<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday ordered an inquiry into the derailment of the engine and two coaches of the Rajendra Nagar-Guwahati Capital Express, which left two persons dead.Though prima facie the cause of the accident was overshooting of signal by the driver of the train, a thorough inquiry will be conducted and action will be taken against the guilty, said a senior Railway Ministry official. The railway minister has ordered the inquiry.The engine and two coaches of the Capital Express derailed near Samuktala Road in Alipurduar of West Bengal at around 9.15 PM last night.While two persons died in the accident, six passengers received minor injuries, according to Railways.About 150 of the stranded passengers were taken back to Alipurduar Junction by Kamakhya Alipurduar Inter City Express. The unaffected portion of the train was detached.The train will resume journey once the relief operation is completed, he said.The Accident Relief Train reached the site of the accident at 10 PM with railway doctors and relief materials and started rescue operations.Railways have operationalised helpline numbers at the site (9002052957, 8585082833 and 03564-259935) to facilitate relatives of passengers.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. This is a military coup’: Mamata protests army deployment in stateThe BJP has responded by calling the chief minister ‘mentally distressed’. Read more.2. You can use your Aadhaar card as a debit card nowNITI Aayog-led move part of govt’s plan to encourage cashless transactions. Read more.3. Relief to Tamil Nadu, Puducherry as cyclone Nada passes peacefully over KaraikalThis brings relief to the authorities who put the state machinery on high alert. Read more.4. Banks rise to the occasion on salary dayBanks said they are rationing cash so that it can be equitably distributed to locations where there is an increased demand. Read more.5. BSF’s new mantra: Less men, more tech”We decided to implement CIBMS as humans, howsoever alert they are, cannot make the border leak-proof. There are limits to human alertness and they cannot see and hear the way sensitive gadgets can,” said a senior BSF official. Read more.
A year on from the devastating Chennai floods, we hear from the volunteers who kept the city afloat.
Now that Latur is in news, let us begin with it.
Within hours of the deadly 1993 earthquake striking the region, Sharad Pawar flew over the worst-affected parts to get a quick idea of the devastation, and camped in Solapur to direct the relief operations. His camp was located some 120-odd kms away from the epicentre, a two-hour journey by road. He didn’t want to get underfoot of the relief operations which had to be mounted on an unprecedented scale, and as a leader, he knew how to marshal resources.
Similar resource planning was shown by Narendra Modi after the Bhuj earthquake in 2001, management of both the earthquakes got positive cognizance.
When Eknath Khadse visits Latur in a helicopter, normally this would have been taken as a routine visit, and a sluggish machinery responds to a crisis in its own way. But when 10,000 litres of water is sprayed on the helipad landing to keep the dust down, it calls for another Arab Spring moment.
In Latur, those driven by curiosity rushed to examine devastated areas and the samaritans carried unusable items like torn clothes with them. No actual estimation of the real needs was possible then, but the curious rush to gawk. If it had not water scarcity, people would have rushed to Latur too. Even packaged drinking water would have been hard to come by for them.
This VIP disaster tourism has become a routine now. Even the media tends to ask, where was Modi? Where was that minister during the crisis? Why aren’t they on the ‘ground zero’? When military jargon is used, the significance of the situation should dawn on them. But does it? ‘When this was happening, they were doing that’ kind of discussion gains ground.
After the Bombay High Court pulled up BCCI and IPL, Maharashtra biggies should have learnt their lessons. This time, Modi made a serious mistake. Within hours of the firecrackers disaster in Kollam, he flew in, and it was administratively not welcomed. Kerala’s director-general of police, TP Senkumar minced no words in mentioning that when his men were on the verge of collapse, he had to look after the security of the prime minister. And how he had to change his priorities to suit the security needs of the prime minister.
Senkumar also said that Rahul Gandhi’s and Modi’s visit to the spot should have been delayed by a day. What positive difference did Modi’s and Rahul Gandhi’s trip there made is hard to fathom. Even the state’s health services director, R Ramesh, bluntly said that their visit to the Thiruvanathapuram hospital was “unwarranted”.
It is however understood that the staging of the fireworks despite the administration’s refusal to permit was guided by legislative Assembly’s electoral politics. So was the manner in which both Modi and Rahul Gandhi descended on the scene.
Normally officials even at the level of the DGP and health services do not speak so boldly and on record. Ramesh’s words describing the amount of inconvenience and how most of the VVIPs visiting the hospital were not even sterilised are disturbing. Patients with serious burn injuries with their lives hanging by a thread are prone to quick infections. Such patients are isolated even in muggy hospitals, and in that Thiruvanathapuram hospital, with 136 to be precise, it would have definitely upset the logistics of the hospital.
The VVIPs with their entourage stomping into hospital wards holds no respect for the patients’ rights and privacy. In their agony, they may not have even recognised who came to ‘console’ them. Relief is all that they seek at such a critical moment. Much like what victims of communal riots seek, instead they are used in as photo opportunities for the leaders. Ramesh said the visit was intrusive to an extent that nurses were not able to reach the intensive care units.
A leader’s prompt visit to a crisis scene to provide help to the affected victims not only upsets the on-going management but also defies the very logic of crisis management. It apparently shows lack of faith in the local administrators, who could have been asked by a mere phone call to buck up and assure any assistance if required.
But haven’t we read news stories about the prime minister or chief minister of any state “instructing” the concerned to do the needful? It is not because things are always bad on the ground but because the leaders who mess things up think they are good at micro management. Such a top down approach has helped none.
At a time when Maharashtra’s Marathwada region is reeling under severe drought and is facing an acute water crisis, the Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Centre and said that it cannot turn a blind eye towards the drought-hit states of the country.Pulling up the Centre for its failure to release the funds to the states for MGNREGA scheme, the Supreme Court said, “Relief has to be provided now and not after one year.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A bench headed by Justice M B Lokur said, “If you are not releasing the funds, then no one will like to work. States will say they have no funds, so they can’t pay anyone for MGNREGA work. No state will make any commitment to the people.”Referring to the temperatures which have already soared to 45 degree celsius, the court said, “There is no drinking water, nothing is there. You have to do something and provide relief on time.”It said as per government’s own figures, average workdays are 48, while the statute says it should be 100 days.”We should realise that there is a problem. Nine states and now Rajasthan have declared drought. It is difficult to believe that there is no drought in Bundelkhand and Marathwada,” the bench said.Additional solicitor general Pinky Anand informed the bench that Rs 7,983 crore will be released by the Centre in a couple of days towards wage liability, while Rs 2,400 crore material liability will be cleared in June.She said that Rs 2,723 crore was being released as wage reliability for the drought affected states.”This year also, you will face problems. Things will not improve unless you provide funds. One more state Rajasthan has now declared drought. Now the total drought-affected states have gone up to 10. Total of 256 villages in Gujarat have been now declared drought-affected,” the bench said.”We are not targeting anybody. We are not targeting the officials. There are other ways of targeting. This is not an adversarial issue and everyone should come up with solutions. We are just trying to help the people,” the bench said while referring to the officials present in the court room.The additional solicitor general further submitted that the Centre was trying to do everything possible to help the people in drought-hit areas but there were some constraints.The court will continue hearing on Thursday.On March 31, the apex court had asked the Centre to say how many states had drought management cells and why no district-level disaster management authorities have been set up.It had suggested that the Centre, with the help of satellite data, should analyse the expected rainfall in the monsoon season and take effective steps to tackle drought-like situations on time.The bench is examining various aspects of relief given to drought-hit farmers during the hearing of a PIL filed by NGO Swaraj Abhiyan seeking urgent implementation of guidelines for areas hit by natural calamity.The NGO has alleged that parts of 12 states of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Haryana and Chhattisgarh were hit by drought and the authorities were not providing adequate relief.
The Crime Investigation Department of Telangana police on Tuesday said its probe has revealed over Rs 73 lakh were illegally claimed from Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF) in the name of fake patients.The sleuths scrutinised 11,600 applications to the CMRF, and found that 20 brokers (middlemen) created 112 fake bills from Telangana and other states in the name of non-existing patients, the police said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CID arrested five “brokers” in the case three days ago, a police release said. Earlier they had arrested 10 “brokers”. They had created fake letter-heads of hospitals, collected case sheets of genuine patients with the help of some hospital staff members, and submitted fraudulent applications to CMRF in the name of fake patients seeking help for treatment, they said,In this manner, Rs 73,68,572 were claimed in the name of 112 non-existing patients.
In its fight against cancer, the Punjab government has asked the state-run hospitals to encourage all women above 40 years of age visiting there to get themselves examined for any symptoms of breast cancer.”The move is aimed at early detection of initial symptoms of breast cancer among the women. Any women detected with any abnormal lump or symptom will be referred for further investigations to rule out the possibility of breast cancer,” an official spokesman said here today.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said, special emphasis will be on women who have a family history of any such cancer. “The doctors will examine all women patients who volunteer for such physical examination,” he said, adding they would also be informed about the initial symptoms of cervical cancer.Breast, cervical and uterus cancers are more common among women, whereas esophagus, prostate and oral cancers in men, he said. Even the patients visiting dental out patient department (OPD) will be examined for any signs of abnormality in oral cavity and suspected patients will be persuaded for further investigations.The health department would also provide educational material regarding cancers at the government hospitals and put up display boards. Punjab government is committed to fighting the menace of cancer and a financial aid of Rs 1.50 lakh is granted from the Chief Minister’s Cancer Relief Fund to all cancer patients of the state for treatment in any of the empanelled hospitals, he said.
Shillong: The security scenario in the country has stabilised after the Pathankot attack, though it is yet to improve, Air Officer Commanding in Chief of the Eastern Air Command C Harikumar said on Monday.
“Though stabilised, we have not been able to improve (our security),” Harikumar told reporters in Shillong on Monday.
“Our country has been fighting to improve security for quite sometime. We have inimical agents that are not allowing us to settle that,” he said.
The Eastern Air Command Chief said, “No other country will find so much police visible all over. Though stabilised, we have not been able to improve.”
“Post Pathankot incident and thereafter in Jammu and Kashmir, we realised that we need to have added emphasis to ensure that our bases are more secure,” Harikumar said.
“We have made SOPs, we have made a lot of decisions and a lot of brainstorming on this. We are seeing how we can involve everybody, including the state, as our outer cover to ensure that our assets are not affected,” he said.
Harikumar hosted a two-day seminar on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) aimed at synergising all state governments, army, navy, para-military forces in any emergency or disaster relief operations in the future.
In the past five years, IAF helicopters have successfully evacuated 10,868 persons from several disaster zones or flood- affected areas in the Eastern Command’s reach.
During the same time, over 1,200 hours of flying efforts have been made for such operations, defence spokesman Amit Mahajan said.
In the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations, the need to involve IAF in all four steps of disaster management – mitigation, preparation, response and recovery – by all agencies was reiterated during the seminar.
In other presentations, HADR in remote locations of the NE region, air maintenance towards the sustenance of armed forces and civilian population were also discussed, Mahajan added.