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All-India truck, bus strike paralyses transportation

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Truck Strike

Mumbai, July 20 (IANS) Over 90 lakh trucks and around 50 lakh buses, tempos and tourist vehicles went off the roads on Friday as their owners began an indefinite strike to press for their various demands, including reduction in diesel prices, an official said here on Friday.

“The strike response is very good… all economic activities like movement of goods and people are virtually paralysed, barring essential supplies, in Maharashtra and rest of India,” Bombay Goods Transport Association (BGTA) Treasurer and Legal Cell chief Abhishek Gupta told IANS.

Pick-up or delivery of goods has been hit from manufacturing to consumer centres, cargo transport from airports, seaports and railway yards has been halted while movement of people in private buses and tourist vehicles was affected with even school-buses on strike.

Gupta said while Mumbai accounts for over 500,000 trucks and 8,000-plus buses, the figures for Maharashtra are around 14,00,000 trucks, and around 40,000 buses plus some 60,000 tempos and tourist vehicles, barring government-owned vehicles.

An office-bearer of All Indian Transporters’ Welfare Association (AITWA) said that “the ‘chakka jam’ (strike) call by the All India Motor Congress has evoked a massive response” as the issues raised affect the main stakeholders — the truck-bus operators.

A large number of transporters led by BGTA committee member Deepak Verma also started an indefinite sit-in (dharna) protest at Azaid Maidan in Mumbai.

The prime demands of the AITWA include — a reduction in prices of diesel by bringing it under goods and services tax (GST), six-monthly revision of fuel prices instead of the existing daily fluctuations, abolishing toll tax at all road toll posts in the country.

“We have already informed the government to scrap toll tax totally since the waiting period at toll posts results in massive losses by way of fuel and other overheads. The AITWA has said the government can collect the entire toll tax burden from us in advance annually but there is no response,” said the AITWA official.

Additionally, the transporters are upset about the high insurance premia, reduction in third-party premia and exempting it from GST, exemptions in certain other direct taxes, permit system overhaul and others.

Gupta said that last week AITWA officials held meetings with Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and Finance Minister Piyush Goyal in Mumbai and New Delhi, but failed to get any concrete assurances compelling them to go ahead with the ‘Chakka Jam’ from today.

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11-kg tumour extracted from Mumbai woman’s abdomen

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surgery

Mumbai, Sep 20 : Doctors in Mumbai have extracted a gigantic 11-kg tumour from the abdomen of a 55-year-old woman after a marathon nine-hour surgery.

A team of medicos headed by oncologist Dr Tanveer A. Majeed, urologist Dr Santosh Palkar and Dr Shilpa Deshmukh performed the complicated surgery at the Zen Multispeciality Hospital in Chembur.

The patient Sujata Sinha (name changed) is a housewife who noticed her abdomen growing daily accompanied by breathing difficulties.

At the height of lockdown in June, she consulted a local doctor who confirmed the presence of a tumour with ultrasound and CT scan.

However, owing to the lockdown she did not take any further steps or medicines, even as the tumour continued to grow rapidly, making her look obese.

Finally, she was referred to the ZMH and Dr Majeed checked her condition on September 8 to find she was weighing around 80 kgs, and suffered from diabetes and hypertension.

Further tests revealed the huge abdominal tumour encroaching the right half of the abdomen, pushing the right kidney to the left side, duodenum, liver, small intestine and colon to the left side, besides her major blood vessels supplying to the heart.

After further clinical diagnosis, the patient was advised surgery by Dr Majeed as it indicated a rare cancer of connective tissues that resemble fat cells under a microscope.

“After opening the abdomen, we found a huge tumour which had displaced all the other body organs to the left side. It weighed 11 kgs and had dimensions of 55 cm x 40 cm x 35 cm, and the patient lost around one litre of blood during the nine-hour operation,” said Dr Majeed.

The patient is recuperating well at the hospital now, has started an oral liquid diet, can breathe normally, and will be required for a follow-up after three months.

“We delayed treatment due to the pandemic lockdown. But I am fortunate to be operated at ZMH where the doctors saved my life. I feel much lighter now, can eat and breathe properly and resume normal life,” said the patient gratefully.

Prior to this, a team of doctors at the Global Hospital, Parel, had extracted a massive 12-kg tumour from a woman’s abdomen in December 2014.

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Uttar Pradesh man nabbed for importing drugs from United States

He used to order the drugs from the US through Instagram or Wickr and the payments were made through bitcoins.

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ganja

Lucknow, Sep 20: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has arrested a person from here and seized 2.7 kg of bud (curated marijuana) concealed in an air compressor machine at Delhi.

The consignor is based in the US and a few earlier seizures made by NCB had the same origin which alerted the NCB team.

The payment for the consignment was made through bitcoins and came into contact through Instagram ID of the consignor.

According to the NCB press statement, the parcel was sent to India from the US on August 31.

A detailed investigation into the case with the help of digital analysis led NCB team to the consignee C. Gidwani, a Lucknow resident, who accepted his involvement in the case on September 18.

The necessary digital evidence was also seized. He admitted that he used to import such parcels on a regular basis for last one and a half years for himself and further distribution to his friends.

He used to order the drugs from the US through Instagram or Wickr and the payments were made through bitcoins.

The accused also revealed that he used to get ‘charas’ and ‘marijuana’ from Delhi and Bangalore-based suppliers. Further investigations into the backward and forward linkages were underway.

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India

Agri Bills historic, in farmers’ interest: Modi tweets in Punjabi

Modi said that the Indian farming system immediate needed the latest technology.

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Narendra Modi

New Delhi, Sep 20 : In the wake of protests by farmers in Punjab and Haryana against three agriculture-related Bills, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday assured the farmers — through tweets in Punjabi language — that the proposed laws were historic and in their interest.

“No dilution of MSP regime; government procurement of agricultural produce to continue,” Modi said in one of the series of tweets in Punjabi, hours after the passage of two of the three contentious agricultural Bills by the Rajya Sabha.

Reiterating his government’s commitment and dubbing the passage of the farm Bills as a “watershed moment”, the Prime Minister said: “We are here to serve the farmers. We will do our best to help the farmers and ensure a better life for their future generations.”

Modi said that the Indian farming system immediate needed the latest technology.

“Our agriculture sector is in desperate need of the latest technology that assists the industrious farmers. Now, with the passage of the Bills, our farmers will have easier access to futuristic technology that will boost production and yield better results. This is a welcome step.”

“For decades, the Indian farmer was bound by various constraints and bullied by middlemen. The Bills passed by Parliament liberate the farmers from such adversities. These Bills will add impetus to the efforts to double the income of farmers and ensure greater prosperity for them,” tweeted the Prime Minister.

Earlier in the day, the Upper House of Parliament also its nod to The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020. The Lok Sabha passed the two Bills on Thursday.

The third is The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

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