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11 miners dead in Lalmatia colliery mishap in Jharkhand, rescue operations to resume Sat morning

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ten miners were killed and an unspecified number feared trapped when a massive mound of earth came crashing down on them at Lalmatia open cast coal mine of Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL) Thursday night, the worst such disaster in over a decade.Heavy machinery was deployed as rescuers, including those from the NDRF, toiled through the day extricating bodies and looking for survivors. “Unfortunately the casualties have increased from seven in the morning to 10,” the coal ministry said in a statement.”Rescue teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL)/Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL), state government and experts have been continuously carrying out rescue work at the accident site of ECL’s Rajmahal Open Cast Expansion Project in district Godda, Jharkhand,” the statement said.Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDIL, the consultancy arm of Coal India Ltd., has deployed magneto meters along with imaging system for locating magnetic and conductive material up to a depth of 80 meters, the statement said.R R Mishra, officiating CMD of ECL, a Coal India subsidiary, said that the incident occurred at around 7:30 pm last night when excavators were working there following which rescue operations was launched immediately.Senior officials of Director General of Mines Safety (DGMS) have arrived at the site and launched an inquiry.All 10 excavators and dump trucks which were swamped under the debris have been recovered. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Coal Minister Piyush Goyal, Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das and other leaders have expressed grief over the loss of lives.”Saddened by the loss of lives at a mine in Jharkhand. My prayers are with those trapped inside. Spoke to CM Raghubar Das on the situation,” Modi said on twitter.Das said an assistance of Rs two lakh will be given to the families of the miners who died in the accident, while ECL also announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs five lakh each to these families, in addition to the amount to be paid under the Workmen’s Compensation Act.14 miners were killed at Central Saunda coal mine in Ramgarh district of Jharkhand in August 2005. The country’s worst mining disaster had occurred at Chasnala in Dhanbad district in the then Bihar state in 1975 in which 375 lives were lost.

Some forces trying to create disturbances in Punjab: Kiren Rijiju

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday said some forces are trying to fulfill their “nefarious designs” of creating disturbance in Punjab and that the intelligence agencies are fully alert.”Our intelligence agencies are fully alert and keeping a close eye on activities of some anti-national forces. We would not allow the peace of the state to be disturbed,” he said.The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs was addressing media after laying foundation of the complex of the 7th Battalion of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in Ludhiana.The Punjab government has provided 51 acres of land free of cost at the outskirts of the city at Ladhowal for the project. An amount of Rs 200 crore would be spent on the complex and its infrastructure, Rijiju said. He said that the NDRF was one of the best forces in the world.Commenting on the Centre’s demonetization move, Rijiju said that the policy had broken the backbone of terrorist fundings.Asked about terrorist attacks on the Army and paramilitary forces, he said the vigilance and security on the international borders has been made very tight. “The incidents of attack on the Army in Kashmir is a desperate attempt by insurgents,” he said.The border states of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir have come under a series of terror attacks this year.On the NIA filing chargesheet in the Pathankot airbase attack, the MoS said the Centre would pressurise Pakistan to extradite the perpetrators of terror to India. “India will seek the help and support of other countries for the purpose because all the countries are facing heat of terrorism,” he said.Wrapping up investigations in the Pathankot airbase attack case, NIA had on Monday filed a charge sheet against Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother and two others for hatching the conspiracy of the January 2 audacious terror strike in the state that left seven personnel dead and 37 others injured.

Cyclone Nada: Rains lash several parts of Tamil Nadu, IMD predicts heavy downpour

Cuddalore : Rains, on Thursday lashed several, parts of Tamil Nadu influenced by cyclonic storm Nada, which is likely to cross the coast near here in the early hours of Friday.

With the cyclonic storm expected to bring heavy downpour coupled with gusty winds, the state government said all precautionary measures have been taken by district administrations to handle any eventuality.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

IMD said Wednesday’s depression over Bay of Bengal has intensified into cyclonic storm Nada and under its influence rains have begun in coastal, northern and some interior parts of Tamil Nadu.

“All the 32 revenue districts including 13 coastal districts are being monitored continuously. The district administrations are fully prepared (to handle any eventuality),” Agricultural Production commissioner and Secretary, Gagandeep Singh Bedi said.

State Revenue Minister RB Udaya Kumar said, “be it heavy rains (which is expected) and gusty winds, all preparations are on.” He said during heavy winds power lines will be needing more attention and the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation is fully prepared to tackle the situation.

He said other preparations like setting up common kitchens to cater to the needs of people in relief centres and deployment of National Disaster Response Force and the State Disaster Response Fund teams were in place in coastal districts including Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and Chennai.

First Published On : Dec 1, 2016 15:45 IST

Indore-Patna express derailment | Trying to keep casualties at minimum, says UP CM Akhilesh Yadav

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Describing the Indore-Patna Express train derailment that claimed more than 97 lives as one of the ‘tragic’ incidents to have ever occurred, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday assured that the state government is taking all precautionary steps to keep the casualties at minimum.”We sent the District Magistrate, IG and Commissioner to the spot. Besides, we have also sent several ambulances to ensure that the injured are treated immediately. We have been informed that the casualties may increase. I believe the state government is responding well and providing all relief materials. Our aim is to rescue as many people as possible,” he said. Akhilesh also said that the state government is in constant touch with Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu. The Chief Minister earlier announced an ex-gratia of Rs five lakh to the families of the deceased, Rs. 50,000 for the seriously injured people and Rs. 25,000 for those with minor injuries.Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced an ex-gratia of Rs. two lakhs from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) for the next of kin of those killed in the train tragedy.The Prime Minister also announced Rs. 50,000 as compensation to the survivors. More than 150 people have been injured and are currently undergoing treatment in various local hospitals.Five search and rescue teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been mobilised to Kanpur.

Venkaiah Naidu conducts aerial survey of flood hit regions in Andhra

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday conducted an aerial survey of the flood-hit parts of Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur district.He took off from Vijayawada on a helicopter and flew over several parts of the neighbouring district and inspected the damage caused to crops and railways tracks.Later, the Urban Development and Parliamentary Affair minister spoke to officials in Guntur and learnt the details of losses in the recent heavy rains and flood.Heavy rains and deluge in Guntur last week had disrupted rail and road transport with National Disaster Response Force being pressed into service for rescue and relief operation.As many as five persons were killed at separate places in the district due to flood and downpour on September 22.Meanwhile, in Visakhapatnam, nearly 10,000 families from rain-affected areas have been moved to safer places.Low-lying areas in various villages and mandals of the district were inundated, including reservoirs Raiwada and Thandava, due to incessant rainfall in the last three days, Visakhapatnam Collector Pravin Kumar said on Tuesday.He said over 3,430 hectares of land in 101 villages across 33 mandals of the district were affected due to heavy rainfall and about 10,000 families were moved to safer places like Zilla Parashad and municipal schools.Among the worst-hit areas were Balanagar and Relliveedi in Chodavram mandal, ASR colony in Yelamanchili and Geddapadu in S Rayavaram mandal.No rain-related causalities were reported in the district in the last three days, officials at district Control Room told PTI.According to latest reports, there were breaches to 14 check dams and 10 tanks, and the authority concerned has sent officers from Integrated Tribal Development Agency, Panchayat Raj and Roads, and buildings department to assess the situation and plug the breaches, Kumar said.Among other measures taken, he said administration was put on high alert and over 1,000 sandbags and cement bags were dispatched to the vulnerable areas such as Raiwada and Thandava downstream spots to plug breaches.He said a 24X7 Command Control Centre was opened at the collectorate with a special team monitoring it under the direct supervision of district revenue officer.Officers have been dispatched to all mandals and mini command control centres were opened in various areas to cater to four to five mandals with an idea to have a real time picture of the flood situation, he said.

Bihar accident: Death toll rises to 35 after bus falls into a pond in Madhubani

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 35 people have been killed when a bus fell into a roadside pond in Bihar’s Madhubani district on Monday. The accident took place at Basaitha chowk under Bennipatti police station in Madhubani, about 50 km from the district headquarters. Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Benipatti Nirmala Kumari said four bodies have been fished out so far and search is on for others.About 65 passengers were on board the bus. Some of them swam to safety while over a dozen are feared to have been killed. The private bus was on way to Sitamarhi from Madhubani when the mishap took place on state highway.Villagers angry over delay in reaching of crane pelted stones on police team on way to the accident spot. The SP and other policemen are stranded at the accident site and waiting for police reinforcement to reach the spot.Meanwhile, in Patna, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed deep sorrow over death of passengers in the bus mishap at Madhubani.The CM said in a statement that reason of the accident was being looked into. He instructed officials to speed up relief and rescue operation. Kumar instructed Revenue minister Madan Mohan Jha and Panchayati Raj minister Kapildeo Kamat to rush to the accident spot.A team of SDRF (State Disaster Response Force) has reached the mishap site. The CM issued instruction to provide all possible assistance to victims of the bus tragedy.

Bihar floods: Victims hold protests demanding adequate relief, compensation

Patna: Flood victims on Monday held demonstrations across Bihar, expressing anger and impatience over the quality and quantity of government aid that has so far been provided to them.

Houses submerge in floodwater in Bihar. PTI

Houses submerge in floodwater in Bihar. PTI

With over one million people affected by floods and the situation remaining grim, district officials, particularly block development officers and circle officers, are facing the fury of victims complaining about inadequate relief supplies.

Hundreds of flood victims protested against the circle officer of Raghopur in Vaishali district, demanding adequate relief and compensation. Raghopur is not far from Patna and is represented by Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Prasad Yadav in the state assembly.

Raghopur is considered stronghold of Tejaswi’s father and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad. Earlier, former chief minister and wife of Lalu Prasad, Rabri Devi, also represented Raghopur in the state assembly.

Angry over lack of relief, the flood-hit people in Nathnagar in Bhagalpur district staged a protest demanding adequate relief and compensation. In Begusarai district, flood victims blocked roads for hours demanding adequate relief.

Similar reports are coming from other flood-affected districts like Patna, Samastipur, Bhojpur, Khagaria and Aurangabad.

“At some places, flood victims blocked roads to protest against inadequate relief,” an official of disaster management department said.

Hungry and homeless, the people also expressed anger over not being provided fodder for their cattle.

Ganga and other major rivers have submerged vast swathes of the state, forcing thousands from their homes.

The disaster has so far claimed 14 lives, including nine in Bhojpur district alone.

An official of the disaster management department said: “Rivers flowing above the danger mark are posing threat to the low-lying areas.”

Over a dozen teams of the National Disaster Response Force and the State Disaster Response Force have been deployed in the flood-hit districts.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has ordered cancellation of leave of police, administrative officials and engineers.

Nitish Kumar also directed officials to speed up rescue and relief operations in the flood-affected areas. He asked the health department to arrange for medicines and DDT sprays to check outbreak of diseases once the floodwaters receded.

Officials said standing crops worth crore of rupees have been damaged and road communications at several places have been flooded.

Two more days to put out forest fire in Uttarakhand, says Prakash Javadekar

Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar, on Monday, said the fire which destroyed around 2,000 hectares of forest land in Uttarakhand would be put out in the next two days. Several incidents of forest fire have been reported in the state in the last few weeks. Thousands of firemen have been battling for days to douse the fire.Teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Indian Air Force (IAF) have also been deployed to assist the firemen. Javadekar said that the federal and state government was working together to solve the problem. “In the Uttarakhand calamity, the Prime Minister’s office and the interior minister worked in tandem and we got help from the Defence Ministry, the NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) and our officials from the forest department, who were over 6000, have been battling there. All their combined efforts have resulted in controlling 90 per cent of the fire as of now and in two days the danger will be over,” Javadekar told reporters here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Extreme dry weather with no humidity was the reason behind the massive fire, he said. Meanwhile, the fire which broke out in the forest areas of Bathuni and Gambr in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday was brought under control. “I have talked to the sub-divisional magistrate and they have informed me that our teams are working on the fire which broke out last night. It was a ground fire and we have gained control over it. I have requested them to increase their surveillance teams,” said district magistrate, Ravinder Kumar.Northern India is reeling under severe heat with temperatures rising upto 48 degree Celsius in many parts. Rising temperatures and prolonged dry spells make forests more vulnerable to catching fire. Forest fire was also reported from Shimla in Himachal Pradesh where flames and thick smoke was seen billowing from dry leaves and grass on fire.

Uttarakhand forest fires spread to 13 districts; claims 5 lives

Raging forest fires in Uttarakhand state have spread to 13 districts and have destroyed nearly 1900 hectares of forest land since February, and killed five people.Forest fires are natural during summer, but this time, they have occurred on a bigger scale. Dry weather, high temperatures, and windy conditions have caused the fires to spread.”The wildlife reserves across the state have also come under the fire. So far 198 hectares have been gutted in the Jim Corbett National Park, which is a part of the larger Corbett Tiger Reserve, 70 hectares in Rajaji Tiger Reserve and 60 hectares in Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary,” a Hindustan Times report said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Photo courtesy: Anup Sah/FacebookThe report also said that fires were also reported in tourist resorts of Bijrani, Sardpuli, Palen, Dhikala, Kalagarh, Maidavan, Jhirna and Sona Nadi of the reserves, but there have been no wildlife casualties so far.In an effort to douse the fire, the state administration has deployed three companies of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), which will comprise of 150 personnel. Inspector General of Police (IG) Garhwal, Sanjay Gunjyal told the Times of India, “SDRF teams were already stationed and now NDRF teams have been roped in to put out the flames. All will work together with forest and fire department to prevent the fire from spreading further.”Since early February, 922 cases of forest fire incidents in the state have occurred, killing five people, including three women and a child in separate incidents, and injuring seven, Principal Conservator of Forest (PCF) B P Gupta said.Photo courtesy: Anup Sah/FacebookPauri, Tehri and Nainital are the worst hit by these fires as they abound in Cheed and Sal trees which are highly inflammable.Locals have been told to report a fire incident to the district magistrate concerned as soon as they sight it, so that it can be controlled in time.Uttarakhand Governor KK Paul convened an important meeting of officials concerned and has doubled the number of personnel deployed from 3000 to 6000 to control the fire.(With Agency inputs)

3-year-old girl falls into 100-feet deep borewell in Gujarat

A three-year-old girl fell into a borewell at Juna Ghanshyamgadh village in Dhrangadhra taluka of Surendranagar district on Monday evening, a district official said.A local rescue team and a team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been called in from Ahmedabad to save the girl, District Collector Udit Agarwal said.”The girl slipped 100-feet down into the borewell, which was dug up by an individual to draw underground water. The incident took place at around 7 PM,” he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The borewell was around 100-125 feet deep and the girl is believed to be stuck at a depth of 100 feet.NDRF team and fire department officials are on their way to the site from Ahmedabad, he said.

Landslide in Arunachal buries 16 workers alive

Sixteen construction labourers from Assam were buried alive in landslides, triggered by incessant rains, near Tawang on the India-China border in Arunachal Pradesh on Friday.Tragedy struck the victims in their sleep at Famla village, located five kilometres away from Tawang, in the wee hours. They were engaged in the construction of a five-star hotel. The family of former Arunachal chief minister, the late Dorjee Khandu, owns the land and the under-construction hotel. The hotel was being built under the supervision of Khandu’s son Pema, who is an MLA.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to officials, the victims were staying in a camp near the construction site. Tonnes of mud and stones came crashing on them, burying them instantly. Later, the bodies were retrieved by the Army with assistance from the district administration and locals.”Seventeen workers were lodged in the camp. While 15 of them were killed on the spot, two were critically injured. One of them succumbed to his injuries later. When reports last came in, the other injured person was being taken to Tezpur (in Assam),” chief minister Kalikho Pul told dna.All the victims were from Tezpur and Dhekiajuli areas of Assam. The chief minister said the rains had wreaked havoc in his state.”The situation in most parts of the state is critical due to the rains. There is artificial flood even in Itanagar. We urgently need the support of Central government to combat the situation,” Pul said.According to officials, the entire stretch of National Highway 13, which connects Tawang to the rest of the world, has either been blocked by landslides or washed away due to the continuous rainfall.The rains have also thrown life out of gear in Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur and Nagaland.Union home minister Rajnath Singh called up Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Kalikho Pul to discuss the floods and the landslide situation in the state.”Singh has assured full central assistance to Arunachal Pradesh to tackle the floods situation arising due to a swollen Noa Dehing river. He has asked director general of National Disaster Response Force OP Singh to rush rescue teams to the landslide-hit Famla village in Tawang, bordering China,” said an official.A high-level committee chaired by the home minister also approved assistance of Rs.84.33 crore for Arunachal Pradesh to tackle floods.

Watch: CCTV footage of the flyover collapsing near Ganesh Talkies in Kolkata

The death toll in the collapse of an under-construction bridge in Girish Park area of North Kolkata rose to 14 and 78 others are injured, said the Kolkata Police, adding that the death toll, however, is likely to mount.LIVE INDIA vs WEST INDIES 2nd semi final T20, ICC World T20Meanwhile, the West Bengal Government has announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs. 5 lakh to next of kin to the victims and Rs. 2 lakh to gravely injured people. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Director General O.P. Singh has said that saving the lives of people trapped under debris of the collapsed bridge in North Kolkata is the top priority of his team.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Also read: Kolkata flyover tragedy: CM Mamata Banerjee takes stock of rescue operationsWatch:

Centre not discriminating against any state, says Kiren Rijiju

Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday said the Centre is not discriminating against any state no matter which political party is in power there.At a review meeting with district level officials here Rijiju said in view of Uttarakhand’ vulnerability to natural disasters funds have already been given by the Centre to the state government. Underscoring the importance of further strengthening the State Disaster Response Force and the National Disaster Response Force, he said the Centre is not discriminating against any state on the basis of which party it happens to be governed by.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Describing life in the hills as difficult, Rijiju said it is better if policies for the development of the hills are framed not in Delhi but after a first hand assessment of the conditions prevailing in these areas. Laying emphasis on infrastructural development in border areas, he reiterated the Centre’s commitment to provide basic facilities like power, roads and communication systems saying these things alone can help people living in such areas to join the mainstream of development.Terming Jan Dhan yojana, Mudra loan, Atal Pension Yojana, Digital and Make In India as the major achievements of Narendra Modi government, Rijiju said these schemes had given a new identity to India in the international arena. Replying to a question related to the rehabilitation of more than two dozen villages displaced by the Tehri dam, the Union Minister said he will speak to Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal to find a solution to the vexed issue.He said his visit to Tehri follows the Prime Minister’s instruction to every minister to chose two Lok Sabha constituencies each to interact with people and know about their problems.

Gujarat to form disaster response force to handle rescue operations during calamities

A state disaster response force (SDRF) will be formed to handle relief and rescue operations during natural and man-made calamities in Gujarat, state police chief P C Thakur said on Tuesday.The 1,100-strong force will have personnel of constable and head constable ranks selected from various battalions of State Reserve Police Force (SRPF), an official release from the DGP office said.The decision was taken after Thakur had a meeting with heads of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Rapid Action Force (RAF), Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority and Commandants of nine different SRP battalions of the state, it added. To make this force as effective as NDRF and RAF, SDRF will receive training in line with them and get latest equipment and audio-video devices used by the central relief forces.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>All the 1,100 personnel will undergo six weeks of primary training at SRPF campus in Vadodara, the release added. Thakur will act as the head of SDRF while IG state Armed Units Ajay Kumar Chaudhary will be nodal officer, it said.According to the DGP, such force was needed for quick and effective operations during flood, earthquake, Tsunami, cyclone as well as chemical and biological disasters. According to the release, during a recently held meeting of the DGPs in Kutch, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked respective heads of state’s police to strengthen disaster response operations.

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