Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said the damages in the state due the worst floods in more than a century would run into many thousands of crores but he would approach the Centre only after the final assessment is complete.In terms of property damage, it is too early to give a final figure but obviously it will run in thousands of crores, Omar told PTI at his makeshift office at Hari Niwas Guest House here. The Chief Minister said almost every sector has been badly affected by the floods.You have property damage in terms of houses, you have damage to shops, business establishments, then the products within the shops have also been damaged. There is massive damage to the physical infrastructure of the government like roads, bridges, water supply schemes, etc.There is damage to agriculture crops...our paddy, maize crop, horticulture crops like pear has been destroyed as it could not reach the market. The lands have been washed away, he said. All these put together will run into many thousands of crores, he said.Omar said he would firm numbers in terms of losses and damages before he approaches the Centre with the memorandum for aid. I need to have firm numbers before I tell the people what the extent of actual damage is. There is an assessment going on to determine the extent of damage and because we need to have that number available to us to put in the memo that we are going to submit to the Government of India, he said.The Chief Minister said he cannot even hazard a guess about the actual losses as the numbers keep changing with the passage of time. I will give you an example: up to two days ago, we had the input that 1500 houses have been fully damaged in Anantnag district. Today, I was told that the number of fully damaged houses in the district is 8000, he said. Omar said all the districts have been told to compile the details of damages and losses at the earliest.I think barring Srinagar, we are still grappling with floods here, most of the districts are completing their work, he said. Although the state government tried to make the Civil Secretariat functional yesterday, the attempt was unsuccessful due to water logging and Omar was candid in admitting it.We will make another attempt on Monday, he said even as his whole cabinet and top bureaucrats are camping at Hari Niwas. Omar said life in Srinagar city, which has been worst affected by the floods, will begin to move towards normalcy in the next two days.We are still some way away from normalcy. It depends on how you categorise normalcy. South Kashmir is limping back much faster but that is because of the natural flow of the water. Pampore is still largely inundated but now through artificial cuts in the bund (banks), the water is flowing back into the river.So we are hopeful that things will sort of begin to move towards normality within next 24 to 48 hours, he said.The Chief Minister said while some areas of Srinagar were largely unaffected by the floods, some parts are still inundated in water.Cuts have been made to facilitate the flow of water.That has been perhaps the most successful way of draining out the water. Large number of cuts have been made from Pampore to Chattabal and beyond to get the water to flow out, he said.Omar said while most of the organized cuts made by the government have worked well, in some cases, people have taken the matters into their own hands causing damage to some water supply schemes. That is alright as our priority has to be draining of water. Pumping is also going on though pumps will never be an ideal solution due to the limited capacity, he said.The Chief Minister said the inundated areas of the city still require to be supplied food and medicines and that is being done. Medical camps are being organised so that diseases and illnesses can be treated, he added.Omar appealed to the people not to take advantage of the crisis arising out of floods and instead come together to help the victims.We had a tough time, all of us had a tough time, particularly those who have been directly affected, it has been worst for them. In this hour of crisis, we are doing the best we can. My only request, earnest appeal to people is not to take advantage of this crisis, he said.The Chief Minister said there have been instances where people instead of taking one share of relief material, took two or three shares.They are depriving others (of relief material).I have instances where houses have been robbed. People have gone there for rescue and emptied the houses, he said, adding, This is an hour of crisis and we need to come together to help people and not to help ourselves.
Amidst the ongoing bickering between the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over sharing of seats for Maharashtra Assembly elections, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Friday said that it would be difficult for Shiv Sena and BJP to part as the two parties joined hands because of their similar 'Hindutva' ideology.
Raut, who is also the editor of Shiv Sena mouthpiece 'Saamna' said, We have been allies for the past 25 years, we came together because of the similar 'Hindutva' ideology, so it is not easy for us to part.
Stressing upon Shiv Sena's demand for the Chief Minister's post in the event of a victory in the assembly election, he said, These Vidhan Sabha elections are very important for us, we want a Congress free Maharashtra and a Shiv Sena chief minister in the government.
Raut said that the core committee of the Shiv Sena has urged Uddhav Thackeray to take a decision in this matter adding however, We want our alliance to remain intact.
Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, Discussions are going on under the senior party leaders and soon we will arrive at a decision.
Patra also said that in a democracy discussions are bound to happen, and such discussions must not be seen as disputes.
ReportIndiaANIMumbaiassembly electionsBharatiya Janata PartySambit PatraSanjay RautShiv SenaUddhav ThackerayMaharashtraBharatiya Janata Party (BJP)Maharashtra assembly pollsFriday, 19 September 2014 - 2:58pm dnai.in/cnrB990
There have been million hearts which have secretly hoped to someday share screen space with Hrithik Roshan. And now, Mountain Dew is all set to launch a campaign which will give such dreams the wings to fly!
Titled 'Mountain Dew Heroes Wanted, the campaign is targeted at the youth, the age bracket that the brand mostly caters to. As a result of the campaign, the team would select three winners who will eventually get an opportunity to feature in a short action film with Hrithik himself.
The beverage brand is looking out for individuals who swear by the brand's tagline : 'Darr ke aage jeet hai' and the contest is valid from September 16 to October 30 but the last date for participation is October 15.
If you are willing to participate and get a chance to feature in the short film with Hrithik, all you need to do is grab a bottle of Mountain Dew and SMS the unique code printed at the back of the label on the number provided there.
ReportEntertainmentDNA Web TeamDNA WebdeskMumbaiWeb ExclusivespecialBollywoodbrandcampaignHrithik RoshanShort FilmFriday, 19 September 2014 - 2:37pmFriday, 19 September 2014 - 2:37pm dnai.in/243
Deepika Padukone says she has an issue when people propagate objectification of a real person and not a character being played and wants them to respect artists as women off-screen.Ever since she condemned a photo titled OMG: Deepika Padukones Cleavage Show on Twitter, saying: YES! I am a Woman. I have breasts AND a cleavage! You got a problem!!??, this has invited comments from all quarters - some favourable, others not so.Setting the record straight and clarifying her point of view, the actress Friday issued a statement on her official Facebook page.Her post is titled - There is only ONE sign that a woman wants to have sex and that is that she says YES. The reason I write the above line is because we all know that in India we are so desperately trying to make a change in the way sections of our society think in order to move towards a happier world devoid of inequality, rape, fear and pain.I am not naive about my own profession; it is one that requires lots of demanding things of me. A character may demand that I be clothed from head to toe or be completely naked, and it will be my choice as an actor whether or not I take either. Understand that this is a ROLE and not REAL, and it is my job to portray whatever character I choose to play convincingly.What my concern is and I am stating it clearly so it is not misconstrued or confused with Shah Rukhs eight-pack or any other womans or mans anatomy. I have spoken out against an ideology that such regressive tactics are still being employed to draw a readers attention at a time when we are striving for womens equality and empowerment. In a time where women should be applauded for making headway in a male-dominated society, we blur the lines between REEL and REAL life and dilute all our efforts by making a one-year old back sliding piece of news a headline. Digging out an old article and headlining it OMG: Deepikas Cleavage Show! to attract readers is using the power of influence to proliferate recessive thought.When an actresses inner wear decides to do a peek-a-boo, she most definitely did not step out with the intention to do so. So instead of zooming in, circling it and pointing arrows at it, why dont we give her some respect and let it go instead of making it headlines!? Are we not human? Yes we marvel, envy and drool over a male actors eight pack abs in a film, but do we zoom in on the mans crotch when he makes a public appearance and make that cheap headlines??!!, she wrote.Deepika says that she has no issue celebrating her body and I have never shied away from anything on-screen to portray a character. In fact my next character portrayed is a bar dancer (in Happy New Year) (sorry Farah (Khan) for the spoiler!) who titillates men as a means to support her livelihood. My issue is you propagating the objectification of a REAL person, and not a character being played. Sure, dissect my characters if you wish - if it is of so much interest then discuss the characters cup size and leg length if it is relevant to making the role convincing. All I am asking for is respect (us) as a woman off-screen.It is not about breasts, penises, or any other body part being reported. It is a matter of context and how out-of-context the reportage is just to sell a headline. And more so during a time in dire need of an attitude shift towards women. For me this topic ends here. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. I have little interest to take this further as it might get more attention than it deserves and might be further misconstrued and twisted to sell more undeserved headlines.Having said that, please may we show love, dignity and respect to each other. The actress, who delivered four back to back hits with Race 2, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Chennai Express and Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, recently featured in Finding Fanny - an English language entertainer by Homi Adajania.
Tripura government has cleared the proposal for denotifying a 12.4 km stretch of land inside Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary, removing a major obstacle for railway extension work in the state.
The move comes after receiving the approval of the Ministry of Environment and Forests for the same.
State Forest Minister Naresh Jamataia told reporters that the Ministry of Environment and Forests has cleared the plea of denotifying 12.4 km of forest land area in Trishna wildlife sanctuary in South Tripura district following a request from the state government to push railway extension work from Udaipur to Sabroom.
Based on the approval of MoEF, the Cabinet has cleared the proposal for denotifying the plots in its last sitting removing a major obstacle for the railway extension work upto Sabroom, he said.
The 70 km railway extension work from Udaipur to Sabroom is scheduled to be completed by 2018 while 44 km extension work from Agartala to Udaipur is scheduled to be completed by March 2016.
The entire 70-km stretch would be constructed in broad-gauge format.
Northeast Frontier Railway General Manager (Construction) Rajesh Kumar Singh met Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and Transport Minister Manik Dey recently to brief them about the railway extension plan in Tripura.
Special focus would be given on broad gauge conversion work from Lumding to Silchar segment beginning October 1 next, a Railway official said.
ReportIndiaPTIAgartalaApprovalCabinetEnvironmentforestministry of environment and forestsManik SarkarTransportTripuraWildlife SanctuarySilcharrailwayFriday, 19 September 2014 - 2:33pm dnai.in/cnrx240
President Pranab Mukherjee has expressed hope that India and China will ensure an error-proof dialogue mechanism for maintaining peace and tranquility at the borders.
President Mukherjee, who hosted a banquet yesterday in the honour of visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping, said: The people of India see China as a great civilization, a nation that has achieved unprecedented progress and prosperity in a remarkably short span of time. The spectacular success of the People's Republic of China in the economic development, poverty alleviation, and infrastructure creation and information connectivity is, indeed, inspiring.
The two countries share a desire for the early resolution of the outstanding issues, including the boundary question. Both are also committed to maintain peace and tranquility at the borders, he added.
President Mukherjee also called for re-doubling the efforts to address the trade deficit, provide better market access to each other's goods and explore the opportunities to create cooperation in the infrastructure sector.
Today we are at a defining stage in our bilateral relationship. We now need to take it to a level where our programmes and initiatives facilitate the realization of our common goals of progress and prosperity for our two nations. Both our countries are committed to working in that direction, he said.
ReportHealthANINew DelhiPranab MukherjeeIndiaChinaSino-indian relationsbilateral tiesNarendra ModiXi JinpingFriday, 19 September 2014 - 2:27pm dnai.in/cnrw29
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Friday inaugurated the revived Nalanda University, renowned as a centre for learning till it was burnt down 800 years ago by an invading Turkish army.Swaraj said it was a matter of pride for her to inaugurate the academic session of the university after a gap of over 800 years.I am really upbeat that I got this opportunity..., she said at an event held in the Buddhist pilgrim town of Rajgir in Nalanda district, about 100 km from here.The university will be built in Rajgir, 12 km from where the ancient Nalanda University stood till the 12th century.Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi also accompanied her. Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi was also present.However, former Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who played a major role in setting up the university, was not invited, university officials said.According to the university Vice Chancellor Gopa Sabhrawal, ambassadors of Singapore, Thailand and representatives of other countries involved in setting up the university were present at the function. Classes at the varsity started Sep 1 with 15 students and half-a-dozen faculty members.The fully-residential university, to be completed by 2020, will have seven schools, all for post-graduate and doctoral students, offering courses in science, philosophy, spirituality and social sciences.
This Gandhi Jayanti, two of the biggest releases of the year are set to clash together. What seems like the clash of the titans, with Hrithik Roshan-Katrina Kaif's Bang Bang coming on the same day as Shahid Kapoor-Shraddha Kapoor's Haider, stakes are really high.
While two big releases on the same day means that both the films' businesses would be adversely affected, Hrithik Roshan clearly had a different standpoint on the same.
Coming October 2 will set a huge example that two big films releasing on the same day can work well. Both Bang Bang and Haider would do well and it is a five day weekend so it has scope for both the films to do equally well, said Hrithik at the song launch event for Bang Bang.
Both Bang Bang and Haider are releasing on October 2.
ReportEntertainmentNayandeep RakshitDNA WebdeskMumbaiWeb ExclusivespecialBollywoodBang BangGandhi JayantiHrithik RoshanKatrina KaifShahid Kapoorshraddha kapoorFriday, 19 September 2014 - 2:23pmFriday, 19 September 2014 - 2:23pm dnai.in/2359
Microsoft founder Bill Gates, along with his wife Melinda Gates, Friday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here.Mrs. @melindagates and Mr. @BillGates met PM @narendramodi, the Prime Ministers Office tweeted.Bill Gates and Melinda Gates also called on Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.
Set to foray into European market with the acquisition of an Italian steel firm, JSW Steel has on its radar a handful of potential companies for takeover both in the space of steel making as well as raw material.
The Sajjan Jindal-led firm, which announced a deal last month to acquire all of Welspun Maxsteel for Rs 1,000 crore, has already submitted the final binding bid to acquire some assets of Italy's Lucchini.
We have given the final binding bid to the government of Italy. We are awaiting their response. We have to go to their committees and then it will be concluded. I think, by end of next month, the deal would be concluded, Jindal said on the sidelines of an event, organised by the CII, here.
Earlier in the week, Jindal had said JSW Steel was in a very positive way looking at acquisition of another Italian steel firm, Ilva, having 10 million tonnes per annum capacity, and would start due diligence.
While the Lucchini acquisition could cost below USD 100 million, the buying of Ilva would need very big investment as it has lot of liabilities and it's a very complex project, he had said.
Asked about targets for future acquisition, Jindal said, There are many such units which are potential takeover targets. We are looking at them and if they fit into our policy and our canvas, then we look at them. These are mostly in Europe.
JSW Steel, which has 14.3 million tonnes a year capacity now, has been facing iron ore shortage to feed its plants located in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra and as such, recently started importing the key steel-making raw material.
We are always open to various ideas. We are looking at various ideas, but nothing has materialised as yet. We are looking at iron ore assets all over -- in Australia, Africa, North America and South America, Jindal said.
On Maxsteel, he said, We have already applied to the Competition Commission of India and once we get the approval and then we will take over the company.
ReportMoneyPTIMumbaiAcquisitionCompetition Commission of IndiaJSW Steeliron oreGovernmentliabilitiesKarnatakaNorth AmericacompetitionSajjan JindalTamil NaduWelspun MaxsteelSouth AmericaFriday, 19 September 2014 - 2:19pmFriday, 19 September 2014 - 2:19pm dnai.in/225
Frantically screaming Privacy! My dignity and reputation is at stake seems to be gaining currency as one of the surest ways to stifle demands for accountability the moment one faces allegations of graft, personal peccadilloes, and assorted misdemeanours and acts of malfeasance.
First it was ND Tiwari, former Uttaranchal governor, who kicked and screamed before the Supreme Court forced him to submit himself to a paternity test, now it is Ranjit Sinha.
The CBI director is livid at the accusations levelled against him by Prashant Bhushan and Kamini Jaiswal. Labelling them as scurrilous, he has instituted perjury proceedings against Jaiswal, and is now thinking of firing the libel suit missile. In addition, he did try, albeit unsuccessfully, to block the media from reporting on the proceedings in the case in which he has to dispel allegations of his complicity in the 2G scam.
This begs the question - can public officials, in matters and litigation of seminal public interest, claim the right to privacy and thereby prevent reportage or even the asking of inconvenient questions?
In the ongoing case, the Supreme Court hasn't given a definitive ruling on the question of privacy, but established precedents from India and abroad show that Sinha's attempts should go in vain.
The right of the press to criticise and comment on the conduct of public officials was challenged before the Supreme Court in R Rajagopal v State of Tamil Nadu (1994), popularly known as the Auto Shankar case.
Some members of the police top brass tried to stop notorious killer and incarcerated convict Shankar from publishing his autobiography, which apparently contained vivid details exposing their roles, even complicity, in the dastardly acts he had committed.
While affirmatively stating that the right to privacy is a fundamental right and part of the Right to Life under Article 21 of the constitution, the court refused to indulge the police officials. It held that those in public office were entitled to a lesser degree of privacy than private citizens. Moreover, they could claim this right only if there was prima facie malice in the accusations, or there was a sufficiently compelling countervailing state interest which could be invoked to restrain the press or anyone acting out of public interest.
Could this privilege be extended to whistleblowers and crusaders for public accountability such as Jaiswal and Bhushan? There's precedent from the United States Supreme Court.
In Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc. , the court extended the NYT v Sullivan privilege ( that only statements with naked malice and evidently reckless disregard for the truth shall be held as defamatory) till then available only to the Fourth Estate, to those who, in public interest, who are bringing allegations of wrongdoing against those who occupy positions of such persuasive power and influence that they are deemed public figures for all practical purposes. Surely, Sinha, with the vast swathes of power he has at his beck and call, cannot claim any reasonable ground to be exempted from this standard.
As of now, unlike the Delhi High Court which expeditiously issued a gag order on the media when a retired Supreme Court judge facing allegations of sexual harassment made a plea similar to Sinha's, the Supreme Court has rightfully stopped short of falling for the patently dishonest ploy of privacy.
Perhaps, it is a timely signal to Sinha and others of his ilk that the fig leaf of privacy only exposes more of what they are so desperate to conceal.
Saurav teaches Media Law & Jurisprudence in Mumbai and Pune. Follow him on twitter @SauravDatta29.
StandpointAnalysisSaurav DattaDNAWeb ExclusivespecialStandpointanalysisRanjit SinhaCentral Bureau of Investigation (CBI)Supreme Court (SC)ND TiwariDelhi high courtPrashant BhushanFriday, 19 September 2014 - 2:21pmFriday, 19 September 2014 - 2:21pm dnai.in/cnrt75