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20 dead, 80 injured in NTPC boiler blast in Rae Bareli

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NTPC blast

Lucknow, Nov 1 : At least 20 people were killed and more than 80 injured in a boiler explosion at a unit of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) in Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareli district, officials said.

Many of the injured are in critical condition with scalded body parts caused by hot ash and steam. They have been admitted to government medical facilities at Allahabad and at the Lucknow trauma centre.

Confirming the death toll, Principal Secretary, Home, Arvind Kumar said of the 10 injured brought to the civil hospital here, six have more than 90 per cent burns and that their condition, according to doctors, was very critical.A

Additional Director General of Police (ADG) Law and Order Anand Kumar said the death toll could climb up as many of the injured are in critical condition.

An NDRF team consisting of 32 persons has left Lucknow for Unchahar, the site of the accident.

Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya visited the Civil hospital at night to enquire about the injured and asked the doctors to give them the best possible treatment.

Two senior ministers – Suresh Khanna and Swamy Prasad Maurya – have been rushed to the site to oversee and coordinate relief and rescue operations, a government official said.

NTPC officials said that tThe number of casualties could go up once the blades of the boiler are cut and the team of experts is able to go inside. NTPC has ordered a probe into the blast.

More than 50 fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the fire and 100 ambulances, private and government, helped ferry the injured to medical facilities. Rae Bareli is the parliamentary constituency of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

A massive fire broke out inside and a huge ball of dust and ash rose after the explosion, making rescue operations difficult, an official told IANS. The unit was the sixth at NTPC and was commissioned on March 31 this year.

An alert was sounded at the community health centre (CHC), district hospital and at other medical centres, after the accident. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who is in Mauritius on a three-day visit, directed Principal Secretary, Home, Arvind Kumar to monitor the situation and brief him regularly. He has also condoled the death of workers and extended his sympathies to the bereaved families.

The Chief Minister has announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of those killed, Rs 50,000 each to those seriously injured, and Rs 25,000 each to those with less grave injuries. All the injured would be given free treatment at government hospitals, he added.

Senior district officials and police officials including the Divisional Commissioner of Lucknow Anil Garg were at the site and overseeing rescue and relief operations.

Officials said the explosion took place in the boiler, which creates steam which moves the turbines and generates electricity. The explosion was caused by the ash which got deposited on the furnace and triggered a massive blast.

Insiders at the plant, who refused to come on record, said that many labourers who were inside might have perished in the blast and their bodies would be buried under the very hot ash that has covered the entire area.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi expressed shock and horror at the tragedy and asked party workers to help in the relief operations. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi also expressed sadness and condoled the deaths.

IANS

Cities

CM dedicated to resolve farmers’ problems: Andhra Minister

Meanwhile, the winter session saw a decent turnout of MLAs, including opposition leader Naidu, who was seen wearing a mask.

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Jagan Mohan Reddy

Amaravati, Nov 30 : Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy is dedicated to resolve any roblems faced by state farmers, Agriculture Minister Kurasala Kannababu said on Monday in the Assembly as its winter session began.

“We do not have a Chief Minister who indulges in gimmicks before elections. He has said that he will take up any initiative to resolve farmers’ problems wholeheartedly,” said Kannababu

He said that the YSRCP government had fulfilled most of the promises made to farmers and highlighted that Rs 13,463 crore have been directly credited to farmers’ accounts in last 18 months.

Kannababu assailed Telugu Desam Party (TDP) national President Nara Chandrababu Naidu and his son Nara Lokesh for allegedly undermining Reddy’s aerial survey of Nivar- affected districts.

He showed a photograph of Naidu conducting a similar survey when he was CM while enjoying a hot beverage in helicopter and compared it with his successor’s survey.

The Minister said that Reddy takes comprehensive stock of the ground situation whenever natural calamities strike the state.

According to Kannababu, crops on 6.56 lakh hectares of land was damaged during recent torrential downpour. He said the revenue enumeration is still on.

“The CM told us to finish the enumeration by December 10 so as to pay compensation to the affected farmers by December-end. The Agriculture Department and other concerned ones are working towards that goal,” he said.

Kannababu said that the Chief Minister had instructed officials to buy crops from farmers even if it had changed colour.

Meanwhile, the winter session saw a decent turnout of MLAs, including opposition leader Naidu, who was seen wearing a mask.

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Health

Modi interacts with 3 teams developing corona vaccines

The Prime Minister also asked the companies to come out with their suggestions and ideas regarding the regulatory processes and related matters.

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Narendra Modi

New Delhi, Nov 30: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday held virtual meetings with three teams working on the development and manufacture of vaccines against Covid-19, and discussed the potential of various platforms for vaccine development.

The teams are from Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd at Pune, and Biological E Ltd and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd at Hyderabad.

Their potential vaccines are in different stages of trials and detailed data and results are expected from early next year onwards, a Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) statement said on Monday.

“The potential of various platforms for vaccine development was also discussed,” the statement said.

The Prime Minister also asked the companies to come out with their suggestions and ideas regarding the regulatory processes and related matters.

He also suggested that they should make extra efforts to inform the general public in simple language about the vaccine and related matters such as its efficacy.

Matters relating to logistics, transport and cold chains in respect of delivery of the vaccines were also discussed.

The Prime Minister advised all departments concerned to engage with the manufacturers and seek to resolve matters so that the efforts by these companies bear fruit in order to serve the needs of the country and the entire world.

The Prime Minister praised the efforts made by scientists and researchers in these companies to come out with a vaccine solution to tackle the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which so far has infected 94,31,692 people across the country, and led to deaths of 1,37,139 patients.

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Disaster

Economy to grow only 0.3% in 2 years as India enters first technical recession

Due to a weaker-than-expected 2QFY21, we revise down our 3QFY21 and 4QFY21 growth forecasts.

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National debt under Modi govt surges

New Delhi, Nov 30: The Indian economy is forecast to show an average growth of only 0.3 per cent in two years as India enters its first technical recession, GDP could post further decline in 3QFY21.

As per a report by Motilal Oswal Financial Services, “Real GDP declined 7.5 per cent YoY in 2QFY21 (or 3QCY20), worse than our expectation, but better than the market consensus”.

Fiscal spending, consumption plus investments, posted its first major contraction since FY15 and is the worst on record. On the contrary, decline in private spending narrowed to -9.2 per cent in 2QFY21 from -35.4 per cent YoY in 1Q. The government and private sectors are naturally highly interlinked with each other, the report said.

A comparison of India with other major nations suggests India is no longer the worst affected economy — as the Philippines’ real GDP saw double-digit decline in 3QCY20 and decline was also higher in the UK and Mexico.

Due to a weaker-than-expected 2QFY21, we revise down our 3QFY21 and 4QFY21 growth forecasts.

“We now pencil in a decline of 1–2 per cent YoY in 3QFY21 (v/s a negligible decline earlier) and growth of 2–3 per cent YoY in 4QFY21 (v/s +4.2 per cent projected earlier). Accordingly, India’s real GDP is forecast to decline 7.5 per cent YoY in FY21 (v/s the previous forecast of -6.5 per cent ), but grow 8.5 per cent in FY22 (against 7.8 per cent growth expected earlier). This implies average growth of only 0.3 per cent in the two years,” the report said.

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