players or delegates and tourists stay and outside the stadium. Our personnel will give a patient hearing to visitors in distress and help them. The help desks can also receive any kind of complaint from those, who came to watch the hockey matches, and coordinate with concerned police stations,” Sharma said.

CP Mohanty said at least 80 platoons of police force are likely to be garrisoned for smooth conduct of the men’s hockey world cup, starting from November 28 till December 16. Players and officials from 16 nations, including Pakistan are scheduled to participate in the mega event. Last month, commandos of (NSG) from Hyderabad conducted a security audit at Kalinga Stadium. The police headquarters is planning to request the NSG to deploy its commandos at Bhubaneswar till the completion of the international sport event.
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BMC plans yet another survey of city drains

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BHUBANESWAR: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation () on Tuesday decided to conduct a fresh survey to identify the original paths of the city‘s natural drainage channels. The survey will help it reclaim the land of the natural drains and take up renovation and expansion work accordingly.
In the first phase, drains 4, 7 and 10 would be surveyed, said (BDA) additional commissioner (enforcement) . “The survey will help us find exactly what is blocking the natural channels of the city,” said an officer of the BDA.

“After completion of the survey, eviction will resume in the catchment areas,” BMC drainage division executive engineer Pradip Sagar Duria said.

“To expand the drains in some areas, we will have to demolish private houses and reclaim private plots. Compensation will be accorded in proportion to the land used for the purpose,” said Duria. This will be done under Section 288 of the Municipal Corporation Act, 2003.

In future, the officer said, the people should first see that the land they are buying does not encroach upon drains. “We are saying this in the interests of the people. It is taxing for both the enforcement agencies and the people if a private land is found to have encroached on the drains,” a government officer said.

On Monday, seven families living in a house built on drain 4 were asked to leave. The building was then razed by a joint squad of the BDA and the BMC. The squad has so far cleared obstructions in drains in as many as 36 locations to contain the problem of waterlogging.

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