zoom German port operator Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) has ordered three additional container gantry cranes for its Container Terminal Tollerort (CTT) that will enable the terminal to handle ships with a capacity of 20,000 TEUs or more. The cranes, to be built by German crane manufacturer Liebherr, are expected to go into operation at the end of 2017. CTT will then have five 20,000-TEU gantry cranes.The new cranes will have a jib length of 74 meters and a lifting height of 51.5 meters above the quay wall. They are designed for container ships with 24 transverse container rows and can operate in twin mode. Each container gantry crane will weigh 1,500 tons, handling a maximum payload of 63 tons.In June 2015, CTT placed an order for two container gantry cranes which can handle the biggest ships in the world. Being built by the same company, the cranes will begin operating at Tollerort by November, according to HHLA.Last month, HHLA’s Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB) received three gantry cranes from Chinese crane manufacturer ZPMC. Following the delivery of the three cranes, HHLA has now a total of eight gantry cranes at CTB.According to Stefan Bahn, member of the Executive Board of HHLA, the terminal operator will now have three berths that can handle larger ships, two at Burchardkai and one at Tollerort.HHLA’s container volumes stood at 3.2 million TEUs in the first half of this year, compared to 3.4 million TEUs in the same period last year, a decrease of 5.7%.
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zoom The shipping industry’s total employment contribution has increased to 2.1 million people while the total GDP contribution is estimated to have been EUR 140 billion in 2015.The European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) update on the economic value of the EU shipping industry, commissioned from Oxford Economics, shows that the sector directly employed 640,000 people and supported an EUR 57 billion contribution to GDP in 2015.ECSA’s report further indicates that, at EUR 89,000 per worker in 2015, productivity in the EU shipping industry remains above the EU average.“The latest Oxford Economics figures underline that shipping remains a solid contributor to the European agenda of jobs and growth,” Patrick Verhoeven, ECSA Secretary General, said.“Compared to 2013 figures, we see a modest increase in both employment and value-added figures.”The Oxford Economics report finds that around four-fifths of direct employment occurs at sea. Officers account for an estimated 42% of positions at sea, and ratings 58%. 40% of the 516,000 seafarers employed in the EU shipping industry are estimated to be EU/EEA nationals.“Although it is an estimated figure, the percentage of EU/EEA seafarers appears to remain fairly stable,” Verhoeven said, adding that this is a positive sign, given the challenging market circumstances most European shipping companies still operate in.
zoom Finnish ferry operator Finnlines, part of the Grimaldi Group, has placed a service order with Swedish provider of specialized products and engineering solutions Alfa Laval to optimize the performance of its existing scrubber systems.Finnlines signed the six-year Performance Agreement with Alfa Laval in order to maintain the consistent performance of its PureSOx systems.The service plan includes yearly condition audits, which help ensure correct operation and provide insights into the state of the equipment. These insights will allow any issues to be addressed before they can lead to unplanned shutdowns, according to Alfa Laval.The agreement covers PureSOx systems installed on board seven roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) vessels: Finnpulp, Finnmill, Finnhawk, Finnkraft, Finncarrier, Finnmaster and Finnmerchant.The ships are part of the Finnlines fleet operating in the Baltic Sea, where strict SOx emissions limits are in place due to the region’s designation as an Emission Control Area (ECA). Finnlines began equipping vessels with PureSOx in 2014, in preparation for the implementation of ECA limits in 2015.Additionally, Finnlines selected options that will simplify parts management, such as an exchange program for PAH and turbidity sensors. Vital for proving compliance, these sensors will be exchanged every two years and replaced in the event of a failure, Alfa Laval said.Furthermore, Alfa Laval will track the parts consumption of the Finnlines vessels and provide strategic planning for their spare parts supply.
zoom Naples-based shipping company L.G.R. di Navigazione has reached an agreement for a USD 28.8 million loan facility, secured by mortgages over two of its medium range ice class tankers.The financing, which was agreed with Italian bank Banca Popolare di Milano S.p.A., is secured by, inter alia, mortgages over the company’s vessels Cenito and Posillipo, according to the international law firm Watson Farley & Williams (WFW), which acted as adviser to the bank.It is understood that the loan facility would be used for refinancing purposes. The parties did not unveil any further details of the agreement.L.G.R. di Navigazione earlier operated a fleet comprising two more chemical tankers, namely the Nisida and Miseno. In April 2017, the ships were sold en bloc to Danish shipping firm Navigare Capital for a price of USD 24 million each, data provided by VesselsValue shows.
zoomIllustration. Source: Pxhere under CC0 Creative Commons license Greek ship owner and operator DryShips has agreed to acquire a Newcastlemax drybulk carrier for a price of around USD 50 million.The 2017-built unit would be purchased from an entity that owned by George Economou, the company’s Chairman and CEO.DryShips explained that the acquisition includes existing financing in place and will be effected by way of long-term bareboat charter party with purchase obligation.The bulker is expected to be delivered to DryShips in the second quarter of 2019 and in connection with the transaction, an entity owned by Economou has also agreed to time charter the vessel on an index-linked time charter of flexible duration, with optionality for DryShips to convert this index-linked time charter to fixed rate charter.Economou’s TMS Dry would manage the vessel.
Criminal Code changes that were prompted in large measure by theWestray tragedy, take effect across Canada today, March 31,making organizations and their senior officers liable forcriminal acts related to workplace safety. “Nova Scotians applaud Bill C-45,” said acting Justice MinisterErnest Fage. “These are important Criminal Code changes that holdorganizations accountable to the public interest. We supportthese practical, progressive changes in the law, and we’re gladto see them take effect today.” Under the federal legislation, there is now an explicit legalduty among those who have responsibility for directing the workof others to take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm or fatal injuries among workers. Mr. Fage said Nova Scotia is taking a proactive approach to theimplementation of Bill C-45. The province brought together thekey players who are often called to investigate accidents in theworkplace. Several provincial departments are working with the PublicProsecution Service, RCMP, Halifax Regional Police, the NovaScotia Chiefs of Police Association, Workers’ Compensation Boardand Human Resources Development Canada, to make sure staff areaware of the new law and to ensure that they are working togetheron common approaches to investigations. Bill C-45 increases the maximum fine for lesser (summaryconviction) offences. The old fine was $25,000; the new fine is$100,000. For more serious (indictable) offences, there is nolimit on the fine that can be imposed by the courts. The federal government has published a plain language guide toBill C-45 on the website at canada.justice.gc.ca/en/dept/pub/c45/index.html .
PREMIER’S OFFICE–Nova Scotians Invited to Help DevelopImmigration Strategy More jobs and a growing economy are two of the many benefits NovaScotians can expect from a provincial immigration strategy. A Framework for Immigration – A Discussion Paper was launched forpublic review and input today, Aug. 31, by Premier John Hamm andEconomic Development Minister Ernest Fage at Pier 21 in Halifax. “More Nova Scotians are working than ever before, but asgovernment we must do more to create a climate for sustainedgrowth and job creation,” said Premier Hamm. “By working withNova Scotians to deliver on our government’s commitment for acomprehensive immigration strategy, our province will have asignificant new tool to attract new Canadians who will make apositive difference in our communities, our economy and oursociety.” The public and organizations are asked to provide input intomatters such as how to create welcoming communities, awarenessand education programs, and marketing Nova Scotia as animmigration destination. The feedback will be used in thedevelopment of a provincial immigration strategy. “Immigrants create jobs, stimulate innovation and increasecompetitiveness wherever they settle,” said Mr. Fage. “The newimmigration strategy will help us build a strong interest in NovaScotia among potential immigrants and provide improved servicesthat encourage them to stay here and put their skills to work forNova Scotia.” Nova Scotia currently oversees two immigration programs, theProvincial Nominee Program and the memorandum of understandingwith post-secondary institutions to allow immigrants to work fortwo years in the province after completing their degree. “Immigration is critical to growing our economy,” noted JoeSpampinato, council chair of NovaKnowledge. “Having the provincetake such positive steps towards a strategy for increasingimmigration reinforces NovaKnowledge’s commitment to advancingits call to action strategy for increasing and retaining thenumber of immigrants coming to Nova Scotia.” Copies of the discussion paper are available on the province’swebsite at www.gov.ns.ca/immigration or by calling 902-424-5200,or 1-800-670-4357. The deadline for submissions is Oct. 15. Feedback can be providedby e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org., by fax to 902-424-0489, ormail to Ron Heisler, Director, Immigration and Settlement,Department of Education, PO Box 578, Halifax, N.S., B3J 2S9.
SERVICE N.S./MUNICIPAL RELATIONS–Eastern Region AssessmentNotices Mailed More than 500,000 property assessment notices are in the mailtoday, Jan. 10, to Nova Scotia property owners. The totalassessed value of properties in Nova Scotia is more than $53 billion, an increase of 6.6 per cent over 2004. In the Eastern Region — which includes all municipalities withinthe boundaries of Antigonish, Guysborough, Richmond, Inverness,Victoria and Cape Breton counties — total residential assessmentvalues are up by 4.2 per cent to almost $5.1 billion. Totalcommercial assessment increased by nearly 3.3 per cent to morethan $2.5 billion. “Property values continue to rise in the region,” said SkipMacKenzie, regional manager of the Eastern Assessment Region.”The most common reason for an increase in a residentialassessment is that the value of a property increased as a resultof a strong real estate market. If someone has recently maderenovations to their property, such as a new deck or garage, thatwill also contribute to a change in their property assessment.” All properties are assessed at market value as of Jan. 1, 2003. However, the 2005 taxation year marks the first year of the CAPAssessment Program, a program initiated by the Nova Scotiagovernment to protect property owners against sudden and dramaticincreases in property values. It allows eligible property ownersto apply each year for a cap on their taxable assessmentincrease. Assessment notices for the about 32,000 property owners whoapplied for the cap were not included in today’s mailing. Thoseproperty owners will receive their notices in February. “All properties continue to be assessed at market value,” saidMr. MacKenzie. “The province of Nova Scotia and more than 120countries around the world use market value as a standard forproperty assessment. However, property owners who applied and aredeemed eligible for a cap will see a limit on the amount thattheir taxable assessment can increase. “Property owners who applied for the cap will be notified oftheir eligibility and receive their assessment notices inFebruary,” said Mr. MacKenzie. “Eligible properties will receiveboth a market value assessment and a capped assessment. Thecapped value will be used by the municipality to calculate theirproperty taxes for 2005.” Residential property owners who get an assessment notice inJanuary can obtain detailed information about their property byentering a personal identification number (PIN) and theirassessment account number (AAN) on the website atwww.nsassessment.ca . The PIN and AAN are printed on assessmentnotices. Property owners who do not have Internet access can gettheir questions answered by calling the Assessment InformationLine at 1-800-667-5727. “We welcome calls from property owners regarding theirassessments,” said Mr. MacKenzie. “We especially encourageproperty owners who are thinking about appealing their assessmentto call us so they can obtain more information.” Property owners who receive assessment notices in January 2005may appeal their property assessment if they believe that it isnot a reasonable estimate of market value at Jan. 1, 2003. Toappeal, owners must fill out a form provided on the bottom oftheir assessment notice and return it to a Regional AssessmentOffice in person, by mail or by fax. It must be received in theRegional Assessment Office by no later than midnight, Jan. 31,2005.
Nova Scotians in need of an MRI will have improved access with the purchase of six new top-of-the-line machines — one more than originally planned. The Department of Health announced today, Nov. 24, it has accepted advice from the provincial steering committee to purchase the diagnostic units from General Electric Canada’s Healthcare business, GE Healthcare. In doing so, Nova Scotia is able to purchase a sixth MRI scanner within the same funding allocation. “Department staff worked through the government’s competitive process alongside Nova Scotia’s specialists to ensure we purchase high-quality technology at an affordable cost,” said Health Minister Angus MacIsaac. “We are yet another step closer to providing better diagnostic services and care across the province.” New units will be installed in Kentville, New Glasgow, Yarmouth, and Antigonish once renovations, human resource plans, and community funding are in place. The remaining two units will replace existing MRIs at the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax. “We take pride in helping our customers achieve their goals,” said Joe Sardi, general manager of GE Healthcare in Canada. “This decision will bring both a new level of technological leadership and enhanced long-term service support excellence to the many communities in Nova Scotia.” The province set aside up to $12.5 million for this purchase, which was made possible through the 2004 First Ministers Meeting Accord funding for medical equipment. Each district health authority receiving equipment will also contribute about $750,000 toward its MRI purchase and installation. The provincial steering committee has representatives from most of the province’s nine health districts, the IWK Health Centre, and the Department of Health. The group has focused on creating consistency in diagnostic services, technology, training and referral processes across the province. GE Healthcare’s broad range of products and services enable healthcare providers to better diagnose and treat cancer, heart disease, neurological diseases, and other conditions earlier. GE Healthcare’s vision for the future is to enable a new “early health” model of care focused on earlier diagnosis, pre-symptomatic disease detection and disease prevention. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a $15- billion unit of General Electric Company. Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 43,000 people committed to serving health-care professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, see the company’s website at www.gehealthcare.com .
Minister of Justice Cecil Clarke, after consulting with the chief medical examiner, said today, Sept. 17, a fatality inquiry will be held into the death of Howard Hyde. Mr. Clarke outlined the terms of reference for the inquiry and said it will examine the circumstances under which Mr. Hyde died, Nov. 22, 2007, the cause of death, and the manner of death, and may make recommendations about any matters arising from the inquiry. A judge who conducts an inquiry under the Fatality Investigations Act has all the powers of a commissioner appointed under the Public Inquiries Act which includes, the authority to hold public hearings and hear witnesses.
Nova Scotians will be required to report suspected child pornography to help reduce the sexual exploitation of children under a new law that comes into effect today, April 13, 2010. The new law requires anyone who encounters child pornography material or recordings to report it to the police. It also protects people who report child pornography from any retaliation they could suffer for reporting child pornography Nova Scotia has specialized units in the RCMP and the Halifax Regional Police who investigate tips from the public. “We know that Nova Scotians want to do their part to help catch anyone who is exploiting children through child pornography and this law compels them to do that,” said Justice Minister Ross Landry.
Department of Natural Resources officials responded to an incident involving an aggressive coyote Tuesday, May 15, in the evening, near Edwardsville, Cape Breton Regional Municipality. A 14-year-old boy was attacked by a coyote on a trail. The animal bit the boy’s leg and buttock. He has been checked by health officials and his wounds are not considered serious. Natural Resources officials are investigating on-site and have called in a trained trapper to remove the animal. “An aggressive encounter with a coyote is unusual and our department is taking the incident seriously,” said Charlie Parker, Minister of Natural Resources. “We’re investigating the incident and our main priority is to do whatever is possible to ensure Nova Scotians are safe.” Department officials remind Nova Scotians that when faced with an aggressive coyote they should remember the acronym BAM — Back away, Act big, and Make noise. If attacked, the person should use whatever is available to defend themselves. The Department of Natural Resources has a four-part program to deal with aggressive coyotes that threaten human safety. There are 13 experienced trappers across the province ready to deal with situations where aggressive coyotes must be removed. The department has a wildlife conflict biologist as of July 2010, and staff continue to provide public education. Educational materials were developed for Nova Scotians and public schools. Final numbers of coyote pelts taken under the province’s pelt incentive initiative during the latest trapping season will be available in the coming weeks, which will help the department examine the effectiveness of the program in changing aggressive coyote behavior over the long term.
The province is teaming up with businesses to help recent graduates stay in Nova Scotia through student employment programs. “We all want our graduates to have the opportunity to stay and build their futures here in Nova Scotia,” said Education Minister Ramona Jennex, on behalf of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Graham Steele. “Without innovative programs like the Co-operative Graduate Placement Program that gives graduates the chance to apply their new skills with Nova Scotia companies, we would see more of our young talent leave the province.” One of the first businesses to participate in the province’s Co-operative Graduate Placement Program, Colibri Software in Wolfville, has hired recent graduates for its software development team. Since the company began in 2010, it has relied on various programs, including the Graduate Placement Program and the Strategic Co-operative Education Incentive, to hire students. Colibri employs two recent Acadia University graduates and three students in co-operative education programs at Acadia as part of its team. “With the help of these two programs, Colibri Software has grown to 12 employees,” said John Read, president of Colibri Software. “Thanks to this partnership, we are ready to launch an innovative web-based platform. We will continue to hire students and recent graduates, and provide meaningful jobs in rural Nova Scotia.” Through the program, students and grads like Alex Sandford and Charlie Greene have been able to develop the skills they need for good jobs in Nova Scotia. “Both the co-operative education program at Acadia University and the Graduate Placement Program have had a huge impact on my career,” said Mr. Sandford. “The experience that these opportunities have given me is invaluable. After graduation, I literally walked straight into a full-time position at Colibri because of the Graduate Placement Program.” “I have known for a long time that I want to stay in the Annapolis Valley but didn’t think I would be able to find a job here in my field. That’s why I was so excited when John offered me a job in Wolfville doing what I love,” said Mr. Greene. “As a Computer Science graduate and officer in the Cadet Instructor Cadre, I enjoy both programming and teaching. At Colibri Software, I am able to do both of these because of how many students we hire. The experience working here has been amazing.” Like many universities and colleges in Nova Scotia, Acadia University offers various co-operative education programs to introduce work skills and provide work experience to students. The Co-operative Graduate Placement Program provides a 50 per cent wage subsidy, to a maximum of $7,500, to private sector, government-funded and non-profit organizations for the first three months of permanent, full-time employment for a graduate of a co-operative education program at a Nova Scotia college or university. All Nova Scotia companies are eligible to apply for the Co-operative Graduate Placement Program. The province also offers the Strategic Co-operative Education Incentive for students to connect and develop skills with Nova Scotia employers during their studies. For more information on the programs, visit www.gov.ns.ca/econ/sep.
JODHPUR: World fame dancer Queen Harish and three other folk artists were killed and five others injured in a road accident near Jodhpur in Rajasthan on Sunday morning. The accident was reported near Kaparda village on a highway in Jodhpur when the victims were on their way towards Ajmer from Jaisalmer in an SUV. “Their vehicle rammed into a stationary truck which left Harish, Ravindra, Bhikhe Khan and Latif Khan dead. Five others were injured in the mishap,” Sitaram Khoja, SHO of Bilara police station said. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twistTheir family members have arrived. Primary investigation reveals that Harish along with his team of folk artists were travelling in connection with an event, the SHO added. Chief minister Ashok Gehlot has condoled the deaths of the artists. “The death of four persons including the famous artist Queen Harish in a road accident in Jodhpur is very sad. Dedicated to the folk art and culture of Rajasthan, Harish gave a new identity to Jaisalmer with his different dance style. His death is a big loss to the field of folk art,” Gehlot said. A native of Jaisalmer, Harish Kumar was popularly known as Queen Harish and his shows comprising of various folk dance forms like Ghoomar, Kalbelia, Chang, Bhawai, Chari among others were very popular. He had gained worldwide fame for his folk dance skills.
Ayodhya: Government should bring an ordinance to construct Ram temple, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said on Sunday in Ayodhya, asserting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the courage to do so and there would be no one to stop it.Thackeray offered prayers at the makeshift Ram Lalla temple along with his son Aditya and 18 newly-elected lawmakers of his party. The Shiv Sena has said the visit was to fulfil the promise Thackeray made last November to come to Ayodhya again after the elections. Also Read – Cong may promise farm loan waiver in Haryana”The case is in the court for many years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the courage. If government takes the decision, there is no one to stop it. Not only Shiv Sena, Hindus of the whole world are with this,” Uddhav said, while addressing a press conference after his visit to the Ram Lalla (or infant Ram) temple. “The government should bring an ordinance for construction of Ram temple. The issue concerns all Hindus and the temple has to be constructed at the earliest,” he said, raising the slogan of “kanoon banao, mandir banao (formulate law and construct temple)”. Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: ShahMaharashtra will be going to polls later this year and the visit is being seen as an attempt by the Shiv Sena to put pressure on ally BJP on the Ram temple issue. But Sena has maintained that Thackeray’s visit should not be seen through the electoral lens. “For us Ram temple is a matter of faith and not politics,” Thackeray said. “Whether it be Shiv Sena or BJP, we are working to make Hindutva strong. After understanding this, the government (of Narendra Modi) returned to power with more MPs. This means we have to respect people’s feelings,” he added. When asked whether the Shiv Sena would risk its alliance with the BJP to put pressure on the government over construction of the Ram temple, he quipped, “For a good work, thoughts also need to be good.”
Patna: The death toll from severe heatwave rose to 101 in Bihar, an official data showed on Friday. However, unofficially the heatwave has claimed more than 250 deaths across a dozen districts. According to the State Disaster Management Department website, 101 deaths have been recorded till 11 a.m. on Friday. Of these, Aurangabad recorded 48 deaths, Gaya 39 and Nawada 14. Death were also reported from Patna, Begusarai, Arwal, Jamui, Bhojpur, Buxar, Rohtas districts where temperatures hovered above 49 degrees Celsius since last week. Prohibitory orders have been imposed in the wake of extreme weather conditions under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in Gaya, Begusarai, Darbhanga, Gopalganj, Madhubani and Sitamarhi districts. The state Chief Secretary Deepak Kumar told the media here that the government will conduct an enquiry on the intensity of the heatwave between 3-5 p.m. on June 15 which resulted in the highest number of deaths in a day due to heatstroke. “Chief Minister had directed the concerned departments to find out the reasons behind the sudden escalation in heat wave last week,” an official said. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of the victims. On Thursday, Nitish Kumar visited the state-run Anugrah Narayan Magadh Medical College and Hospital in Gaya where dozens of heat stroke patients were being treated. The hospital Superintendent Vijay Krishna said 206 patients were undergoing treatment. The government has also issued a heat alert and advised people to avoid going out during the day time.
New Delhi: East Delhi BJP MP Gautam Gambhir took a pot-shot at Arvind Kejriwal on Twitter after installing CCTV cameras in his constituency. The World Cup-winning cricketer-turned-politician posted a video of people posting CCTV cameras and joked that one of the CCTV cameras would keep track of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s false promises. He said another tweet: “To my dear friends from Sir Ji’s gang, who had been cooking conspiracy stories for dinner last night &breakfast this morning, please find attached. CCTV installation is a voluntary gesture by Hawkeye after I had requested them. Some constructive criticism please…”(With inputs from DNA)
Bengaluru: Union minister D V Sadananda Gowda Sunday said mid-term polls would be an additional burden on the people of Karnataka and if given a chance the BJP would “rectify things”. Speaking to reporters after inaugurating a Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendra at Nelamangala on the city outskirts, the minister for chemicals and fertilisers said elections bring to halt all development works. “Mid-term poll is a burden on the people. Under the present circumstances, let new government take over but burdening people with mid-term poll is not proper,” Gowda said. Also Read – Cong may promise farm loan waiver in Haryana “We don’t like to trouble people just to achieve our political ambitions. If they cannot rectify things then we will do it if given a chance,” he added. He said development works could not be done in the last three-four months due to the Lok Sabha elections and a mid-term poll in the state would result in a similar situation for another 40 to 50 days. “It will ultimately result in additional burden on the people. This is not good,” Gowda pointed out. Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: Shah The comments came days after JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda created a political storm by saying mid-term poll in the state was imminent amid squabbling in the ruling coalition. However, later he retracted the statement, saying he was referring to the local body elections and not the assembly polls. Chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, his son, was also quick to get into damage control and asserted that his government was safe. Congress leaders like former chief minister Siddaramaiah and deputy chief minister G Parameshwara too ruled out the possibility of mid-term polls and said the government was stable and would continue for the next four years. BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa said his party would not let it happen and would take the reigns of power in the state to avoid mid-term polls. He said the coalition government has become a hub of confusion and internal fights.
Noida: The body of a 19-year old girl was found stuck inside a one-and-a-half feet space between two buildings in Amrapali Silicon society in Sector 76, Noida, on Tuesday. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) toiled for over seven hours to bring down the body. Police officials have not ruled out the possibility of a murder. The woman hailed from Katiyar district in Bihar and worked as a domestic help at a house in the same residential society. She was reported missing from June 28. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic items “A police team was rushed to the society where they found the woman stuck between the space of C and D Block. After the police failed to pull out the body, a team of the National Disaster Response Force was called to the spot,” said a senior police officer. A senior official of the NDRF said that it was really difficult to pull out the body as it was stuck in a small space between two buildings. The NDRF personnel used ropes and had to suspend themselves from the terrace to reach the body which was stuck around the 12th floor. Machines were also used to cut some part of the construction to get the body down. According to the police, the body was disfigured, swollen and bore injury marks. The police are probing the case from all angles and trying to find out how the body ended up there. The body has been sent for post-mortem.
Varanasi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday dismissed as “professional pessimists” the critics of the Centre’s target to achieve a USD 5-trillion economy within the next five years and asserted that the “new India” is on the threshold of sprinting forward. A day after the Union budget was presented by Finance Minister Niramala Sitharaman, the prime minister shared his views on the budget at the launch of the BJP’s membership drive here on the occasion of the 118th birth anniversary of party ideologue Syama Prasad Mookerjee. Also Read – IAF Day: Tributes paid to soldiers killed in line of duty in Jammu Modi said his government’s Budget for 2019-20 lays down a roadmap for nearly doubling the size of the Indian economy to USD 5 trillion in five years by raising per capita income, boosting consumption and increasing productivity. “Size of the cake matters. The larger the cake, larger pieces are what people will get. So we have set a target of making India a USD 5-trillion economy. Larger the size of the economy will be, the larger prosperity will it bring for the country,” he said. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps, 20 launch pads along LoC Citing global examples, he said countries have leapfrogged from developing to developed status on the back of a jump in per capita income. “India can also do that. The target is not difficult,” he said. Modi said some people are questioning the need for becoming a USD 5-trillion economy. “They are what I call professional pessimists. They are detached from the common man and if you go to them for a solution, they will put you in crisis,” he said, adding while there should be debate and criticism on ways and means of achieving the goal, but questioning the target of building a USD 5 trillion economy is wrong. “The country needs to be wary of these pessimists,” the prime minister said. Referring to the budgetary provisions, Modi said a “new India” was on the threshold of sprinting forward and recited a few couplets in Hindi which means the challenges before one also offer immense opportunities to surmount them and everyone’s contribution in the development the country will be a true gift for mother India. Launching his party’s membership drive, Modi said it will further connect people from all walks of life with the saffron party. “The main feeling underlining today’s membership campaign is we should work as ambassadors of the country along with that of the party.” Explaining the difference between the BJP and other parties, he said, “We said come together and build the nation. We never said come together and form government.” “This is the difference between us and others. A government is only a mechanism which is needed to build the nation… Deendayal Upadhaya was of the view that government should not merely be a group of people who have gathered for the sake of power,” the prime minister said. Elaborating his views on the budget, he said it did not have big announcements about allocations made under different heads but laid down a path for the economy to achieve the USD 5-trillion target. It provides for boosting farm and fisheries exports, making Rs 100 lakh crore investment in infrastructure such as roads and ports in next five years, constructing houses for all, promoting domestic manufacturing and cutting imports, he said. While the country is self-sufficient in food grain production, the budget emphasises on turning farmers into exporters of farm produce and value-added products. The government’s effort on cleanliness will boost tourism, which is the cheapest form of creating employment, Modi said. “The economy will not pick up pace unless infrastructure is good. We are building infrastructure from crop storages in villages to modern facilities in cities. Highway, railway, airways, waterways, i-ways, digital infrastructure, broadband in villages… Rs 100 lakh crore will be invested in five years,” the prime minister said. To boost housing, the budget has given an additional Rs 1.5 lakh income tax exemption on the purchase of affordable houses. Also, the government will build two crore houses to meet the target of housing for all by 2022, he said. The Centre will draft a model tenancy law and send it to state governments to boost rental housing, Modi said, adding all these will boost employment, create demand for steel, cement and other goods. “India spends Rs 5-6 lakh crore every year on oil imports, on petrol and diesel. So if it is reduced, it will be a big relief to the country,” he said. The prime minister said the country has become self-reliant in food grain and pulses production and next it should look at bringing down import of edible oil. Earlier, soon after his arrival here on a day-long visit, Modi unveiled a statue of former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri at the airport. The prime minister was accompanied by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BJP working president JP Nadda and the state unit chief of the saffron party, Mahendra Nath Pandey. Anil Shastri and Sunil Shastri, sons of late Lal Bahadur Shastri, were also present at the venue. This is Modi’s second visit to his constituency after winning the parliamentary polls held in April-May. He had visited Varanasi on May 27 to thank the voters after winning the Lok Sabha seat for the second consecutive time by a huge margin of 4.79 lakh votes. After unveiling Shastri’s statue, the prime minister launched a tree-plantation campaign — “Anand Kanan” — in the temple city.