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Delhites Without Power, Are Miserable



Delhites Without Power Are Miserable

Delhites Without Power, Are Miserable

New Delhi: There is no early respite for Delhiites from power woes. The long power cuts in the national capital will continue for a fortnight as the central government  said it will take at least two weeks to resolve the crisis.

The power crisis, which erupted last week following a dust storm, became a political hot potato with the various parties indulging in blame game.

“It normally takes three months to restore lines after the damage we saw. We’ll work 24×7 and get them up in two weeks,” union Power Minister Piyush Goyal told reporters after meeting Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung over the issue.

Delhiites have been reeling under sweltering heat with long power cuts coupled with water shortage making it doubly difficult. In many areas, people have come out on the streets to protest.

But for the politicians, it is time to score brownie points and blame each other.

Goyal, a minister in the newly-formed BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, held the Congress rule under former chief minister Sheila Dikshit culpable for the fiasco in Delhi.

“For the last 15 years we had a government which was insensitive to the growing demands of the people of Delhi,” he said.

“Policy paralysis and poor execution by previous government is responsible for power crisis in the capital,” Goyal said, clearly alluding to the Congress 15 years rule in the national capital.

“Clearly the power grid as it stands today is outdated, needs augmentation and modernisation and may repeatedly have outages and tripping problems,” Goyal added.

The Congress hit back at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“Delhi is being run by a governor who in turn is the representative of the Centre. The responsibility for dismal power situation lies with the Narendra Modi-led NDA government and Power Minister Piyush Goyal,” Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely said.

The Aam Aadmi Party jumped on to the bandwagon too with its chief Arvind Kejriwal criticising the Bharatiya Janata Party.

“BJP neither able to handle power crisis nor forming government nor allowing elections in Delhi. Completely irresponsible,” Kejriwal tweeted.

A day after the Congress leaders protested and for two hours held captive senior officials, including the Delhi Chief Secretary, inside the Delhi Secretariat over long power cuts in the capital, Jung Tuesday swung into action, and held an emergency meeting with Goyal.

Goyal later said officials in the power department have been told to restore the system in 10 days.

He also said that the gas-fired power generation plant at Bawana in west Delhi, having a capacity of producing 1,500 MW of electricity, is producing only 290 MW presently. It will be provided extra gas by NTPC to generate additional 400 MW of power, Goyal said.

“Power companies have already taken steps to permanently restore these lines by two weeks latest,” the minister added.

Goyal said they are trying to find a long-term solution so that these problems do not crop up in the city next summer.

He also assured chief ministers of other states that adequate electricity will be provided in times of need as the centre is having surplus power.

The city’s power supply was affected following a severe storm May 30 which caused many lines of the Northern Grid to trip. The Northern Grid supplies power to Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. It covers 30 percent of India’s geographical area and supplies power to 28 percent of the Indian population.

The Union power ministry’s latest data shows that as many as 21 power projects have less than four days of coal supply, while another 15 projects are running less than 7 days of coal stocks. These plants together produce 55,000 mega watts (MW) or more than 20% of the total power generated in India.

Out of these, six projects of the NTPC — some of which provide power to northern India including Delhi — are running on zero coal stocks, with supplies at bare minimum to make the plant run.


Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin



Nawaz sharif

Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.

The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.

Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.

Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.

Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.

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Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told




The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.

The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.

Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.

“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.

Islamabad and its nuclear-armed neighbour India “continue to engage in a quantitative build-up and a qualitative improvement” of their atomic stockpiles, added Tony deBrum, a Marshallese government minister.

DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.

The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.

The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.

But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.

Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.

It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.

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Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus



Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.

Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.

The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.

According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.




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