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Citizenship Bill Protests: Army In Tripura, 5,000 Personnel In Northeast

Violent protests have continued across parts of the North East for a third straight day over the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill that was tabled in the Rajya Sabha this afternoon. In response to requests from district officials, the Indian Army has deployed two columns to the Kanchanpur and Manu areas of Tripura while a third is on standby in Assam's Bongaigaon. One column consists of at least 70 soldiers and is led by one or two officers. According to a statement by Army spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand, Field Commanders and the Army HQ are monitoring the situation closely.

Additional deployments - of a Police QRT (Quick Response Team) in Assam's Dibrugarh district and up to 5,000 paramilitary personnel across the North East - have also been confirmed, as state and central governments brace for backlash against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill from student-led civil society organisations.

The North East has seen sustained and widespread protests against the Citizenship Bill; agitations were held earlier this year as well - in the run-up to the 2019 general election. Protesters, who include political leaders allied with the ruling BJP, have expressed concerns that refugees allowed by the bill could endanger identity and livelihood of indigenous people.

In Assam, protests erupted across different parts of the BJP-ruled state with the security forces resorting to lathi-charges in Dispur, Guwahati, Dibrugarh and Jorhat. At least 25 protesters, including women and some journalists and television crews, were injured. Earlier the influential North East Students' Organisations (NESO), backed by political parties, pledged to observe a 11-hour shutdown in the North East.

The Tripura government on Tuesday blocked mobile internet and SMS services across the state for 48 hours because of the protests. A two-month-old baby died while being taken to a hospital in Sepahijala as protests blocked traffic, police said.

The communications clampdown came into effect even as many demonstrators raised slogans against the centre in Agartala, demanding the state be kept out of the purview of the bill. Earlier, protesters set fire to a market with shops mostly owned by non-tribals in the northeast state's Dhalai district.

In view of the agitations, examinations in schools, colleges and universities in Assam, Tripura, Mizoram and Meghalaya have all been postponed.

Last week Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who led the centre's push on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday and did so again in the Rajya Sabha today, held extensive meetings with stakeholders in the North East, saying appropriate exceptions had been made and urging protesters to stand down.

Following from those meetings the draft version of the Citizenship Bill excludes tribal areas of Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram, as well as the area under "The Inner Line" permit system.

The bill sailed through the Lok Sabha on Monday - by 334 votes to 104.

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Petition Filed in Supreme Court Against Pension To Politicians

Petition Filed in Supreme Court Against Pension To Politicians

Now a leader of the leaders has filed a PIL in the Supreme Court...

2018 Improvement Act:

MPs should not get pension because politics is not a job or employment, but a free service. - Politics is an election under the Public Representation Act, there is no retirement, but they can be re-elected in the same situation again. (Currently they get pension, after 5 years of service).

One more disorder in this is that if a person has been a councilor first, then becomes a legislator and then becomes an MP, then he gets not one but three pensions.

This is a great betrayal with the citizens of the country who immediately have to ACT to stop this...

With the Central Pay Commission, salary allowance of MPs is being revised ....This should be brought under the income tax....

At present, MPs increase their salaries and allowances arbitrarily by voting for themselves and at that time all the parties are united.

MPs health care system should be discarded.. and health care like public health of India should take care of them like any other citizen.. Presently their treatment often is done abroad.. if they have to get it done abroad, they should get it done at their own expense.

All concessions to them, such as, electricity, water and phone bill should end. (They not only get many such concessions but they also increase them regularly) -

Criminals should be prevented from contesting elections, suspicious persons with punitive records, criminal charges and determination, past or present should be banned from the Parliament..

Financial losses caused by them, due to politicians in the office, should also be recovered from them, their nominees, properties - MPs should also follow the same rules applicable to common citizens.

No deduction on LPG gas subsidy by the citizens... unless the subsidies available to MPs and MLAs, & Other subsidies, including subsidized food in the Parliament canteen, are not withdrawn.

Serving in the Parliament is an honor, not a lucrative career for looting.

Free rail and airplane travel should stop.

Why does the common man have to bear their fun?

Share & Support this Cause..

You are requested to spread this message to all the people in your contact and in turn ask them to forward further also.

Every citizen should raise voice in India. 

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Uddhav Thackeray may junk Devendra Fadnavis' bullet train, expressway, hyperloop projects

With the new Maharashtra government headed by Uddhav Thackeray pledging to prioritise farmers' issues and grassroot level development,  the fate of some of fancy and marquee infrastructure projects being implemented by the former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is likely to have an uncertain future.  Key focus areas of the new state government in their common minimum programme (CMP) are farmers' issues, unemployment, health, industry, social justice, women, education, urban development, tourism art and culture. Already, leaders of the new coalition government have indicated that populist measures such as loan waiver for farmers, meal at Rs 10 and unemployment income for youths are round the corner. Although some leaders in the new coalition have suggested that the government is unlikely to compromise on the infrastructure agenda, some of the projects mooted by the previous Fadnavis government may lose priority.

Bullet train

Prime among them is the Bullet Train project connecting Mumbai and Ahmadabad, the country's first ever bullet train project to be developed at a cost of Rs 1.08 lakh crore. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe had jointly laid foundation stone for the project on September 14, 2017. The Bullet Train project, expected to cut travel time between Mumbai and Ahmadabad to just three hours, is to be funded 81 per cent by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The remaining fund has to be from state governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Fadnavis government's commitment for the project was about Rs 5,000 crore and after two years, the project is still in land acquisition stage. Around 150 kilometers has to be constructed in the state of Maharashtra. Sources say half the land required for the project has been acquired so far, but it is mostly in Gujarat. Some of the ruling Shiv Sena leaders have already expressed their opposition to the project, citing it would benefit only the rich and mainly the diamond traders from Gujarat. They say money for such projects should be routed for farmer loan waiver as the state has debt of nearly Rs 5 lakh crore.

Mumbai nagpur expressway

Mumbai Nagpur Super Communication Expressway, also known as 'Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg', a pet project of former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is another project that may be pushed to the backburner. This 701-kilometer long eight lane expressway connects Fadnavis' home turf Nagpur and Mumbai within eight hours. A total 24,255-acre land has to be acquired for the project across 10 districts and in many places, farmers were reluctant to give their land. The Rs 46,000-crore project, of which around Rs 26,000 crore is to construct the expressway, is being funded by a consortium of banks. The project was initially slated for commissioning by October this year, but was pushed to 2022 later. Sources said before state elections, only one-fourth of the road construction was complete. The project also envisages to develop marketing centres for farm produce, tourism centres and modern townships on both sides of the highway.

Mumbai-Pune hyperloop

One of the first of its kinds next generation mobility project in the world, the Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop is to link Pune with Mumbai in under 35 minutes, from the current over 3.5-hour road travel. Conceptually, the hyperloop is a magnetically-propelled capsule or pod with passengers or cargo and travels through a low-pressure tube at over 1,000 kilometres per hour. Virgin Hyperloop One, headed by Virgin group founder Richard Branson, was the first company to test the technology in May 2016. Hyperloops are also planned in Dubai. There are four-five such routes in the US and some other Indian states have also shown interest.   

Although it is still at an experimental stage - wherein the speed has not gone beyond 300-400 kilometres per hour and human beings are yet to travel in a Hyperloop - the Maharashtra government has decided to implement the fancy project at an expense of about Rs 70,000 crore, after Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) did a feasibility assessment. The state cabinet gave the mandate to build the Hyperloop to a consortium of DP World FZE and Hyperloop Technologies as 'proponents of the original project'. It may take seven years for construction from the 'zero date'. Fadnavis himself had visited the Virgin Hyperloop's facility in the US for initial discussions and later, on July 31, the state cabinet gave final nod and deemed the project as a "public infrastructure" project. The project will "generate hundreds of thousands of new high-tech jobs, create over $36 billion in wider socio-economic benefits, and create new hyperloop component and manufacturing opportunities to export to India and the rest of the world," a July 31 press release says. In the pilot phase, the project is to begin in 11.8 kilometers in Pune city at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore.

Other big infra projects

Some of the long-pending big infra projects in the pipeline such as the Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA), the Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link (MTHL), Coastal Road, Versova-Bandra Sea Link (VBSL), Shivaji statue, Eastern Waterfront and Virar Alibaugh multi-modal industrial corridor were fast-tracked by the Fadnavis government over the past five years. Now it is to be seen whether the coalition Sena-NCP-Congress government will continue to give thrust to these projects for completion as per the current deadline.  With the Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections to happen in two years, expectations are that the various metro projects being implemented in the city would continue to get the priority. Most of these projects have international funding arrangements.

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Govt withdraws Jammu & Kashmir Reservation Bill

The government on Wednesday withdrew the J&K Reservation Bill from the Lok Sabha as central laws providing quota to the economically backward class are now applicable to the union territory post repeal of special provisions under Article 370.

The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill 2019, was introduced in Lok Sabha by Home Minister Amit Shah on June 24.

The Bill was brought to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004 and replace an Ordinance promulgated on March 1.

The Act provided for reservation in appointment and promotions in certain state government posts to persons belonging to socially and educationally backward classes.

It defined socially and educationally backward classes to include persons living in areas adjoining the Actual Line of Control. The Bill amended this to include those persons living in areas adjoining the International Border, within the ambit of this reservation.

However, with the Centre repealing the special provisions of Article 370, the central laws will now be applicable to the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Opposing the withdrawal of the bill, TMC's Saugata Roy said the rule states that the minister should withdraw the bill citing reasons.

"Since Jammu and Kashmir is a sensitive issue, the minister should clear the issue," he said.

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Brakes On Bullet Train Project If Sena, NCP, Congress Take Power

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's bullet train project between Ahmedabad in Gujarat and Mumbai may be scrapped if the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress take power in Maharashtra.

The Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance that is looking to form a government in the state is considering to scrap India's first bullet train project and withhold Maharashtra's share of expenditure to the Rs. 1 lakh crore project, highly placed.

PM Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had jointly laid the foundation stone for the bullet train project in Ahmedabad in September 2017. Japan is giving a loan of Rs. 88,000 crore for the project at a minimal interest of 0.1 per cent.

"If the project has to go ahead, the centre should bear all cost of it. Maharashtra won't expend on the bullet train project," a senior Congress leader said.

Farmers' welfare and a blanket farm loan waiver is also on the cards, the senior Congress leader, requesting anonymity, said.

A senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) source told news agency IANS that "during the first meeting of the three parties in Mumbai last week, discussions were held on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project in which we informed the leaders that according to central government, the Maharashtra government would be bearing Rs. 5,000 crore of the total Rs. 1.08 lakh crore cost."

"And then we came to a conclusion that once we form the government in the state then we will inform the Central government that the state government will not bear the cost of the high speed train project and will spend the same money on some other pro-people schemes," he was quoted as saying.

The project for the 508-km Ahmedabad-Mumbai high speed train that will run at a maximum speed of 350 km per hour was slated to be completed by 2023.

The National High Speed Railway Corporation (NHSRCL), which is responsible for the construction, has, till date, acquired over 48 per cent of the land for the project and also floated tenders for several works.

The Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress may announce an alliance today to form a government in Maharashtra led by Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, after a series of meetings in Mumbai. The alliance will call itself the "Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (Maharashtra development front)". The new government is likely to be in place by early December.

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