Adityanath cracks whip on latecomers

first_imgFollowing reports of Noida Authority staff allegedly not reaching office on time, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday sought the employee details of both Noida and Greater Noida Authorities.Mr. Adityanath also ordered that 73 employees of the Noida Authority, who had not been marking themselves present on biometric machine, be marked absent for the corresponding days. He also ordered that their salaries be deducted.Noida and Greater Noida Authority CEO Deepak Agarwal confirmed this. “The Chief Minister has asked for details such as the employees’ income, assets, ranks, tenure, departments, etc. While 40% of the staff members in the Greater Noida Authority have submitted their details, employees of the Noida Authority are yet to file the same,” said Mr. Agarwal.Plugging corruptionSoon after assuming office on March 19, Mr. Adityanath had directed Ministers and top officials to provide details of their income and assets within 15 days. He had said rooting out corruption in government offices was his main agenda. However, a majority of the officials failed to adhere to the deadline of April 7.Mr. Agarwal further said that to improve work culture in the authorities, he had asked the employees to mark their attendance on biometric machines. Failure to comply with the order would amount to strict action, he added.The Noida Authority had on March 23 installed biometric machines to crack down on employees who would reach office late. The Noida Authority’s offices are located in sectors 6, 5, 19 and 39. According to rules, the employees must reach office by 9:30 a.m. and not leave before 5 p.m. The two authorities work for five days a week. ‘30% staff absent’“During an inspection, I found that around 30% of the staff was absent. Whoever reaches office after 9:30 a.m. will be marked absent,” said Mr. Agarwal.Earlier, every employee had to sign on an attendance sheet. However, many would sign the sheet in the month-end. With the introduction of biometric attendance, the flaw was exposed. Explanation sought“We have also sought an explanation from those who were not present at 9:30 a.m.,” the CEO said.“If they will fail to furnish a satisfactory reply, we will take action against them. If absent employees are repeatedly absent, we will take departmental action against them,” he added.last_img read more

Understanding the Brahmaputra and the annual flooding in Assam

first_imgSand is being dug from the river Brahmaputra due to massive siltation in the water ways in the outskirts of Guwahati on November 25, 2015. Gulzarilal Nanda, Union Planning Minister, visit a rapid survey of flood and erosion-affected areas of Assam on August 22, 1954. Photo shows the Union Minister (third from right) looking at the swirling Brahmaputra at Palasbari about 14 miles from Guwahati.  | Photo Credit: The Hindu Archives The permanent destruction of wetlands in the State has also been contributing to the deluge. File The massive earthquake that ravaged Assam on Independence Day that year not only claimed over 1,000 lives, but also changed the course of the mighty Brahmaputra. The riverbed rose as the mountains shook, and what had been a stable course became a constantly shifting one eroding the banks.This especially increased the amount of silt carried by the river and its tributaries. The silt was deposited on the banks downstream, and on the riverbed. Due to this heavy deposition, the river “frequently changes its course with the main channel flowing into multiple channels” hitting the river bank causing further erosion, a study published in 2014 by the Civil Engineering Department, Royal Group of Institutions explains.The riverbed area of the Brahmaputra has increased by more than 50 per cent through erosion since the quake. According to a report on climate change published by the government of Assam in September 2015, erosion has destroyed more than 3,800 square kilometres of farmland, which is nearly half the size of Sikkim, since 1954. Due to erosion, the riverbed area has expanded from around 3,870 sq.km. estimated between 1916 and 1928 to 6,080 sq.km. in 2006. Based on the civil engineering report, between 1954 and 2008 about 4,27,000 hectares has been eroded at the rate of 8,000 hectares per year.  Controlling the floodsOne of the main methods used in the State to control floods is embankments, but almost every year the Brahmaputra and the Barak breach their banks, inundating agricultural land and houses. “The most recent embankments are 25 years old,” says Himanshu Thakkar, coordinator of the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People. “Checking embankments before monsoon should be done as we never know where it will be breached. When the flow is extreme, erosion capacity is greater,” he adds.In August this year, the State government announced that as many as five dredgers will be used to deepen the Brahmaputra, and the harvested silt will be used to construct the 725-km Brahmaputra Expressway along both banks of the river. In an earlier report, the Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal told The Hindu: “We believe it will not only improve the water-carrying capacity of the Brahmaputra, but also make the river navigable for bigger cargo ships. That used to be the case before Independence.”Sanjoy Hazarika, director of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative is unconvinced. He is for an engineering assessment, along with environment assessment, as dredging “might change the course of river.” Mr. Thakkar adds that the way dredging is done followed by the construction of highway on both banks will determine the changes the river will see.The Brahmaputra Board, under the Ministry of Water Resources, had suggested constructing dams in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh about 30 years ago, the Subansiri project being one of them. Subansiri was initially designed as a hydro-power and storage dam, which the board believed would help reduce the impact of floods. However, it was later transformed into just a hydroelectric project aimed at generating 2000 megawatts of electricity, which invited opposition from local people and environment scientists.There is the possibility that hydro electric projects can worsen the situation. “Ranganadi project is a classic example of damage caused by the dam in downstream,” Mr. Thakkar points out. The dam in Arunachal Pradesh — part of a hydro-electric project — is on the Ranganadi tributary of Brahmaputra. During winter the river barely exists, but during monsoon it swells up, inundating villages. The All Assam Students’ Union in July this year demanded demolition of the Ranganadi hydro project, alleging that release of water by the North Eastern Electric Power Corp. on July 11 without prior notice affected hundreds of thousands of people in Lakhimpur and Majuli, media reported.  A similar story was told by Nishikant Deka, 80, of Gorubandha, a village about 40 km from Guwahati. He and his 12-member family had to evacuate their house in neck-deep water and take shelter at a naamghar (public prayer hall). They managed to carry some rice, and food provided once in a while by NGOs kept them going. The head of the house described how almost every year the family has to reconstruct the bamboo home that floodwaters destroy.The government of Assam estimates that 2,753 human lives have been lost along with 6,73,329 cattle and the total losses due to floods and erosion amount to nearly ₹4659.472 crore. Flooding this year took the lives of 157 people and destroyed hundreds of acres of land. According to the state disaster management authorities, in the past five years, flooding has killed about 500 people. | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar The permanent destruction of wetlands in the State has also been contributing to the deluge. Assam is home to more than 3,000 wetlands and many varieties of flora and fauna. “Wetlands, locally known as beels, act as reservoirs and rejuvenating them before monsoon can help in mitigating flood in parts of the state,” said Dulal Chandra Goswami, former head of department of environmental science at Guwahati University.“Wetlands play a very significant role as natural reservoirs of water that absorb part of the flood waters from the nearby rivers through their connected channels and also from surface runoff,” Mr. Goswami explains. Most of these wetlands are in derelict condition mainly due to human-induced factors such as encroachment for agriculture or infrastructure development.“To mitigate floods, any potential practical solution should be based on an integrated, multidisciplinary basin management plan focused on water and soil conservation together with geo-environmental, eco-biological and socio-cultural integrity of the basin,” Mr. Goswami says. “The basin management approach is essential in view of the interstate as well as international character of most of the tributaries and the mainstream.”Effects of Climate ChangeCompounding the issue of an unpredictable Brahmaputra, are the effects of climate change. “Climate change will result in more frequent and severe floods, which will increase the costs of reconstruction and maintenance on state infrastructure, including roads, irrigation, water and sanitation,” says the report on climate change published by the Assam government.According to the study, by 2050, the average annual runoff of the river Brahmaputra will decline by 14 per cent. However, there is a risk of glaciers melting, leading to flash floods.As the economy of Assam is largely dependent on natural resources, what happens with agriculture and forests has direct effects on the livelihood of its people. During floods, water becomes contaminated, and climate change has a direct impact on the water resources sector by increasing the scarcity of freshwater, which is a constant problem in summer.“The predicted increase in average temperature and decrease in the number of rainy days due to climate change will further stress water resources,” the report points out.The study goes on to say that heavier rainfall replacing continuous low or normal rainfall during monsoon might lead to flash floods in low-lying areas. This will also reduce the groundwater recharge. | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar  Change in approachWhile the present approach towards flood has been immediate relief, much more need to be done before torrential rains hit the State during monsoon. The short-term measures on which flood management in the State presently depends, such as rebuilding the breached embankments, are largely inadequate.Besides, more accurate and decentralised forecasts of rain can help in improving preparedness. “Weather reports should be made available on district level and should be accessible to public,” says Mr. Thakkar of the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People. “Information should be available in local languages. With the forecast in, one can calculate how much more water will flow downstream, thereby alerting people in advance to evacuate. The nature of rivers is such that there is no way one can flood-proof whole of Assam so one has to keep it mind that floods will happen.”He adds that the water flow information shared by China on the Brahmaputra with India, for which India pays a certain amount, should also be shared with the public, as this will help in understanding the river better and therefore help people better prepare for floods.As the research scholars point out, studying the river and the impact of climate change is a must to understand why the state gets flooded every year. As line in a famous Assamese song goes: “Luitar parore ami deka lora; moribole bhoi nai (We are the youths from the banks of the Luit [Brahmaputra]; we are not afraid of death),” people in the Valley seems to be living by the same spirit. The human costLalita Biswas, 30, a daily wage earner at a brick factory in Morigaon, Assam, had to leave her submerged house in a village in Morigaon in a boat provided by villagers and take shelter in an open space on a nearby hillock. She was living in a polythene tent with her husband, who also works at the brick factory, and children. Her children have suffered from colds and fevers, and her family did not receive any help from the government, she said.“We’re always neglected because we are poor,” she said when asked if she had received any help from the state authorities. Ms. Biswas wasn’t alone. About 100 people climbed the hills to escape the flood and have to rebuild their houses and lives.Also Read All you need to know about Assam floods Marooned houses in the flood affected Morigaon district of Assam. “The river was swollen the morning after the earthquake, which seemed to last for an eternity. We saw fallen trees in it, people and animals flailing, dead bodies of people and animals that were carried on the strong current.”Krishna Chawla (née Das) was 13 when a strong earthquake that lasted about eight minutes jolted Assam and adjacent areas on the evening of August 15, 1950.The Brahmaputra River, which was always “eating away at parts of the state,” looked terrifying, she recollects. “All of us students went to help build embankments the next day, and while I was passing a bag full of sand to a fellow student, I saw the river take away the house I was born in. The house collapsed, and I stood there paralysed,” said Ms. Chawla, the daughter of a forest officer in Dibrugarh. | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwarlast_img read more

Lamar Odom arrives in Manila for Mighty Sports stint

first_imgThe 6-foot-10 point forward, who was the fourth overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 1999 NBA Draft, ended his NBA career with averages of 13.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.9 blocks.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town MOST READ LATEST STORIES ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss The former Los Angeles Lakers star will reinforce the Philippine side together with Barangay Ginebra resident import Justin Brownlee and veteran big man Randolph Morris in the tournament which tips off February 1.Joining the three are Fil-Americans Jeremiah Gray and Roosevelt Adams, former pros Joseph Yeo, Jet Manuel and Gab Banal and college standouts Juan Gomez Di Liaño, Santi Santillan, Justin Gutang and Troy Rike.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThe 39-year-old Odom last played for Spanish club Laboral Kuxta Basconia in the EuroLeague back in 2014.Odom, who is known for his versatility, helped the Lakers win back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010. Screengrab from Lamar Odom’s Instagram Story.Two-time NBA champion Lamar Odom arrived in Manila on Wednesday to join his team Mighty Sports ahead of the Dubai International Basketball Championship next month.Odom was welcomed by fans and members of media at the airport.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Dennis Smith returns after trade drama as Mavs beat Clippers 106-98last_img read more

Guardiola says racism is everywhere and praises ‘incredible’ Sterling

first_imgShare on Facebook “We have to be better, everyone. Sport is amazing because you live through different people. My kids go to school, with English, black people, [people] from everywhere. Today this happens but we have to defend and protect.”Sterling has explained why he feels it is important to speak publicly about important issues.“I’m about sharing so that stuff that has happened to me could help someone else as well,” he told the Glass Magazine. “There was a time when I tried to hold stuff back but I know now that there is a 15-year-old boy just like Raheem, or a girl just like Raheem, that will go through these things and hopefully hearing these things from me and not keeping it to myself will help.“I’d like to know I could have helped someone else that is going through something similar. Not everyone is the same but I want to help them along their journey, that’s what I want to do. I always think of the kids from the next generation, you know the kids from London or Manchester or wherever they’re from.”On Wednesday City play Hoffenheim in their final Champions League group game in the midst of an injury crisis. David Silva will be out a for “few weeks” and Fernandinho is also injured, along with Danilo. Sergio Agüero, Kevin De Bruyne and Benjamin Mendy remain out and this has left Guardiola with 15 fit players. “Sergio may be back at the weekend,” he said.City need a point to guarantee their passage to the knockout stage as the group winners. They are aiming to bounce back from Saturday’s first league defeat of the season at Chelsea.Guardiola said: “It’s incredible to review the game and how we played considering the huge quality of the opponents. We had an incredible first half except for 18 minutes when there was a little mistake in our movement.“The rest of the game we played with courage. Football is what it is. Sometimes you accept it. We could have avoided the two goals – two mistakes for the first goal and they scored. That can happen when you play against a good team. If you make mistakes against good teams – Champions League teams, Chelsea – always you concede. It’s part of the process and we have to learn.”Leroy Sané has indicated he could soon sign a new contract. “I felt really at home here from day one and of course it is possible,” the Germany forward said. “From the beginning since I arrived here, I am really happy.”City have announced that the 23-year-old goalkeeper Zack Steffen will join in July from Columbus Crew on a four-year contract. The MLS side said the fee for Steffen, who has six USA caps, was “the largest in club history and most ever received by an MLS club for a goalkeeper”. David Squires on … the mistreatment of Raheem Sterling Pep Guardiola has said “racism is everywhere” and has to be fought each day. Manchester City’s manager was speaking after Raheem Sterling was allegedly racially abused at Chelsea.Sterling was verbally abused on Saturday and the incident is being investigated by Chelsea and the Metropolitan police. Four Chelsea supporters have been suspended by the club. One of them pictured verbally abusing Sterling has reportedly denied any racial element. Share on WhatsApp Read more Reuse this content On Sunday Sterling highlighted on Instagram the differing newspaper coverage of Phil Foden and Tosin Adarabioyo with regard to them buying houses for family members. Guardiola, asked whether Sterling suffers abuse because he is black, said: “Really, I don’t know. I spoke with him when I arrived and he was active on social media and Instagram and I told him to protect his private life, and he did it. He’s less active than when he was young, more mature, on and off the pitch – he has two kids. I don’t know the reason why. Hopefully the criticism [only] is when he plays shit, he plays bad.“But just for the colour of his skin – believe me that’s ridiculous and that’s why everyone … we have to protect from that situation.“The media, of course [has a responsibility] – everyone and everywhere has. You can write something and offend, create a conflict. Today the real power is the media, not politicians, not the governments, it’s the media. That’s why you have the possibility.”Guardiola’s view is that racism is widespread. “Racism is everywhere; people focus on football but it’s not just in football. How we treat immigrants and refugees, when once in our lives our grandfathers were refugees. How we treat them in society – it’s everywhere. That’s why we have to fight every day. Manchester City The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email. news “I appreciate what Chelsea did. If it happened in my club we should do the same. We have to fight for human rights to make a better society for the future. Today it’s dangerous not just in England, all across Europe. The message for the politicians is for them to be tough on human rights and we have to defend democracy in the best way.”Guardiola praised Sterling. “He’s an incredible person,” he said. “It’s tough to understand today what happened to black people in all history. You have to protect them, how equal we are, all together. It’s tough in the 21st century to still be in this position. To have problems with diversity.center_img Pep Guardiola Share on Messenger Chelsea fan ‘denies racially abusing Raheem Sterling’ Read more Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Topics Raheem Sterling Share via Email Share on Pinterestlast_img read more

Simone Inzaghi backs brother Filippo at Bologna

first_imgLazio manager Simone Inzaghi believes his brother Filippo can turn things around at Bologna, despite beating his team 2-0 on Boxing Day.Lazio versus Bologna on Wednesday afternoon pitted the two brothers against each other in the dugout, but Simone’s Lazio came out victorious with a 2-0 win.It was the first time the two brothers had faced each other as managers.Bologna is left in the relegation zone after the defeat, but Simeone has faith in his brother to change the club’s fortunes.“I think they’re just missing incidents going their way,” Simone Inzaghi said in his post-match Press conference quoted in Football Italia.Mario BalotelliCorini tells Balotelli to “raise his game” Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 According to the Brescia coach, Mario Balotelli “needs to raise his game if he wants to face Juventus” as his team is set to host Bologna.“I’m convinced that with the attitude of the second half and recent games, Bologna can get out of this.“When you look at both the European race and the relegation battle there’s not much in it. There are teams who are higher up whose season has hinged on an incident.“Look at Sampdoria after [Riccardo] Saponara’s goal against us.”last_img read more