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Fuel bunks to shut on Sundays in seven states, Puducherry

According to him, in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, there were 250-300 outlets owned by oil marketing companies which are not members of the association.

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Chennai/Mumbai, April 18 : Petrol bunk dealers in seven states and Puducherry have decided to down their shutters on Sundays from May 14 in a bid to save fuel and foreign exchange, it was announced on Tuesday.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged people to follow traffic rules and also save petrol and diesel. So we have decided to declare a holiday on Sundays as it will save fuel and foreign exchange,” K.P. Murali, President of the Tamil Nadu Petroleum Dealers Association, told IANS.

Murali said petrol bunks in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, Haryana and Maharashtra as well as Puducherry will down their shutters on Sundays starting from May 14.

He said there were around 4,850 outlets selling petrol and diesel in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry alone.

“On an average the per day sales of fuel is for around Rs 153 crore. While exact figures are not available on fuel sales on Sundays, it will be around 20 per cent less than what is sold on weekdays,” Murali said.

He said the Sunday-holiday decision will save around 20 per cent fuel burned in the country.

According to him, in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, there were 250-300 outlets owned by oil marketing companies which are not members of the association.

“We are within our right to declare Sunday a holiday. All these days we have been functioning paying workers double wages,” he said.

He said all the outlets will have one staffer on Sundays who will supply fuel in an emergency.

Murali said the petrol bunks accepted the demonetised 500 and 1,000 rupee notes at the request of the government. “Now we have decided to play a role in saving fuel and foreign exchange.”

In Mumbai, the President of the Federation of All Maharashtra Petrol Dealers Association, Udah Lodh, said the move was in support of various demands with the oil marketing companies and other long-pending issues.

From May 15, he said, the petrol pumps in the seven states and Puducherry will work only on a single day shift — 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“We are currently operating on extremely low margins, selling high-tech unleaded petrol-diesel products in which the evaporation rate is very high, resulting in huge losses,” Lodh told IANS.

Additionally, there were areas of concern like a certain amount of minimum salary to be paid to the staffers at each petrol pumps. This has become unaffordable due to the low operating margins, he said.

Lodh said the move would affect around 4,500 petrol pumps in Maharashtra alone, including 225 in Mumbai, where some 100,000 staffers work, mostly in two shifts and some in three shifts.

A weekly holiday plus working on a single shift on other days will help the petrol pumps to drastically reduce their running expenditure, he added.

Disaster

‘Situation going out of control’: SC seeks Covid report from Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Assam

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said the infections in these states are “going out of control” and asked them to submit a status report within two days.

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Coronavirus India

The Supreme Court on Monday sought a status report from Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Assam on steps taken to control the spread of coronavirus infection, news agency PTI reported. A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said the infections in these states are “going out of control” and asked them to submit a status report within two days.

“Things have worsened in Delhi especially in November. You file a status report on what steps have been taken,”the court told Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, who was appearing for the Delhi government. The bench, also comprising Justices R S Reddy and M R Shah, said that all efforts shall be made by the Centre and the states to mitigate the situation and to deal with the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

While fresh cases of coronavirus infections continue to decline — or remain stagnant — in the worst-affected states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh, on the other hand, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and even Himachal Pradesh have been seeing a significant rise in active cases.

Amid the surge in a few states, the Centre on Sunday dispatched high-level teams to Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to help them tackle the spread of the disease. A few days ago, similar teams were sent to Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana and Chhattisgarh as well.

Part of the reason for the surge in cases in these states could be attributed to low adherence of physical distancing norms during the festival season, especially since it came after a prolonged phase of relative stability, which could have given rise to complacency amongst the public.

On Monday, India’s COVID-19 caseload went past 91 lakh with 44,059 coronavirus infections being reported in a day, while the recoveries surged to 85,62,641. The number of active cases remained below 5 lakh for the thirteenth consecutive day. There are 4,43,486 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country as on date which comprises 4.85 per cent of the total caseload.

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India

Former Assam CM Tarun Gogoi passes away

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Former Assam Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Tarun Gogoi passed away Monday. He was suffering from multi-organ dysfunction.

The three-time chief minister of Assam, Gogoi had a political career spanning over 50 years in which he assumed varied positions within the Congress party, central government as well as Assam’s state administration.

Born on April 1, 1936 into an ethnic Assamese Tai-Ahom family at Rangajan Tea Estate located in erstwhile Sivasagar district, now Jorhat district of Assam.His father, Dr Kamaleshwar Gogoi was a medical practitioner at the tea estate while his mother, Usha Gogoi, was known for her collection of poetry –– Hiyar Samahar.

Gogoi did his primary education at the No.26 Rangajan Nimna Buniyadi Vidyalaya before moving to Jorhat Madrassa School, Bholaguri High School located near Badulipar Tea Estate and finally Jorhat Government High School from where he passed the HSLC Examination. Completing his graduation from Jagannath Barooah College, he did his LLB from Gauhati University, Assam.

With his first stint as member of Parliament starting in 1971, he went on to be elected to the Lok Sabha a total of six times. He also served as the joint secretary of All India congress Committee in 1976 and president of Assam’s Pradesh Congress Committee from 1986-91.

During Narasimha Rao’s tenure (1991-95) as the Prime Minister, Gogoi served in the Union cabinet as the Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Food and Food Processing Industry.

Gogoi led the Congress to a record three consecutive electoral victories in Assam in 2001, 2006 and 2011, and served as the chief minister of the state for 15 years (2001-2016), thus becoming the longest-serving chief minister of the state.

In 2016 Assembly elections in Assam, though the BJP along with its allies defeated the Congress government, Gogoi managed to win from Titabar Assembly constituency.

In August this year, Gogoi was admitted to hospital after testing positive for Covid-19 and was discharged after recovery. However, he was again rushed to GMCH on November 2 with post-COVID complications and was on non-invasive ventilation (NIV). He was put on invasive ventilation on Saturday night as his condition deteriorated.

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PM Modi inaugurates Multi Storeyed flats for Members of Parliament

17th Lok Sabha has already taken many historical decisions

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Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Multi Storeyed flats for Members of Parliament through video conference, today. These flats are located at Dr B D Marg in New Delhi. Eight old bungalows, which were more than 80 years old, have been redeveloped to construct 76 flats.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said Green Building norms have been incorporated in this Multi Storeyed flats for the Members of Parliament. He hoped that these new flats will keep all the residents and the MPs safe and sound.

He said accommodation for the Members of Parliament has been a long standing problem but it is now solved. He said decades old problems don’t end by avoiding them, but by finding solutions. He listed many such projects in Delhi which were incomplete for many years were taken up by this government and finished before the scheduled time.

He said during the time of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the discussion of Ambedkar National Memorial started, it was built by this government after a long wait of 23 years. He said, the new building of the Central Information Commission, the War Memorial near India Gate and the National Police Memorial were built by this government which were pending for a long time.

The Prime Minister remarked that all the MPs have taken care of both the products and the process in the productivity of Parliament and have attained a new height in this direction. He praised the Lok Sabha Speaker for his stewardship of the house in a productive and procedurally sound way.

He expressed happiness that Parliament proceedings continued even during the pandemic, with new regulations and several precautionary measures. He added that both houses worked even on weekends for ensuring smooth proceedings in the Monsoon Session.

He said as the age of 16-18 years is very important for the youth, we have completed the term of the 16th Lok Sabha with the 2019 election and this period has been historically significant for the progress and development of the country. He added that the term of the 17th Lok Sabha has started in 2019 and the decisions taken during this period in this Lok Sabha already, the Lok Sabha has undertaken some historic decisions.

He expressed confidence that the next (18th) Lok Sabha will also play a very important role in taking the country forward into the new decade.

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